Blog Post

Saturday Night Netbook Shopping With Tyler


Tyler and I are being bad tonight. We offered to drive to Target to pick up a few items for Barb and there just happens to be a Best Buy in the vicinity. The Toshiba NB205  with 1.66GHz N280 Atom caught our eye and I’m very impressed with the overall package. The keyboard extremely usable with a chiclet-type design. The trackpad seems very generous in size when compared to other netbooks, as well.

I know that Intel’s (s intc) Pine Trail platform, or next-gen Atom, is on the way, but I’m leaning heavily towards this Toshiba. This model has the 6-cell battery that’s advertised around nine hours of battery life. The device is thinner than my MSI Wind as well. Decisions, decisions…

27 Responses to “Saturday Night Netbook Shopping With Tyler”

  1. I looked at netbooks for about 1 month, comparing all of the various features. I ended up choosing the Toshiba NB205-N325 The chicklet keys are great and the sub-sized keyboard only slows me down a little from a full-sized version.

  2. I’ve gotten lots of curious eyes at school since I started my netbook. A lot of people ask me about it and I always have the answers because I took a month to research netbooks. I mention the battery life which I usually get about 8 hours with full brightness, playing videos or music, and have multiple programs running simultaneously. It has the option to change the power settings straight from the taskbar as well. The netbook is light and sturdy, and it the screen looks great.
    The only thing I could think of that I would change it the monitor being glossy. Being outdoors or in bright classrooms doesn’t really seem to look good as it should, but other than that I love my netbook. My girlfriend now wants one and two students at school asked me for the model number.

  3. I liked the Toshiba, but the keyboard gave out after just over 30 days of light use. That’s when I discovered that Toshiba only offers a “limited” warranty on their netbooks that doesn’t even cover the cost of returning the device for repairs. If you have a problem you’ll also have the pleasure of wasting hours with their ill-informed support people. Shame on you Toshiba…

  4. cookins

    I checked it out at local Best Buy today, and I was not very impressed. Two things: the screen is a little dim and blur. It’s not bad, but clearly inferior to my current Asus 1000h. Bigger issue for me though was the keyboard layout. Toshiba has a tradition of creating some odd keyboard layouts (remember Windows key at the top?), and unfortunately this one was no exception. Why should they place “`” key next to the space bar? In my experience, “`” key is one of the least used keys in the keyboard and I cannot think of one good reason to have it next to the space bar.

  5. PerfectParent

    OMG you posted a pic of your kid online, arent you worried about “internet pedophiles” seeing the pic, hopping on a plane, stalking you, & eventually kidnapping him?!?! i guess going to the local park in virtually EVERY neighborhood is to easy these days lol.

    yeah, i had to say something. i just saw about the stupidest news story i have ever seen in my life last night on 1 of the 24hr channels. watching the media elite using ridiculous logic to manipulate internet-ignorant parents out there all for the sake of ratings is sickening.

  6. I remember you didn’t upgrade from the wind to 1005HA because there wasn’t enough reason to. So what is it about this laptop that made you decide too?

    • Correct, I did. But that was before I had heard that Intel PineTrail devices might be delayed. I also said back then:

      “I wanted to get a feel for a netbook with approximately double the run time of my Wind. I also wanted to see how the new Intel Atom N280 performed, but we’re only talking about a 0.06MHz clock cycle jump. The faster front-side bus might eke out a little more performance, though.”

      That alone wasn’t quite enough to buy the device although those goals are met. Using the keyboard and trackpad put me over the edge. I actually did look at a 1005HA that Best Buy had next to the NB205. The input methods on the Toshiba felt better to me. Remember I create web content for a living — any keyboard and/or trackpad that helps or feels more comfortable, is a big plus in my line of work.

    • Sure I did. How else would I have written the post on the device? ;)

      I downloaded and installed Google Chrome on the unit, turned on Incognito Mode, wrote my post, uninstalled Chrome and all wiped IE temp files / cache just to certain. Best I could do in a short time to maintain my credentials.

    • Nicely done in installing and removing a new browser. ;) PS I love this netbook. But I’m not buying the 600px models, holding out for 768. Are Dell and HP the only ones with that option these days? Hm. (I’m also holding out for a free Windows 7 upgrade.)

  7. E.S. Harris

    I haven’t seen this in the wild yet but it looks good. I’ve never used a netbook so maybe I shouldn’t be concerned, but doesn’t this max out at 1GB of memory? That is my concern.

    • The NB205 supports 2GB of RAM, although I believe there’s only one memory slot and no on-board memory. My Wind uses 1GB on-board and has a slot for expansion, so a 512MB or 1GB memory stick works fine for that. I’ll have to buy a 2GB stick if I upgrade memory on the NB205. For most activities, 1GB of memory with XP is sufficient.

  8. Interesting decision. I mentioned the NB205 a few posts ago – it’s indeed a nice-looking netbook. I checked out the brown version at Staples and it does look really good.

    TBH I would have waited a little longer for a Pineview/Win7 netbook to hit the stores. My only two quibbles regarding the Toshiba are the non-high-res display and bad keyboard flex.

    Do give us your “expert opinion” Kevin when you have the opportunity!

    Oh, and enjoy the new toy!

  9. Kevin this is funny. Last night I just happen to see the Toshiba online; was looking to see if they had put the Samsung Mondi. When I saw how much battery life you can get from the Toshiba I thought I must go down to the store and check it out. Well looks like you got it. Give us what you think compare to the MSI Wind. How much better it is compare to the MSI if you get a chance.

  10. I have the Toshiba. It’s terrific in almost every way. Great battery life (I’m getting around 8hrs per charge), great performance. The screen is a little finicky and the touchpad is sometimes sluggish, but everything else makes it the netbook to get, IMO.

  11. I gave in and bought it. I actually wrote my post on the demo unit in the store and really liked the feel of the device when doing that. Aside from the battery life, the relatively large trackpad sold me. It’s nearly as big as the trackpads on some full-sized notebooks I’ve seen!

  12. Kevin,

    I gave in to the Toshiba, as well. I, too, have the MSI, which I use as a hackintosh. However, I am using the Toshiba more and more because of the 6-cell battery. I average about 6-7 hours on the Toshiba, while the MSI clocks in around 3 hours with a 3rd party six-cell battery.