The Toshiba Satellite T135 series is a popular 13-inch thin-and-light notebook available in a variety of configurations. We previously reviewed the T135 with Intel inside, but what about the T135D with the latest AMD dual-core processors and ATI graphics? Does the AMD-based T135D offer more than the Intel-based T135 for $100 less? We took a closer look to find out.
Toshiba Satellite T135 (T135D-S1324) Specifications:
The Toshiba Satellite T135-series notebooks are stylish ultraportables that look like previous 13-inch Toshiba notebooks, but in a much thinner and lighter chassis. Toshiba keeps the profile only a fraction of an inch thicker than the USB ports on the side of the notebook, though this is done in large part by cutting out things like an ExpressCard slot and optical drive. For the average user this notebook has all the advantages of a standard computer--a high resolution display, a full-size keyboard and a dual-core processor--but none of the bulk. The black color scheme on our T135D looks nice, although the red exterior of the Intel-based T135 was a nice change of pace. Toshiba offers multiple color schemes for this notebook, so if you don't think black is beautiful then there are other options available for you to purchase.
Screen and Speakers
The 13.3" LED-backlit screen on the T135D appears to be identical to the display panel used on the T135. Colors appear overly saturated (not always a bad thing, but a matter of personal preference) and the contrast ratio looks below average with fairly light black levels. Horizontal viewing angles are good out to at least 45 degrees to either side before you start to notice color distortion. Vertical viewing angles are below average as the display becomes over exposed or colors begin inverting after moving the screen 15 degrees forward or back. Overall screen brightness is good enough for indoor usage under bright office lights or in the shade outdoors. The glossy screen makes reflections something of a problem if you try to use the screen outdoors under direct sunlight.
Speaker quality is below average as the maximum volume output isn't loud enough to fill a large meeting room withn clear sound. The maximum volume setting on this notebook sounds more like what we expect when we set multimedia notebooks to 50 percent volume. Part of the problem is the speaker location on the bottom front edge of the notebook ... which means sound is directed down and away from you rather than up toward your ears. The other issue is the small size of the speaker drivers themselves. Toshiba simply didn't put impressive speakers into this notebook. If this is your only PC for listening to your music library then I suggest purchasing a good set of headphones.
Once again, the full-size keyboard on the T135D is identical to the T135 and we don't have much new information to share with you. The keyboard is comfortable for typing and offers excellent support even under very strong typing pressure. The palmrests are just about perfect for average adult male hands as they support the wrists without causing additional stress points while typing. The individual keys have a springy, responsive action and each key has a flat surface similar to a Chiclet-style keyboard without the additional space between each key. Typing noise is minimal, with no loud "click clack" noises while typing. Consumers who are thinking about buying this notebook for typing long documents or notes during class should have no problems with this keyboard
Ports and Features
Port selection is fairly good when compared to ultraportable notebooks, but we're starting to get worried about the lack of either an ExpressCard slot or eSATA port on 13-inch and larger notebooks. USB is fine for smaller notebooks, but larger notebooks need to offer a few more options in terms of ports. The T135D includes three USB ports, VGA and HDMI-out, LAN, audio jacks, and a Kensington lock slot. Expansion slots include just the 6-in-1 SDHC-compatible card reader.
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