Toshiba Satellite 1805-S274/15-inch Laptop Review

Toshiba Satellite 1805-S274/15-inch Laptop Review
lavoisier's Full Review: Toshiba Satellite 1805-S274 (PS183U-00JRSX) PC Not...
When setting foot to look for the affordable multimedia laptop computer, there are many choices for that. But there are only a handful of affordable laptops that happen to offer a DVD/CD Rewriter combination drive. This happens to be one of a handful that includes a combination drive. With that drive, users of this laptop can watch DVD movies as well as backing up the information from the computer and yes, you can even create your own audio CDs with this too. With the Pentium 3 1.1GHz and 256MB of SDRAM, it ensures that the laptop doesn¡¦t go under any corruption with the operating system, particularly with the memory demanding applications. This is especially true with a reliable operating system using Windows XP, because of Microsoft¡¦s proof of stability within the operating system.

With the 20GB hard drive, 1.1GHz Pentium 3, 256MB of SDRAM and a DVD/CD Rewriter combo, this laptop is truly a desktop replacement for those creative minds, especially for students who are in a budget. The laptop, as usual it comes with an AC adapter, manual, drivers and the laptop all in a box. Because of the reliability of Toshiba laptops, there are rather very few incidences of finding a defective unit, by hardware, software or both.

With the 20GB hard drive along with a DVD/CD Rewriter combo, the laptop provides an endless supply of storage. All this can be done with the CD Rewriter built into the laptop, which gives the user high capacity, yet economical storage. The DVD/CD Rewriter does more than just back up files; it allows users to listen to their audio CDs, watch DVD movies and load software. This is ideal for those who have to make final backups on the go and for students who really want an entertainment system without lugging a stereo or desktop computer. Remember, there¡¦s still the old trusty floppy disk drive for those small backups.

With the large 15-inch screen, it¡¦s basically more than enough for many users, students and home office users alike. The screen is very clear and colorful with very sharp text, bright but not too dark colors, which is great for DVD movies. Viewing the screen at an angle doesn¡¦t wash out the display very easily and even exposing the screen in direct sunlight (which isn¡¦t suggested) doesn¡¦t wash out the screen. With the 16MB of video memory provided by the VGA connector, it allows the computer to project a 1600x1280 @ 60Hz of non-interlaced resolution with more than 65,000 colors. If that¡¦s not enough, the laptop also offers a TV output jack for hooking your laptop to your TV for a full screen DVD movie.

The keyboard is also very roomy and it provides a very smooth feedback that the letter or key is being typed. It¡¦s not very springy, which is present in some laptops, it¡¦s more of a feeling of a decent desktop keyboard. The pointing device is provided by the touchpad, which is very easy to use, but I wished that they would offer a scrolling feature, something found in certain Sony laptops and many of the Compaq laptops. Otherwise, I would find the touch pad to be very easy to use. But if you don¡¦t happen to like the touch pad, you can grab yourself a Targus Mini Optical Wheel Mouse. In addition to the touch pad and the keyboard, there are 3 shortcut keys (2 programmable) for the Internet, e-mail, search and many more. Just below the palm rest, there are the controllers that control the playback of the CD ROM. These controls allow you to play your CD/DVDs when the laptop is turned on. When the laptop is closed and turned off, you can use these controls to play just the CD, as long as you have an audio CD.

Expanding the laptop is very easy here, as the unit provides 2 Type I or Type II PC card slots or one Type III PC card slot. 2 user accessible memory slots allow the user to increase the system memory to 512MB. The ports in this laptop include one PS/2, one 9-pin serial, 2 USB, infrared port, microphone jack, headphone jack and a parallel printer port. By using the switch on the side of the laptop, ideal when you¡¦re on the airliner, you can disable the infrared port. For going on the Internet there¡¦s the choice of either the 56K V.90 fax/data modem and if you¡¦re into broadband the laptop also features a 10/100 Ethernet port.

However, the battery life for this laptop can be a little bit short, but adequate for many users, only lasts for about 135 minutes. When you¡¦re watching a DVD movie or burning a CD, the battery life is more likely to be even shorter.

With the Windows XP Home Edition, it allows the user to enjoy the stability when the productivity is very demanding. The software bundle however, I wished that the Lotus Smart Suite Millennium Edition was replaced by the MS Works Suite. Because of the rather strange user interface by many users, the Lotus software may not work for everybody. But to compensate the negative aspects of the software bundle, Toshiba also included the Norton Anti-Virus 2002, Quicken Basic 2002, MS Internet Explorer and Adobe Acrobat.

Even though this is designed as a multimedia laptop, it still doesn¡¦t have a IEEE-1394 (Firewire) port, for your digital camcorders. As a result, this laptop isn¡¦t much designed for video editing.


In conclusion, I would recommend the laptop for those who are looking forward to replace their desktop and yet want all the multimedia capabilities of an expensive desktop computer. At $1749, this laptop is really a steal. But the laptop weighs at about 7.7lbs and with a thickness of about 1.8-inches, this is something that you don¡¦t really want to lug on a regular basis for a long time. But many users might not mind the weight however. After all this is an all in one laptop and they don¡¦t have to mess with cables for external drives.


Amount Paid (US$): 1749
Operating System: Windows
Processor: Intel Pentium III
Processor speed: over 1000
Screen Size: 15
RAM: 256
Internal Storage: CD-RW and DVD
Hard Drive (GB): 13-20

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