Toshiba Satellite E205-S1904 WiDi Laptop Review

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary:
Considering that the E205's Core i5-430M processor is presently the lowest-end CPU in the Core i5 family, you can't expect the same level of performance you'd see from other Core i5-based laptops. And even with the latest generation integrated Intel Mobile Graphics providing some much needed improvement from the previous generation Intel integrated graphics, it still falls way short of the mark that will make mobile gamers happy. All that aside, the E205 has more than enough processing power to tackle nearly any productivity application or casual game you might think to run on it. With 4GB of speedy memory and a spacious 500GB hard drive, the E205 should also be able to handle photo editing and basic video editing tasks as well. But where the E205 truly falls short is with its battery life--lasting well under two hours on our test and putting in one of the poorer showings we've seen.

There are a number of very appealing aspects to the E205. First and foremost is its smart-looking design that is sure to get plenty of sideways glances as your surf the web at your local Starbucks. At 5.1 pounds, it has enough heft to not feel flimsy, yet is light enough to not weigh you down--other than a spongy keyboard, we found the E205 very comfortable to work with for hours at a time. Other smart features are the backlit keyboard, a bright display, and the inclusion of an eSATA/USB "combo" port that also supports "sleep and charge" for USB devices.

Of course, the most innovative feature of the E205 is the Intel WiDi technology, which allows you to wirelessly transmit the E205's display to a TV up to 720p. Image and audio quality are very good over WiDi, with the only distraction being the delay between what you see on the laptop's display and what you see on the TV. As long you are engaging in passive viewing such as watching videos, or driving the display for someone else to view (such as giving a presentation), this delay shouldn't be an issue. What is a disappointment for us, however, is that you can't use WiDi to watch protected content at this time, whether you are using the HDMI or composite-video connections.

We enjoyed using the E205 and could easily envision it becoming our go-to laptop when we are out and about, if it weren't for the disappointing battery life--which for us is a deal breaker. We also would have liked to see built-in Bluetooth, support for Ethernet Gigabit, and better-sounding speakers. The E205 offers a decent balance between performance, price, and features--as well as a nifty new technology--but we can't help thinking that one too many compromises went into its crowd-sourced design.

  • Stylish design
  • Bright and sharp display
  • Includes Intel WiDi technology
  • Includes eSATA port
  • Supports "sleep and charge"
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Disappointing battery life
  • No Bluetooth or Gigabit Ethernet
  • Lackluster audio quality
  • Protected content is not supported over WiDi
  • Noticeable delay between onscreen display and the WiDi connection

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