Using your keyboard in low-light conditions can be hard at times, but if you’re looking for a backlit keyboard, you might want to have a look at this model.
This is one Mac that not everyone will be able to get their hands on I’m afraid. The guys from Colorware who love to play around with their customised coloring technology have dished out this very special matte black Stealth Macbook Pro completed using sof*touch hi-tech plastic rubber.
This gives the laptop a complete protection over any scuffs, fingerprints that we know we love to “hand out”…
Check out the new Toshiba Satellite E105, a netbook (most are calling it that, though to me it seems to have a much larger screen than most super mini netbooks) from Toshiba but has actually been designed to meet the demands of Best Buy’s customers. As you can see, these people aren’t really interested in a pretty design but a more practical approach. It’s got an extended battery life of up to four hours which is quite good, a fancy backlit keyboard and a super light weight perfect for students who like to bring in their own machines into campus.
[Images via LaptopMag]
Here’s an excellent, comprehensive review we have quoted from our friends at LaptopLogic, for more info, discussions and who they think the E105 would suit best, to read the rest of the review we recommend you check out their site here…
Welcome to the review of the Best Buy exclusive “Blue Label” Toshiba Satellite e105. This 14.1″ features a Intel Core2Duo P8400 at 2.26ghz, 4GB of RAM and features Vista Ultimate utilizing all of the 4GB of 800mhz DDR2 RAM. But is this laptop only a looker or does it live up to it’s entertainment badge and performance features worth its relative “exclusive” price tag? Read on.
Case look and feel:
The design is nice and the fusion finish is attractive – but it keeps its neutral feel with standard “technology” colors. It’s not surprising yet not boring – one would have hoped for perhaps some “color” in the name suggesting “blue line” but that remains to be seen. It is very business orientated however.
The material is all plastic, straight around and down the bottom. Speaking of bottom, it’s very clean with the only real openings occurring near the fan of the unit.
Size & Weight
The weight is slightly below average for a laptop of this size, not overbearing yet not feather light. For a 14.1, it sure travels like a 15.4. It looks deceiving because the bevel around the LCD is rather large and compose most of the outer dimensions. I wouldn’t call exactly super travel savvy, but it is travel friendly and does pack up well. The size measures in at 13.4 x 9.7 x 1.2, it’s the thin and the beveled edges that add a “apple-esque” feel. The weight seems back heavy which makes sense due to the nice capacity battery installed in this machine.
The keyboard is comfortable, but it seems a bit more compact, which makes sense due to the touch sensitive panels on the right hand side. It offers decent feel and travel, the button layout is standard with a nice large control key on the left. It’s not the most annoying thing, but there is some flex towards the upper left, but not the worst we’ve experienced. The back lit keys are also a nice touch, making more hints at the “mac-attitude” this model seems to be aiming for. It does well thus far…but it’s not the best keyboard we’ve used, and could use some improvement with button placement.
The fit and finish of the actual touchpad is nice. It features the same “fusion finish” carried on from the palm rest and has a nice texture. The buttons however, are excessively loud. Annoyingly loud – possibly the worst feature if you are applying at ninja school…but to each their own (I’m currently in ninja school, and they told me not to bring it back if you wanted to know…) The scrolling feature is a bit hesitant and unreliable. It seems to be lagging, but this could be inherent of the drivers and not the actual touchpad.
The fingerprint reader is a nice touch, and even though its convenient, it’s nothing outstanding nor diminishing. It’s nicely tucked between the loud mouse buttons.
The 14.1″ glossy screen at 1280×800 resolution isn’t the most stunning regarding pixel count, but the colors were nice. There was plenty of glare (due to it being a glossy screen). It’s a bit disappointing that it doesn’t feature a higher resolution to really push it’s multimedia huff and puff to the next level, but it wasn’t the worst display we’ve encountered. Backlighting seemed relatively constant and even except for some light leaking from the bottom of our unit. The brightness however wasn’t the most impressive and the contrast seemed a bit washed out, and only got worse with any amount of angel up or to the side. This also produced severe color shifting and inversion; so take note if you want to watch that DVD or video to make sure you are directly front and center (and be prepared to sit through the entire DVD too!)
The Satellite E105 features a nice amount of connectivity options for this price range and target audience. It touts some interesting features that are often found in higher price range laptops, which is nice. However, the implementation of them and omitting of others seems to alienate it from users with older technology. This might be fine and dandy for some, but it’s missing some key components to fully utilize these features.
The left side of the Satellite E-105 features 2 USB 2.0 ports, one doubled as an e-sata port (which is awesome). It also features an HDMI port, FM tuner location (to insert the FM antennae supplied) and ethernet connection. No modem, no firewire of any sort, and no love for good old VGA…
The front features a 5 – 1 multi-card reader which accepts SD, MS, and surprisingly also XD. There is also the headphone and microphone ports on the front. I have mixed feeling about this…reasons being if the user wishes to rest the laptop on a riser which cradles the laptop on it’s leading edge, it renders these ports unusable. It’s nice when the laptop is used as a “laptop” and is somewhat multimedia centric, it makes some sense.
The status LED lights are also located here and supply the essential information like if your wireless is enabled, your hdd is working, and if the machine is on battery or charging. The wireless switch is also here, which doesn’t bother me so much as location. It’s a nice switch and lets you know it’s on or off with no fuss. (Fuss is also a bad thing in ninja school…)
The right side features a standard DVD-R and another USB port.There is also the power connector and lock-slot.
The rear is void of anything spare a nice aluminum color paint on a plastic chassis.
Since this is a unit made specifically for a big box store, upgrading isn’t really an end user choice after the point of purchase occurs. The simplest upgrade would be to the hard drive, but at 320gb, I’m not sure why you would want to go through the hassle as that’s usually more than enough space. If you’re comfortable going further than that, it’s up to you, but I wouldn’t recommend it. And since this unit comes stacked to the brim with 4GB of RAM, that area is covered (and utilized) by the 64-bit Vista Home Premium operating system.
This unit inherits a lot of nice features for this price point…but remember when I went on above about how it doesn’t fully utilize them? Here’s an example. This unit features an HDMI port – which is awesome for transmitting video/sound at the true digital level – however, without a blu-ray drive to natively support those fancy HD resolutions…it’s almost moot. You could load up your HD programming on the hard drive, but that requires an extra step that most consumers won’t be looking at. I suppose it’s nice to be able to connect directly to a larger HDTV or LCD capable of the connection, but this is the ONLY video out source on this laptop. No VGA, which means, if you have a nice standard LCD that has been (and continues to be) a awesome performer with DVi or VGA – you’re outta luck! (Unless you pick up a spendy adapter…)
What about Bluetooth. Darn right this has bluetooth (2.1 in fact) which is awesome, but what isn’t awesome for the older crowds is that it’s wireless card supports A/G/N – no B. I know wireless B is an aging standard, but it’s still a standard. 802.11a signals operate at 5ghz range, and offer burst rates up to 54mbs…but the range is somewhat to be desired. Not to mention the availability of utilizing said signal often requires a special router. Now, 802.11b and g operate at the 2.4ghz which can (and often times is) very crowded. But the main factor is sometimes, people don’t need faster speeds, they need coverage, and 802.11b does this relatively well (not as good as G or draft-n, but good). Also, sometimes B is all you get at some locations…so don’t expect to connect to them with this laptop is all I’m saying.
The FM radio port is an interesting touch, I’m not sure how impressive it seems but it’s nice to note that it’s there – although, with the wide array of available radio stations now broadcasting online…it seems almost like a novelty. Besides the point of catching the local forecast, it requires a solid FM signal, which is a lot of places I suppose (well, at least more available than unprotected safe wi-fi’s) and might be utilized more than I see it will be. If your local radio programming rocks and you don’t have a device that can tune to it to listen to radio (or traffic, or weather, or airport announcements…) then this is a thoughtful addition indeed. BUT – in retrospect, I wish it was capable of receiving HD radio as well. Why not right?
E-Sata – this is a really awesome addition that doesn’t really fall into the above mentioned category of non-utilization. And as it doubles as a USB 2.0 port, I see nothing but good things on that feature – I only question with 320gb of storage on hand with this unit, what will users REALLY use this for? Not saying the option and function isn’t great – but 320gb – which is what the HDD size is on the E105 – is often more than enough for the average consumer. A little puzzled that’s all.
Webcam, fingerprint reader, and card readers are all pretty much standard nowadays….What really strikes me as a horrible choice is NO express card feature. Maybe many of you might not use it, but this has incredible possibilities for the future and this laptop is void of it.
The touch sensitive buttons are nice, but some are redundant – case in point – fn+esc brings the mute function – it’s easy to remember and accessible, but they decided to also have this as a touch sensitive feature to the right. Otherwise they are nice to look at, and besides the volume controls, are simple to operate. The volume function (other than the mute) is touchy and sometimes unresponsive. In this case, I’ll make it noted that I love the old dial that the previous Satellite models had for controlling volume, and not so much these touch sensitive things. Call me old school, but not everything has to be “touch” – in fact, bring on a button that gives me actual tactile feedback (but not so loud please…) One simple editors opinion perhaps…function over form, form over function… You decide.