Toshiba Satellite X205 First Look Review (Video)

by Reads (22,774)

by Jerry Jackson

The Toshiba Satellite X205 is the latest gaming notebook from Toshiba to feature the an Intel Santa Rosa processor and the new NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT for high-end performance. Built "for gamers on the go" and packed with an impressive set of audio and video features the X205 series promises to be a one-stop solution for all your entertainment needs.

Specs for our Toshiba Satellite X205-S9349 as configured:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7100 processor (1.80GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB)
  • Windows Vista™ Home Premium (32-bit)
  • 2GB DDR2 667MHz SDRAM (expandable up to 4GB)
  • 17" WXGA+ (1440 X 900) TruBrite display
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT with 246MB DDR3 VRAM
  • HD DVD-ROM/DVD SuperMulti drive
  • 240GB HDD (2 x 120GB running at 5400RPM)
  • Four Harman Kardon speakers with subwoofer
  • Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965 AGN (802.11a/g/n)
  • Bluetooth V2.0 + EDR
  • 1.3-megapixel webcam and microphone built into LCD bezel
  • Fingerprint reader
  • 9-cell (1600mAh) Li-Ion battery
  • Weight: 9.37lbs
  • Dimensions: 15.7" x 11.3" x 1.42" – 2.05" (W x D x H)
  • Price: $1,999.99


(view large image)

Build and Design

The X205 features a distinctive red-colored lid design which Toshiba calls the "Flare Carmine" design. The most accurate description I can come up with is to say it looks like a red wood grain pattern. While this design looks fabulous, the glossy surface is a magnet for fingerprints and we found ourselves cleaning it more often than admiring the looks.

Audio quality was clearly as much a concern for Toshiba engineers as gaming performance. One of the first things you’ll notice about the X205 is the design of the speakers above the keyboard. That said, as soon as the system boots up you’ll notice the impressive quality of sound generated by the four Harman Kardon speakers and subwoofer. Not only are the speakers capable of loud volumes but they are clear with a wide range and little or no distortion. The media buttons located above the keyboard and between the speakers also help make the X205 an excellent mobile media center.

The keyboard itself is well built with minimal flex on the main keys. That said, the dedicated number pad to the right of the main keyboard showed considerable flex and may be problematic for some users. The touchpad is large and responsive, with backlit LEDs that allow you to quick launch applications or program functions for ease of use. The touchpad buttons have solid feedback, but they also have some travel.

The X205 has various heat vents on almost every side of the notebook. While the vents might not be much to look at, they clearly do a good job moving heat away from the system and the fan made minimal noise even during benchmarking. We haven’t had a chance to see how this large notebook feels in terms of heat while on someone’s lap, but since the X205 weighs in at 9.37lbs most people will be using it for a "desktop replacement" and won’t be using this as a typical travel notebook.


The glossy lid of the X205 with a red and black design. (view large image)


The 17" WXGA+ glossy screen is impressive. (view large image)


The keyboard is solid with minimal flex … except for the number pad. (view large image)

Below is a video with a quick overview of the X205 hosted by our own Andrew Baxter:

 

Ports and Features

Toshiba managed to pack an impressive number of ports into the X205. With multiple video out ports and USB ports this system is ready to be hooked up to a plasma TV and serve as your high definition multimedia and gaming powerhouse. The ports include:

  • Headphone jack (stereo)
  • Microphone jack (mono)
  • DC jack
  • ExpressCard Slot
  • 5-in-1 Memory card reader
  • Six USB ports (2.0)
  • FireWire
  • HDMI output port
  • S/P DIF output port
  • S-Video output port
  • VGA output port
  • Modem
  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet

 


The front side includes a wireless on/off switch, IR port, audio line in, microphone jack, S/PDIF jack, headphone jack, volume control wheel, 5-in-1 memory card reader and display latch. (view large image)


The right side includes four USB ports, the modem port, optical drive and security lock slot. (view large image)


The left side includes the DC jack, VGA out, Ethernet, two USB ports, S-Video out, HDMI out, FireWire, and ExpressCard slot. (view large image)


There’s nothing to see on the back except the large hinge. (view large image)


The bottom of the X205 features two large vents, a subwoofer, memory slot cover, and 9-cell battery. (view large image)

Performance

The $2,000 configuration of the X205 features the slowest processor in the Santa Rosa family, the T7100. While this might seem a little unusual for a notebook in this price range, performance is boosted significantly by the fact that the X205 is one of the first notebooks to feature the NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT chipset.

While the X205 is impressive even with an entry-level Santa Rosa processor like the T7100, Toshiba also offers a $2,499.99 configuration of the X205 (X205-S9359) with the T7300 (2.0GHz, 4MB L2 cache) processor, a 512MB DDR3 version of the NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT video card, and a higher resolution 17" WSXGA+ TruBrite display (1680×1050) for true "HDTV" performance out of the box.

Windows Experience Index Score:


(view large image)


PCMark05 comparison results:

Notebook PCMark05 Score
Toshiba Satellite X205 (1.80GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7100, NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT) 4,853 PCMarks
Dell XPS M1330 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS) 4,591 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

3DMark05 comparison results:

Notebook 3D Mark 05 Results
Toshiba Satellite X205 (1.80GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7100, NVIDIA GeForce 8700M GT 256MB DDR3) 8,742 3DMarks
Dell XPS M1330 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS 128MB) 3,116 3DMarks
HP Compaq 6510b (2.20GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7500, Intel X3100) 916 3DMarks
HP Compaq 6515b (1.6GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-52, ATI x1270) 871 3DMarks
HP dv6000t (2.16 GHz Intel T7400, NVIDA GeForce Go 7400) 2,013 3D Marks
Dell Inspiron e1705 (2.0GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400) 1,791 3D Marks
Acer TravelMate 8204WLMi (2.0GHz Core Duo, ATI X1600 256MB) 4,236 3DMarks
Alienware Aurora M-7700(AMD Dual Core FX-60, ATI X1600 256MB) 7,078 3D Marks
Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.0GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400 128MB) 2,092 3D Marks
Asus V6Va (2.13 GHz Pentium M, ATI x700 128 MB) 2,530 3D Marks
Fujitsu n6410 (1.66 GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400 128MB) 2,273 3DMarks
Dell XPS M1210 (2.16 GHz Core Duo, nVidia Go 7400 256MB) 2,090 3D Marks

One thing we immediately noticed upon booting up the X205 for the first time is the overwhelming amount of bloatware that comes pre-installed on the system. While the X205 performed quite well in our preliminary benchmarks, the number of applications installed and running in the background will no doubt impact performance. Here is a "partial" list of what comes pre-installed on the X205:

  • TOSHIBA Value Added Package
  • Electronic User’s Guide
  • Bluetooth Stack for Windows by Toshiba
  • TOSHIBA ConfigFree
  • TOSHIBA Assist
  • TOSHIBA Security Assist
  • TOSHIBA Disc Creator
  • TOSHIBA Extended Tiles for Windows Mobility Center
  • TOSHIBA Speech System
  • TOSHIBA Game Console
  • Microsoft Works Version 8.5
  • Sun Java 2 Runtime Environment
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 8.0
  • InterVideo WinDVD 8
  • Google Desktop
  • Google Toolbar
  • Google Picasa
  • Yahoo! Music Jukebox
  • Ulead DVD MovieFactory 5 for TOSHIBA
  • Microsoft Office Trial Home and Student 2007 Edition (60-day trial)
  • McAfee Internet Security Suite (30-day trial)
  • Microsoft Office Live
  • Shutterfly digital photo service
  • Napster music subscription service
  • eMusic MP3 music subscription service
  • VONGO internet video download service
  • CNN Pipeline
  • Skype internet communications

Overall, the Toshiba Satellite X205 looks to be a very impressive gaming machine. While we reserve final judgment until after our full review, it’s hard to dispute the preliminary benchmark numbers. Bottom line, this notebook raises the bar for portable gaming.

 


LEAVE A COMMENT

0 Comments

|
All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community.