by Kevin O'Brien
The Toshiba Satellite E105 is a new 14.1” notebook with a aluminum body sold exclusively through Best Buy. The design moves away from the current rounded styling of the new Toshiba models to a thinner design with squared off edges. With a starting price of $899 this model comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor, Intel integrated graphics, FM tuner, and backlit keyboard. Read our review to find out how it compares to other Toshiba models and if you should consider it for your next notebook.
Toshiba Satellite E105-S1402 specifications:
Build and Design
The design of the Toshiba E105 is like the previous generation MacBook Pro, with its squared edge aluminum frame, display bezel shape, and keyboard size. The big difference of course is the lack of Apple logo and the matte finish replaced with the Fusion finish. Overall I really like the look of this model compared to current Toshiba notebooks, since it doesn’t go overboard with every edge needing to be sloped and rounded. The striped color layout is a nice change, moving away from the solid Fusion design across the entire notebook that they use on other Satellite models.
Build quality is well under what I had hoped to see on a new Satellite design and really unexpected with its aluminum body that usually goes hand in hand with higher quality standards. The aluminum shell looks warped along the edges with some areas sticking out along the edges of the palmrest and keyboard trim. Some mating surfaces have gaps that look like they are ready to pull up, such as the area under the touchpad. Toshiba really took things a step down from the previous Satellite models which were praised for their excellent fit and finish.
The 14.1” glossy panel on our E105 was bright and crisp, perfect for watching movies or viewing pictures. Color and contrast were excellent, which is the case for many glossy panels, which helped make bright colors pop and while still showing intricate dark detail. The backlight levels were bright enough for viewing the screen in a bright office environment. Outside viewing on a sunny day might be difficult with the glossy surface, but doable if you found the right viewing angle or a spot of shade.
I really think Toshiba should have at least included a WXGA+ panel, considering the price point and lack of dedicated graphics. The WXGA panel is fine for viewing your average “HD” movie since the panel can show a full 720P image, but for day to day activities the resolution is limiting if you want to show more on the same screen while multitasking.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The E105 sports a fully backlit keyboard with touch sensitive multimedia keys located on the right side for quick access. The keyboard is comfortable to type on for extended periods of time, with soft touch keys that give off a slight click when pressed. Unlike the A305 or U405, the E105 has a matte paint texture on the keys, giving them more traction than the glossy surface found on the other models. Another added benefit is the lack of greasy fingerprints that start to appear after a few hours of typing.
The location of the touch sensitive multimedia keys could be better, like above the keyboard instead of to the side. To fit the buttons on the right side Toshiba had to reduce or move some of the keys on the right side of the keyboard. The right shift key and page navigation keys all had to be modified to make room.
The large Synaptics touchpad was delightful to use, with great sensitivity and a texture that was easy to glide your fingertip across. It had no discernable lag under fast movement and worked very well under a light touch. The touchpad buttons were clicker style, having very shallow feedback with an audible “click” when pressed.
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