Toshiba Satellite A305-S6845 Notebook

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Usage and experience

Upgradability: The only user-serviceable components on the A305-S6845 are the two memory slots, the two hard disk drive bays, and the battery. The optical drive is a fixed drive and is not designed to be removed by the user.
 

    



Keyboard/Touchpad:
We found the touchpad to be very responsive and worked smoothly. We liked the fact that the touchpad was flush with the wrist rest, giving the front end of the A305-S6845 a streamlined design. Even though it is flush with the wrist rest, we didn't find our fingers accidentally wandering off of the touchpad surface. The wrist rest is a smooth, glossy surface, while the touchpad is a rougher surface--making it obvious to feel when our fingers were starting to go off course. The fingerprint scanner worked like a charm, making it very easy to login to Windows without having to memorize a pesky password.

The full-sized keyboard was equally responsive, with decent key travel, and minimal flex of the keyboard during key presses. We found the glossy coating of the keys a curious aesthetic choice, but even though there was a bit of a slippery feel to the keys, we had no trouble with our fingers accidentally skating off in the wrong direction.


Display/Image Quality:
The A305-S6845's widescreen display is bright and crisp, and is very quick to respond when viewing fast-moving videos. Because the display is glossy and therefore better able to display contrast and black levels, high-definition content looks great. A downside to the glossy screen, however, is that it is more susceptible to glare when viewed in bright areas or under direct lighting.

We saw the same impressive video quality when we output the signal to an HDMI monitor. By outputting the video signal to an external monitor, we were able to increase the screen resolution beyond the TFT's native resolution of 1280x800.

The image quality produced by the integrated webcam was not terribly impressive. Captured images appear somewhat blocky and setting the correct brightness, contrast, and color balance settings can be a painstaking process.


Speaker/Sound Quality:
Expectations for audio quality from laptop speakers is usually not that great. But by using harman/kardon speakers, however, Toshiba is able to greatly exceed such expectations. The audio is crisp and loud, with great response in the high-and mid-tones. We detected only minimal clipping with the audio cranked. As one should expect, bass response was lacking, but not nearly as bad as you typically get with integrated speakers.

The integrated microphone picked up far too much background noise to be useful on a regular basis. Those itching to use the A305-S6845 for any sort of voice communication, such as with Skype, would be best served by using a headset.





Heat/Noise:
Toshiba did a great job of engineering how the A305-S6845 dissipates heat. A large vent on the left side of the laptop, as well as a fan on the bottom of the unit help keep the chassis from getting too hot. Even with the notebook sitting on our laps for extended periods, we never felt the temperature venture into uncomfortably hot territory as we so frequently find with many of today's laptop designs. The laptop operates fairly quietly, with only a faint hum noticeable from the internal fans and the occasional click from the hard drives.
 

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