Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Performance Analysis: In our benchmarking tests, the Toshiba X205-SLi4 offered good performance and made strong showings in PCMark Vantage's 'TV & Movies', 'Gaming' and 'Overall' results. Conversely, the system fell behind a bit in the 'HDD' and 'Memories' tests while the remainder of the Vantage tests were within expected ranges. In the gaming tests, the Satellite X205-SLi4 faired well, competing closely with the Dell XPS M1730 gaming system. When assessing overall battery life, the system performed as expected, with MobileMark 2007 reporting 1:15hrs of battery life.
The Toshiba X205-SLi4 laptop is a complete system that balances value, features and performance. With an attractive flame-like outer shell, huge 17" display, a powerful processor and tons of memory and storage, the system has a lot to offer. Throw in SLI capable graphics, a powerful Core 2 Duo T8100 processor and Windows Vista Ultimate tying everything together and the Toshiba Satellite X205-SLi4 shapes up as a well balanced system that can offer good performance whether gaming or productivity is on the menu. The system also sports less common features like a dual-mode touch pad, that may not appeal to all users, and a finger print reader that adds to system security as well as speeding up the log in process.
Like most retail system manufacturers, however, Toshiba falls into the mode of filling the system with trialware, freeware and other offers, but not quite as severely as we've seen with other manufacturers. Nonetheless, we're of the school of thought that less is more. The added Hybrid USB TV-Tuner and Remote certainly rounded out the package well, but setup details for HDTV were non-existent, which will surely confuse some users. The image quality was excellent with analog signal and Toshiba provides all hardware needed to connect the tuner to a cable box, including an additional IR receiver, extender and remote control.
Since we received this system for evaluation, Toshiba stopped backing the HD DVD format, so we can expect to see future models ship with a different optical drive, although Toshiba still offers current models with the now obsolete technology. That aside, the only other factor to give serious consideration to is the overall size of the system. Those who do a lot of mobile computing may find the Satellite X205-SLi4 a bit large to carry around on a regular basis. Like we stated earlier, the system is large and although lighter than expected, it is not quite a mobile-friendly as smaller notebooks. The Dell XPS M1730 we used for performance comparison weighs nearly 4 pounds more at 13lbs to give a frame of reference. Ultimately, we think this system will have more appeal to users looking for a system that will mainly stay in one place, acting as a desktop replacement. with a smaller footprint compared to a traditional desktop system.
The system we tested weighs in at $2399 as equipped, with additional options available. For that price, the Toshiba X205-SLi4 offers a full sized laptop with ample power, storage and overall capabilities suited to many different tasks, whether it be gaming, working with productivity based applications or watching / recording TV.