capsule review

Toshiba Satellite M35-S320

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Toshiba Satellite M35-S359 Notebook

  • Toshiba Satellite M35-S320 Notebook

Toshiba Satellite M35-S320
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

Think of the Satellite M35-S320 as a big-screen notebook lite. If monster multimedia notebooks such as the Pavilion Zd7000 seem like overkill, look no further: The black-and-silver M35-S320 weighs just 6.1 pounds and has a wide 15.3-inch screen, great-sounding corner-mounted stereo Harman/Kardon speakers, and a fixed combination drive on the right side for burning data or music CDs. A volume-control thumbwheel and CD buttons on the front let you play tunes with ease. For just $1499, it's a great value.

The M35-S320's keyboard is extrawide but not fancy; the mouse buttons are stiff, and you won't find a scrolling button. However, the layout is sensible and typing is easy. The wedge shape of the case, which is thicker at the hinges than in front, lends a nice sharp slant for comfortable typing. The notebook's status lights and shortcut buttons, including a presentation button for switching to an external monitor, run down the left side of the keyboard.

The M35-S320 lasted 3 hours, 47 minutes on one charge in our tests, a healthy lifespan for a notebook battery--if a bit short compared with the 5-hour and better performances we've gotten from some other Pentium M-equipped portables. The battery forms the rear of the notebook except for a monitor connection squeezed in at one end and network and modem jacks at the other. Most of the remaining connections, including a covered parallel port door and an S-Video-out port, sit on the left. Clustered toward the front are a FireWire port, a PC Card slot, and an SD (Secure Digital) card slot. Three USB ports are located on the right. Both the RAM slots and the hard drive are easy to reach for future upgrades.

The M35-S320 performed as we expected for a notebook equipped with the 1.4-GHz Pentium M processor, pulling down a creditable PC WorldBench 4 score of 118 in our tests. The simple softbound user manual is a bit skimpy on details but provides enough to get by on.

The Toshiba Satellite M35-S350 doesn't have all the extras, but it's a good budget choice for people looking for an extrawide screen. Plus, it weighs just 6 pounds and has better sound than most portables with 17-inch screens do.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Toshiba Satellite M35-S359 Notebook

  • Toshiba Satellite M35-S320 Notebook

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