Toshiba’s Satellite T110 — the ideal travel mate

Light, fast, and long lasting are adjectives that would appropriately describe Toshiba’s Satellite T 110, the company’s thinnest Satellite notebook so far.

It’s not perfect, but tipping the scales at less than four pounds and packed with some features found in the larger Satellite machines this 11.6 inch-screen device that can run on battery power for nine hours, would be a good backup notebook or travel mate for mobile workers or for those who work out of a home office.

The T110 is just slightly larger than the typical netbook. It is best used for creating light office documents, surfing the net, and perhaps watching some videos.

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Features and design

Although the Satellite T110 can be considered a netbook, it’s slightly wider screen and less cramped keypad, makes it more comfortable to use.

Its glossy black lid with gray swirl designs reminded me of a larger HP notebook. The design worked well with the HP unit but tended to make the T110 lighter and thinner cover look “plasticky”.

The notebook’s outer looks are deceiving. Despite that minor drawback, the T110 is packed with useful features that places it in the high-end of the netbook pool.

The machine ships with 802.11 wireless networking and Bluetooth capability and comes with either the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7.

There are three USB 2.0 ports along the sides, a VGA port, 10/100 Ethernet, microphone and headphone ports, as well as a HDMI and SD card port.

It’s also equipped with a built-in webcam.

One very handy feature is the sleep-and-charge capability on one of the USB ports. This feature enables users to charge a USB device even if the notebook is switched off and not plugged to an outlet.

There are also numerous diagnostics and utilities settings. For instances, the T110 has a face recognition security setting that enables hands-free and password free logon.

The notebook’s Eco utility settings allows users to alter certain systems properties, such as brightness levels or high-performance modes to conserve energy.

The hard drive protection mechanism for the T110 employs a sensor that “parks” the hard drive heads when it detects excessive movement to avoid damage. This unfortunately slows down the system and causes video images to become choppy.

Toshiba’s ReelTime utility provides fast access to the most recent files you’ve used. Move a mouse over the ReelTime icon and ribbon containing your most recent files pops up.

The T110’s Bulletin Board application allows users create boards, stick notes on them, and create a to-do-list. 

Ease of use

The Satellite T110, is powered by an Intel Pentium SU2700 CPU that runs at 1.3 GHz which is 300MHz slower than a netbook using a hyper-threading capable Intel Atom chip.

The T110, however, has 4GB of DDR2 SDRAM and a 250GB 5400 rpm hard drive which enables it to run faster that many netbooks.

It may get a bit warm as you use it but doesn’t get uncomfortable. I also found the unit’s fan was very silent.

The netbook’s screen is visible outdoors, even in bright sunlight, but the webcam does present some pretty muddled images when used in dimly lit rooms.

Like many netbooks, I found the touchpad of the T110 to be finicky. Often when I slid my finger over the pad, the screen image would suddenly zoom in or zoom out.

The keypad, though smaller than that of a normal laptop, is easy to use.

Toshiba claims the T110 has a nine-hour battery-life. My tester’s 6-cell battery lasted 5 ½ hours with wireless Internet enabled and alternate office app usage, Web surfing and video-viewing on maximized screen brightness. Still that’s much longer than many machines can handle.

Ideal mobile workmate

Priced at around $629, the Toshiba Satellite T110 is a good buy for users looking for a small laptop that is more powerful than the typical netbook.

A strong selling point of the machine is its long battery life, which makes it ideal for either the casual traveler or mobile worker.

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