Toshiba Satellite Pro L300 Review

by tiffany boggs Reads (444,263)

The Toshiba Satellite Pro L300 offers a vivid 15.4" WXGA display and Intel Centrino processor technology. The L300 has all the essentials for business users in its simplistic yet functional design. Let’s take a closer a look and see if the Satellite Pro really stands up to the competition.

Our Toshiba review unit had the following specifications:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 2.1GHz processor
  • Intel X3100 Integrated Graphics
  • 2GB RAM DDR2
  • 160GB (5400 rpm) hard drive
  • Windows XP Professional OS
  • 15.4" WXGA 1280×800 screen
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG (802.11a/b/g)
  • 10/100 Ethernet LAN
  • Modem port
  • VGA-15 pin
  • DVD-SuperMulti drive (+/-R double layer) supporting up to 11 formats
  • ExpressCard Slot
  • SDCard Slot
  • 3x USB 2.0
  • Headphone and microphone jack
  • webcam
  • Battery: 6-cell (4800mAh) Lithium Ion battery
  • Weight: 5.7lbs
  • Starting price: $949


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Build and Design

The Satellite Pro L300 has a very simple design. It has that sleek business appearance with its silver lid and black keyboard. You don’t get any glossy imprint finishes with the L300. Don’t let the plain looks fool you though, it still is very functional.

The chassis is solid and the overall design didn’t feel cheap. It does feel heavy for my standards, but I am used to smaller Tablet PCs. Weighing in about 5.7lbs is usually average for a 15.4-inch notebook. The L300 hides dirt well, but you can start to see some scratches from normal wear and tear.

The plastic design seemed durable and didn’t show any signs of flex. The hinge was even stiff and the screen stayed in place. The L300 comes with a good array of features for the price, but to me seems like an awkward sized notebook for business use, unless it stayed in your office.

Display

The 15.4" WXGA (1280×800) screen on the Satellite Pro L300 is above average. The colors are bright and vivid. The screen didn’t have any problems or defects. The backlighting was fine in an office setting and easy to read. I didn’t notice any signs of blacklight bleed through except for a tiny bit on the bottom by the taskbar.


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The colors looked good at all angles and that is why I rated the screen as good. I didn’t have a problem at any viewing angle. The only problem I had was when the screen was tilted all the way back the colors were distorted, but who uses their screen like this anyway.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard on the L300 is solid and didn’t show any signs of flex, no matter how hard you typed. The keys have a nice response and are easy to read. The spacebar is a little smaller than I would like, but it’s not the end of the world. The keys even have a durable textured feel to them.


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I didn’t feel cramped when typing at all. The keyboard is the perfect size and the palm rest is comfortable to rest your hands on. I am used to typing on tablets, so I enjoyed having the extra keyboard room.

The touchpad is average. I like that it is indented into the palm rests because your finger never slips off. I mean you could use this touchpad with your eyes closed … well, you know what I mean. The only problem was it was kind of slow when navigating and I couldn’t change the responsiveness like on a mouse. The right and left click buttons worked fine as well.

Performance

The Satellite Pro L300 didn’t have any problems running multiple programs or multi-tasking jobs with its Core 2 Duo 2.1GHz processor and 160GB hard drive. I could check email, open documents and surf the Web without any lag. The benchmarks are average and overall the L300 did good on its PCMark05 score compared to other notebooks in the same category. I am sure the fact it is running Windows XP instead of Vista helps out this business savvy notebook as well.

wPrime is a program that forces the processor to do recursive mathematical calculations, the advantage of this program is that it is multi-threaded and can use both processor cores at once, thereby giving more accurate benchmarking measurements than Super Pi. (Lower numbers mean better performance.)

Notebook / CPU wPrime 32M time
Toshiba Satellite Pro L300 (Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.1GHz) 42.017s
Toshiba Satellite A305D (Turion X2 TL-64 @ 2.2GHz) 37.220s
Toshiba Satellite A305 (Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.1GHz) 36.442s
Asus M51S (Core 2 Duo T5550 @ 1.83GHz) 46.293s
Lenovo IdeaPad Y510 (Core 2 Duo T5450 @ 1.66GHz) 50.184s
HP Pavilion dv6700t (Core 2 Duo T5450 @ 1.66GHz) 50.480s
Dell Inspiron 1525 (Core 2 Duo T7250 @ 2.0GHz) 43.569s
Dell XPS M1530 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz)
37.485s
Portable One SXS37 (Core 2 Duo T7250 @ 2.0GHz) 41.908s
Sony VAIO NR (Core 2 Duo T5250 @ 1.5GHz) 58.233s
Toshiba Tecra A9 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 38.343s
Toshiba Tecra M9 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 37.299s
HP Compaq 6910p (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2GHz) 40.965s
Sony VAIO TZ (Core 2 Duo U7600 @ 1.20GHz) 76.240s
Zepto 6024W (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2GHz) 42.385s
Lenovo T61 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 37.705s
Alienware M5750 (Core 2 Duo T7600 @ 2.33GHz) 38.327s
Hewlett Packard DV6000z (Turion X2 TL-60 @ 2.0GHz) 38.720s
Samsung Q70 (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.0GHz) 42.218s
Acer Travelmate 8204WLMi (Core Duo T2500 @ 2.0GHz) 42.947s
Samsung X60plus (Core 2 Duo T7200 @ 2.0GHz) 44.922s
Zepto Znote 6224W (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.0GHz) 45.788s
Samsung Q35 (Core 2 Duo T5600 @ 1.83GHz) 46.274s

 

3DMark06 comparison results for graphics performance (higher scores mean better performance):

Notebook 3DMark06 Score
Toshiba Satellite Pro L300 (2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T8100, Intel X3100) 385 3DMarks
Toshiba Satellite A305D (2.2GHz AMD Turion X2 TL-64, ATI 1250) 271 3DMarks
Toshiba Satellite A305 (2.10GHz Intel T8100, ATI Radeon 3650 512MB)
3,810 3DMarks
Asus M51S (1.83GHz Intel T5550, Nvidia 9500M GS 512MB) 3,749 3DMarks
Lenovo IdeaPad Y510 (1.66GHz Intel T5450, Intel X3100) 543 3DMarks
HP Pavilion dv6700t (1.66GHz Intel T5450, Nvidia 8400M GS 256MB) 1,556 3DMarks
Dell Inspiron 1525 (2.0GHz Intel T7250, Intel X3100) 545 3DMarks
Sony VAIO NR (1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5250, Intel X3100) 504 3DMarks
Dell XPS M1530 (2.20GHz Intel T7500, Nvidia 8600M GT 256MB) 4,332 3DMarks
Dell Inspiron 1520 (2.0GHz Intel T7300, NVIDIA 8600M GT) 2,905 3DMarks
Dell XPS M1330 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS 128MB) 1,408 3DMarks
Samsung Q70 (2.0GHz Core 2 Duo T7300 and nVidia 8400M G GPU) 1,069 3DMarks
Asus F3sv-A1 (Core 2 Duo T7300 2.0GHz, Nvidia 8600M GS 256MB) 2,344 3DMarks
Alienware Area 51 m5550 (2.33GHz Core 2 Duo, nVidia GeForce Go 7600 256MB 2,183 3DMarks
Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 1526 (1.66GHz Core Duo, nVidia 7600Go 256 MB) 2,144 3DMarks
Samsung X60plus (2.0GHz Core 2 Duo T7200, ATI X1700 256MB) 1,831 3DMarks
Asus A6J (1.83GHz Core Duo, ATI X1600 128MB) 1,819 3DMarks
HP dv6000t (2.16 GHz Intel T7400, NVIDA GeForce Go 7400) 827 3DMarks

PCMark05 measures overall notebook performance (higher scores mean better performance):

Notebook PCMark05 Score
Toshiba Satellite Pro L300 (2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T8100, Intel X3100) 3,398 PCMarks
Toshiba Satellite A305D (2.2GHz AMD Turion X2 TL-64, ATI 1250) 3,510 PCMarks
Toshiba Satellite A305 (2.10GHz Intel T8100, ATI Radeon 3650 512MB)
5,622 PCMarks
Asus M51S (1.83GHz Intel T5550, Nvidia 9500M GS 512MB) 4,649 PCMarks
Lenovo IdeaPad Y510 (1.66GHz Intel T5450, Intel X3100) 3,749 PCMarks
HP Pavilion dv6700t (1.66GHz Intel T5450, Nvidia 8400M GS 256MB) 3,386 PCMarks
Dell Inspiron 1525 (2.0GHz Intel T7250, Intel X3100) 4,149 PCMarks
Dell XPS M1530 (2.20GHz Intel T7500, Nvidia 8600M GT 256MB) 5,412 PCMarks
Dell Inspiron 1520 (2.0GHz Intel T7300, NVIDIA 8600M GT) 4,616 PCMarks
Dell XPS M1330 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS) 4,591 PCMarks
Sony VAIO NR (1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5250, Intel X3100) 3,283 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, Intel X3100) 4,153 PCMarks
Lenovo 3000 V200 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, Intel X3100) 3,987 PCMarks
Lenovo T60 Widescreen (2.0GHz Intel T7200, ATI X1400 128MB) 4,189 PCMarks
HP dv6000t (2.16GHz Intel T7400, NVIDA GeForce Go 7400) 4,234 PCMarks
Fujitsu N6410 (1.66GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400) 3,487 PCMarks
Alienware M7700 (AMD Athlon FX-60, Nvidia Go 7800GTX) 5,597 PCMarks
Sony VAIO SZ-110B in Speed Mode (Using Nvidia GeForce Go 7400) 3,637 PCMarks
Asus V6J (1.86GHz Core Duo T2400, Nvidia Go 7400) 3,646 PCMarks

HDTune measures the performance of the notebook’s hard drive in terms of both transfer rate (read/write speed) and access time (how long it takes to find data stored on the drive):

 

Audio

The speakers on the Satellite Pro L300 aren’t the best, but remember this notebook is targeted toward business use and it’s not an entertainment or gaming notebook. The speakers are located under the screen of the notebook by the hinge. Music sounds fine when played at normal levels, but the louder it gets the more distorted it becomes. My recommendation is to to use your trusty headphones when working and listening to music or watching videos. The volume dial on the front side is a convenient feature too, this way you don’t annoy your office mates.

Ports and Features

Port selection was average for a notebook of this size, it would have been nice to see S-Video or HDMI. Overall you get the basics with your optical drive and three USB ports, just what the business professional needs. You get the choice to work or watch movies on that long flight.

Front: Wireless on/off, SDCard slot, microphone and headphone, volume dial


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Left: VGA-15pin, Ethernet, two USB ports, ExpressCard Slot


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Right: One USB port, optical drive, power jack


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Rear: Modem, screen hinge


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Underneath: Fan, battery


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Battery Life

With the screen brightness set to 50 percent, wireless enabled, and the power profile set to Toshiba’s Power Saver the L300 managed 3 hours and 45 minutes before I had to plug it in. If you adjust the power settings and put the notebook in Max Power, you will only get a little more than two hours though. I would consider getting a extended battery for longer computing times, especially if you travel.

Heat and Noise

I didn’t have any problems with heat on the L300. I never noticed it getting hot or even warm for that matter. All sections of the notebook were comfortable to hold and the keyboard was always cool enough to type on or rest you hands on. Even when running the benchmarks the notebook stayed under 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it detected a little warm up the fan would kick on.

The noise issue was the same way, barely there. The L300 ran quiet almost the entire time, except for the occasional whisper when the fan would kick on. The only other noise came from using the optical drive, which is normal. You could use the L300 in a library and it wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow.

Conclusion

The Satellite Pro L300 is a business savvy notebook. It doesn’t have a glossy finish or any special features to make it stand out. What you see is what you get: a minimalistic, yet very functional notebook at a good price. The L300 comes with a good variety of ports, has a nice screen and a great keyboard. It is a little heavy and big to be a traveling companion in my opinion, but many business users like to watch movies or presentations while traveling and the 15.4" screen does it justice. Performance wise it gets the job done as well, I wouldn’t expect to be gaming on the L300 much though.

Pros

  • Solid design and chassis
  • Great keyboard
  • Nice screen
  • Good array of ports and has optical drive

Cons

  • A little on the heavy side
  • The touchpad has slow response time
  • Simple and plain design (some users like this though)

 




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