Toshiba Satellite M45-S269 Review (pics, specs)

by risforrad26 Reads (155,949)

by Richie Fuller, New York USA

Overview and Introduction:

This is a review of the Toshiba M45-S269 (a specific configuration of the more general Toshiba Satellite M45 series).  If you are in Canada or Europe I should mention that the Toshiba M40 appears to be the equivalent of this machine with the same chassis and similar configurations.

Specifications for Toshiba M45-S269:

  • Intel Pentium M Processor 740 (1.73 Ghz)
  • 512MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • 100GB. (5400 RPM) HDD
  • DVD+/-R double layer
  • 15.4″ TruBrite WXGA Widescreen Display
  • 802.11 b/g Wireless (Intel wireless to make this a centrino notebook)
  • Windows XP Home Edition

Toshiba Satellite M45 (view larger image)

Reasons for Buying:

My family had decided we needed to take advantage of our wireless network by adding a notebook. Since we were on a tight budget we decided we would try to buy a notebook for under $1,000. After looking through the ads in the Sunday newspaper I came across the Toshiba M45-S269 for $1,100 at Office Depot. It had a very good set up compared to what I had seen before. The 100 gb. Hard drive would fit all off our pictures, movies, and music. I went to the store and checked this notebook out. The salesman was trying to convince me to get an AMD desktop processor in a notebook but after talking to him for a while, my knowledge of notebooks seemed to be a little greater. I purchased the Toshiba for the sale’s price plus tax.

Where and How Purchased:

  • Where: Office Depot
  • How: In-store purchase at Office Depot
  • How much: $1,100 + taxes.

Build and Design:

This is where the notebook starts to show its flaws. When I push on the back of the screen, there is obvious flex. When I push the front of the screen while it is opened, the screen wobbles quite a bit. Overall the build quality is below average, the case is made of plastic and is not the rigid durable kind, you can feel flex in different places.  One thing I do like and should mention is that the screen is easy enough to open up with only one hand. When you unlatch the screen and lift it up, the body does not lift up off of its surface. My sister had an older Sony laptop and it required two hands to open the screen which I found quite annoying.

Screen:

The glossy TruBrite screen is amazing! Maybe it’s because I’m used to using a matte style Sony screen (on a older laptop) or a desktop monitor, but when I first booted this notebook up, I was amazed. It has a WXGA screen (1280 x 800). The screen even looks good when it’s brightness is lowered to medium settings.

Speakers:

They’re notebook speakers, so what do you expect? There is no bass because the speakers are very small. There’s nothing else to say really except I was slightly disappointed when I turned the volume all the way up (manually using the hardware control buttons, not from Windows).  But while the speakers aren’t all that great, it is at least nice to have volume control on the outside of the notebook.

Processor and Performance:

I am very happy with the performance of this notebook. There was no obvious lag on the computer when ripping a DVD and I have never experienced the processor hanging at all with multiple applications open (causing the processor to have to service several programs).  The Satellite M45 came with 512 MB of RAM which seems to be the standard nowadays and is where you want to be as having this amount of memory will allow you to run several programs at once without having to hit the hard drive to load data.  1GB of memory would probably be nice, but for my needs it’s not really necessary. With great performance usually comes heat and noise, but I’m happy to say that this notebook is only audible in a dead silent room.  In a normal home or office setting you won’t hear the fan over other everyday noises, or it at least blends into the background with other noises.

On the whole, the performance will keep up with any normal users. Users requiring extreme power from a notebook probably wouldn’t want to get this notebook.

You can boot and get on your desktop in about 45 seconds and even less when its coming from hibernation.

Benchmarks

Below are results garnered from running the program Super Pi which forcing the processor to calculate the number Pi to 2 million digits of accuracy.

Notebook  Time
 Toshiba Satellite M45 (1.73GHz Pentium M)  1m 49s
 Fujitsu S6231 (1.6 GHz Pentium M)  2m 6s
 Sony VAIO FS680 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)  1m 53s
 IBM ThinkPad T43 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)  1m 45s
 Asus Z70A (1.6GHz Pentium M)  1m 53s
 Fujitsu LifeBook N3510 (1.73 GHz Pentium M)  1m 48s
 Dell Inspiron 6000D (1.6 GHz Pentium M)  1m 52s
 Dell Inspiron 600M (1.6 GHz Pentium M)  2m 10s
 Sony VAIO S360 (1.7 GHz Pentium M)  1m 57s
 HP DV4170us (Pentium M 1.73 GHz)  1m 53s
 Sony VAIO S380 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)  1m 45s

 

The total PCMark04 score for the Satellite M45 was 3121 PC Marks, below are detailed results for the Satellite M45-S269 and how it stacked up against a Gateway 8510GZ notebook with an ATI X700 graphics card and Intel Pentium M 1.73GHz processor (notice the better graphics performance of the Gateway). 

Futuremark PCMark04 Scores
  Gateway 8510GZ (Stock) Toshiba Satellite M45-S269
 Multithreaded Test 1 / File Compression 3.23 MB/s 3.234 MB/s
 Multithreaded Test 1 / File Encryption 25.33 MB/s 25.662 MB/s
 Multithreaded Test 2 / File Decompression 21.6 MB/s 22.623 MB/s
 Multithreaded Test 2 / Image Processing 9.99 MPixels/s 10.150 MPixels/s
 Multithreaded Test 3 / Virus Scanning 1827.36 MB/s 2161.81 MB/s
 Multithreaded Test 3 / Grammar Check 2.69 KB/s 2.64 KB/s
 File Decryption 51.28 MB/s 51.410 MB/s
 Audio Conversion 2342.35 KB/s 2371.856 KB/s
 Web Page Rendering 4.92 Pages/s 4.857 Pages/s
 DivX Video Compression 47.45 FPS 48.221 FPS
 Physics Calculation and 3D 173.8 FPS 98.874 FPS
 Graphics Memory – 64 Lines 1882.1 FPS 482.198 FPS
Futuremark 3DMark05 Scores
3DMark Score 1610 3DMarks -
CPU Score 3222 CPUMarks -
Gaming Tests
GT1 – Return To Proxycon 6.8 FPS -
GT2 – Firefly Forest 4.7 FPS -
GT3 – Canyon Flight 8.3 FPS -
CPU Tests
CPU Test 1 1.7 FPS -
CPU Test 2 2.8 FPS -



Keyboard:

I’ve really only used one other notebook keyboard ( older Sony) and this one isn’t too bad. The only dislike I have with it, is that they placed media control buttons on the left side of the notebook, instead of using that area to extend the keyboard and make it easier to type on. You’ll get used to it though (I’m typing on it right now). There isn’t much keyboard flex that I notice and overall it’s a decent quality keyboard. The media keys consist of a play/pause, stop, fast forward, and rewind buttons. The two other buttons open up media software.

Toshiba Satellite M45 above keyboard/touchpad view (view larger image)

Input & Output Ports:

This notebook has the following included ports:

  • 3 USB 2.0 ports
  • IEEE 1394 (small firewire port)
  • 6-in-1 Media Adapter
  • VGA out
  • Standard microphone and headphone jacks (placed conveniently in the front)
  • RJ-11 modem port
  • RJ-45 ethernet port
  • kensington security lock
  • PCMCIA slot for accessory expansion
  • S-Video out

Judging by the ports, you can tell this notebook is geared towards average home users, it’s got everything you need but nothing fancy.  The 6-in-1 media adapter is certainly appreciated and a nice touch.

Toshiba Satellite M45 Front-side with buttons (show larger image)

Left side of Toshiba Satellite M45 (view larger image)

Toshiba Satellite M45 back view (view larger image)

 

Toshiba Satellite M45 right-side view (view larger image)

Wireless:

This notebook comes with an Intel PRO/Wireless 2200BG card. It easily connects to our home network and gets a better signal than the old Sony laptop we had. Though I mainly use a plugged in LAN connection, this notebook is just as speedy using wireless. When I turn wireless on, I get an “Excellent” signal according to Windows from just about anywhere in the house.

Battery:

Windows estimated that I had 3 hours and 2 minutes left (97% battery) when I started writing this review. I’m using a wired lan connection with wireless off. Currently, I have 2 hours and 14 minutes left which seems right. When I turn wireless on, it drops down to 2 hours left. I would say this notebook is very good with battery life as long as you change your settings to automatically put it on a power saving mode via the pre-installed Toshiba battery tool.

Operating System and Software:

This notebook comes with Windows XP Home Edition and a TON of preinstalled software. Your status bar gets cluttered with all the Toshiba programs running (including one for your dial up modem, ugh). It was annoying the first time but once you get rid of it all, it’s not bad at all. This system comes with an application and system recovery cd.  It also comes with an AOL CD which they want you to give to your friend (and if you do that, then you’re no real friend to that person, friends don’t get friends to sign up for AOL). Besides the extra software and the AOL CD, It’s a pretty solid configuration. It also comes with Microsoft Office 2003 Edition installed but you need a CD key for it to let you use it.

Customer Service:

I haven’t had to deal with it because there hasn’t been anything wrong with it yet. Fingers crossed that stays the same!

Cons:

  • Cheap Construction
  • Extra software
  • Keyboard could’ve been extended and made larger to replace the media keys
  • VERY noisy optical drive when reading CD’s.

Pros:

  • Great battery life
  • Amazing Screen
  • Best configuration for the price
  • Widescreen

Conclusion:

This is a very good notebook for the average home user and is light enough to carry around the house with you. The battery life and wireless are great and so are the other components. You will be very happy with this purchase.

Pricing and Availability: Toshiba M45-S269

Other Reviews of this Laptop

This is a popular laptop in retail stores and as such we have a previous existing review covering this machine:




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