capsule review

Toshiba Satellite A45-S250

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Toshiba Satellite A45-S250 Notebook

Toshiba Satellite A45-S250
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

If you dislike stretching to reach distant keys, you'll love the Toshiba Satellite A45-S250's ski-slope keyboard. Though its pointy rubber feet may discourage users from putting it on their laps, the resulting wedge shape makes it a delight to use on a desk. And the farther away the desk is, the better you'll appreciate the A45-S250's almost 7 hours of battery life, a record in our tests. The A45-S250 is a bit hefty, at 7.7 pounds (sans power adapter) and a case height of 2.4 inches.

The tritone unit--black and metallic gray with a blue lid--has a fixed DVD burner on the right and four USB ports. The 15-inch screen has a relatively low resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels, and the only card reader on board is an SD slot stacked atop a PC Card reader. On the other hand, the A45-S250 offers good sound from its keyboard-mounted stereo speakers and a dedicated set of audio buttons, including a volume wheel located within easy reach on the side. Toshiba nicely documents the A45-S250's features in print and electronic form. The printed manual covers basic features and troubleshooting; the Acrobat reference on the hard drive expands on that information and has a handy hyperlinked index.

The A45-S250 slips a bit in performance. Using a 2.8-GHz mobile Pentium 4 processor, it earned a PC WorldBench 4 score of 111, about 10 percent below the 123 earned by a Sharp Actius RD10 equipped with a 2.8-GHz Pentium 4 desktop chip.

A portable desktop replacement with a DVD burner, the Toshiba Satellite A45-S250 deserves attention for its ergonomic keyboard and outstanding battery life.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Toshiba Satellite A45-S250 Notebook

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