capsule review

Toshiba Satellite A65-S126

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Toshiba Satellite A65-S126 Notebook

Toshiba Satellite A65-S126
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

For $999, the 7-pound Toshiba Satellite A65-S126 is a great deal for the sheer number of features: a 15-inch screen, combination DVD/CD-RW drive, and a 60GB hard drive.

Though the blue lid is attractive, this notebook's performance could give you a different kind of blues. Equipped with a 2.8-GHz Celeron processor and only 256MB of RAM, the A65-S126 earned an anemic WorldBench 5 score of 41. By comparison, laptops equipped with the higher-end 1.6-GHz Pentium M processor, earned an average score of 75. Activities that don't tax the processor, such as e-mail and word processing, should work fine on this machine, but the A65-S126 is not your best bet for a heavy workload. Battery life also could have been a lot better--the A65-S126 lasted only two hours in our tests.

But in features and design, the A65-S126 is a good basic laptop. The keyboard lacks extra buttons and scrolling features, but it's extra firm with great feedback. Considering that the A65-S126 has a large screen, it's a shame it lacks a FireWire port for downloading camcorder video, though you wouldn't want to edit video on a laptop with such a slow processor.

However, two conveniences you'll like are the Wi-Fi on/off switch and volume wheel. The laptop's speakers are in the corners of the wrist rest, so you won't block them while typing; the stereo sound is fairly loud. Some aspects of the design could have been implemented a little better. The large battery, for instance, is a tad awkward to remove, and the hard drive cover is a loose piece that could be lost. However, we liked the fixed combination drive's prominent eject button. Only one memory slot is accessible for upgrades.

Toshiba provides little in the way of printed documentation, but a nice PDF manual comes preloaded on the hard drive. The only information it's missing is parts labeling, which can be found on its quick-tour sheet.

The Toshiba Satellite A65-S126 is slow and lacks bundled software, but it's still a good choice if a big hard drive and big screen top your priority list.

Toshiba Satellite A65-S126


WorldBench 5 score of 41, 2.8-GHz Celeron, 256MB of DDR226 SDRAM, Windows XP Home, 15-inch screen, 60GB hard drive, DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive, built-in V.92 modem and 10/100 ethernet, 802.11g wireless, touchpad pointing device, 8.1-pound weight (including AC adapter and phone cord). One-year parts and labor warranty; free, unlimited 24-hour toll-free tech support.
$999
800/316-0920
www.toshibadirect.com

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Toshiba Satellite A65-S126 Notebook

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