Design and Build Quality
Gone are the days when notebook manufacturers offered black (and somewhat bland) casings on their notebooks. While Toshiba didn't go completely wild with the T100 Series' design, it does offer a few finish options to suit various users. The T135, for instance, features Toshiba’s Fusion Finish in Nova Red, Nova Black, and Nova White. We had the red test model and felt it was an attractive notebook. Not only is this machine thin and light, but it also catches your eye without being gaudy. For business users who need a notebook that's even less noticeable, the black or white finish options should hit the mark.
A problem with many of today's notebooks is that their glossy cases attract fingerprints. During our time with the T135, we noticed a few fingerprints on the outer casing, but they weren't near as noticeable or prevalent as the fingerprints you'll find on the glossy cases we've seen on other machines.
You'll find a good number of ports on the T135, including three USB 2.0 ports with one of these ports featuring USB Sleep and Charge functionality. This port lets you charge your favorite electronics using the laptop even when it's powered off. You'll also find a standard VGA monitor port, HDMI port, multi-card reader, and Ethernet ports surrounding the notebook.
While we certainly understand Toshiba's need to leave out the optical drive to keep the T135 affordable as well as thin and light, we still miss having a built-in drive. Of course, USB drives are always an option (Toshiba even points out the Toshiba USB Portable DVD SuperMulti Drive as an option on the T135's product page), but these separate drives are never as convenient as those that are built-in and available at all times.
Once you open the T135's lid, you'll notice the Fusion finish continues around the keyboard. The TouchPad has the same finish though the actual TouchPad itself is slightly indented from the rest of the machine. Below the TouchPad, there's a solid chrome mouse button and a bar of LED indicators.
The T135's keyboard is solid and comfortable to type on. The keyboard actually felt roomy—something we weren't expecting in such a small machine. The TouchPad is comfortable to use as well and the multi-touch functionality seemed to work fairly well, allowing us to zoom in and out of documents and pictures. Below the TouchPad, you'll find a solid chrome left/right click bar and a row of LED indicators.
The T135 has a glossy 13.3-inch LED backlit display. We didn't have any problems seeing the display even though reflections were visible at times.Graphics were crisp and sharp.