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Toshiba Satellite P205-S6287

>> Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Satellite P205-S6287 from its box, we were astonished by its dramatically different design. Dramatically different, that is, from previous Satellites, but remarkably similar to current HP Pavilions rounded edges, reflective blue black exterior, and silver interior. We like the look of Pavilions, and we likewise found the Satellite to be quite attractive, except for the giant "TOSHIBA" emblazoned in 1 inch silver letters across the laptop's lid.

Also off putting was the Satellite logo on the left side of the laptop's front edge which, while small, glows bright blue. Between that and the lid, we felt like we were sitting behind a Toshiba billboard every time we booted up. The Satellite P205-S6287 weighs a scant 7.2 pounds, barely enough to qualify as a desktop replacement.

Compared to the 8.1 pound Dell Inspiron E1705 and the 7.8 pound HP Pavilion dv9000t, the Satellite P205-S6287 is a featherweight, even with its one pound AC adapter.

But you'll need just a little extra room in your bag to carry it, as it's 0.2 inch thicker than both the Dell and the HP. Movies and the Vista Aero interface look great on the Satellite P205-S6287's glossy display, which features a crisp 1,440x900 native resolution.

The picture is sharp, colors pop, and there's plenty of room to work in multiple windows at once. A Webcam and a microphone are incorporated into the display bezel.

The Satellite P205-S6287 includes a full size keyboard (with a shortened space bar, but we felt no difference while typing) and a 10 key numeric keypad. Heavy users of keyboard shortcuts will appreciate this redesigned board, which includes both a right side Ctrl key and a Windows key in their standard positions (previous Toshiba keyboards had omitted the former and moved the latter to the upper right side). A slightly rough finish on the broad silver keys struck us as odd but didn't seem to affect our typing at all.

By contrast, fingers glide smoothly across the wide touch pad, which includes both vertical and horizontal scroll zones. In the absence of a touch pad On or Off button, we appreciate that the touch surface is recessed, which prevents you from accidentally grazing the touch pad and misplacing the cursor while typing.

Above the keyboard sit basic media controls (Play or Pause, Stop, Track Forward, and Track Back) as well as buttons to launch the media player and your default Web browser. On either side of these buttons sit the laptop's stereo speakers, which emit balanced sound but don't get as loud as we'd expect from a desktop replacement. About the only thing missing is a fingerprint reader, which would make it easier to quickly log on to networks and Web sites without typing a password.

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