Laptop Review: Toshiba Satellite A305 SP6906R
Help! My laptop is broken!
Without it I cannot write, listen to music, stay in contact with friends, make phone calls, access the Internet, or perform a host of other activities.
In short, I have come to utterly depend on my laptop and so its recent demise is nothing short of catastrophic.
The laptop in question is (or was . . .RIP) an HP DV9000 Entertainment Laptop, a gorgeous, sexy, glossy, black and silver, top of the range model which I purchased in February 2007. It boasts an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz processor, 2 GB Ram, 2 x 160 GB hard disks, and a 17” screen.
Now, the lid has cracked on the left-hand side, and worse, due to overheating, the machine has fried the nVidia graphics card. As Intel in their wisdom attached this to the motherboard, it cannot be replaced without replacing the entire motherboard, which is prohibitively expensive. A search on the Internet revealed that there are hundreds of users with exactly the same problems as me. These apparently are design faults, but HP will not recall the machines which, like mine, are out of warranty. Since I paid over $ 2’200 for a laptop which lasted just over 2 years, I won’t be in a hurry to buy HP again.
So, I am resigned to buying a new laptop. However, as I am currently living in Costa Rica, this is no easy task. Firstly there simply is not the choice available in the USA or Europe, and secondly, all are supplied with Windows Vista in Spanish.
After much searching, I
managed to locate a shop who would sell me an OEM copy of Windows Vista Home
Premium in English, with a view to re-installing Windows from scratch on a new laptop,
over the top of its Spanish equivalent.
The new laptop in question, of which I am now the proud owner, is a Toshiba Satellite A305 SP6906R with Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 2.2 GHz processor, 4 GB Ram, 2 x 250 GB hard disks and a 15.4” screen. Before installing the new operating system, I booted the laptop in Spanish, got onto the Internet, and took the precaution of downloading all of the Toshiba drivers for this model, which were available from the excellent Toshiba web site (in English) , onto the hard disk.
After that it was a painless procedure. I installed Windows in English, then ran through all of the drivers, installing one after the other, and hey presto, it all works like a dream. Even the fingerprint recognition and the webcam work flawlessly. Within a day, all of my data and personal settings were restored and I was up and running with my favourite applications (Office, F-Secure, Firefox, Skype, NetObjects Fusion, Final Draft), and not a trace of Spanish in sight!
I am impressed with the Toshiba A300. The build quality is superior to the HP, as is the Toshiba technical support. There are HDMI and eSATA ports, as well as 4 USB ports, and an i-Link port. It is fast and quiet, and it feels solid and reliable. The screen images are crisp and clear, and the sound quality from the harmon/kardon speakers is impressive.
I do have one minor gripe though - the shiny plastic reflective covering on the keyboard keys. This makes the keys feel slippery and also reflects the light. - a strange choice, but despite this, the keyboard is still comfortable to type on, and the travel on the keys is ample.
So, overall, I am delighted with my Toshiba Satellite A305 laptop, and look forward to many years of reliable service from it. Highly recommended.
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