Toshiba NB505-N508BL 10.1-Inch Netbook (Blue) Review

Toshiba NB505-N508BL 10.1-Inch Netbook (Blue)

Toshiba NB505-N508BL 10.1-Inch Netbook (Blue)

Toshiba’s NB505-N508BL is a 10inch netbook powered by an Intel Atom N455 1.66GHz processor with a 512KB L2 cache. It comes with 1GB DDR2 RAM, which can be expanded up to 4GB. This netbook is aimed at those who want to perform daily and basic computing tasks while on the move. The NB505 is a simple netbook with soft aesthetics and a small footprint that makes it easy to carry around.

Most of the laptop features a smooth black finish with a blue rubbery coating at the back of the screen. The palm rest also features a black finish but the material is the same rubbery one as the coating on the back of the lid. The bottom has two pegs located right underneath the screen hinges where the battery is. This gives the netbook a slight incline towards the user when placed on a flat and level surface. This makes for comfortable typing when using it on top of a table or similar things.

Features & Specifications: 

• 10.1-inch LED backlit widescreen display (1024 x 600-pixel resolution)
• 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N455 processor (512 KB L2 cache, 667 MHz FSB)
• 250 GB SATA hard drive (5400 RPM)
• 1 GB of installed DDR2 RAM (667 MHz; expandable to 2 GB)
• Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 video processor
• Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking capabilities
• Included Toshiba Software:
o Toshiba Media Controller
o Toshiba Bulletin Board
o Toshiba ReelTime
• Included Toshiba Utilities:
o Toshiba eco Utility
• Up to 8 hours, 21 minutes of battery life (6-cell battery; 48 Wh)
• Dimensions & Weight: 10.3 x 7.48 x 1.4 inches (WxDxH); 2.9 pounds
• 3 total USB ports
• VGA video output (analog, RGB)
• Microphone and headphone jacks
• Secure Digital (SD) memory card reader compatible with Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), MultiMedia Card media
• Fast Ethernet (10/100)

The 10.1-inch screen does not offer much screen and the 1024×600 native resolution suits it well. Any higher and the on screen elements would become to small to work with. It’s a LED backlit display, which makes for a good image quality when watching movies or viewing images.

The 1.66GHz Atom N455 processor on the NB505 is just enough to handle your basic needs. You can easily surf the net, check your email, listen to music, edit documents, read eBooks and watch standard resolution movies. However, you can only do a few of these things at a time. Surfing and playing music is fine but too many tabs will slow the netbook down. A RAM upgrade will solve this issue to a certain extent though.

The 250GB SATA 5400RPM HDD is enough to carry a lot of your music, movies, documents and other things around. The integrated Intel GMA graphics chip will not be able to handle HD movies but standard videos, including low resolution online streaming videos will play smoothly.

Toshiba has thoughtfully added Wireless-N WiFi support along with support for backwards compatibility with b/g type wireless networks. There’s no Bluetooth on the NB505 but it can easily be remedied with a small USB Bluetooth dongle that are easily available online and at your local computer store.

There are 3 USB ports and a VGA out port in case you want to make presentations. There’s an SD card reader and a 10/100 Ethernet port.

The Toshiba NB505-N508BL netbook comes bundled with Windows 7 Starter Edition, which is point of complaint for most consumers. Most have either upgraded or found ways around the restrictions placed by the Starter Edition such as no support for different themes or backgrounds. Customer reviews are mostly positive with praises for the Chiclet style keyboard with separate page-up and page-down keys and dedicated arrow keys. For most who desire a basic and small computer, this is a good option. Most users prefer to uninstall the bundled software from Toshiba although some find them useful.

System76 Continues Linnux Netbook Line With Second-Gen Starling

A little gem from the System76 has just been released as the second generation Starling netbook. As far as specs go, System76 keeps on with the norm. They have the Atom, the 10″ screen size and the almost typical memory and storage size. However, they do have something that sets them apart. They offer their products — netbooks, laptops, desktops, et al — with appropriate versions of Ubuntu Linux pre-installed.

When netbooks originally started, it was hard to get one without Linux. That was before Windows finally adapted and took over the entire game. Now the situation is in reverse and it is hard to find a netbook without some form of Windows pre-installed. But System76 is still offering Linux systems and the latest Starling is a nice little treat for netbook lovers.

Finished with rubber exteriors, this netbook comes in two color options — Obsidian Black and Coral Red. The rubberized finish gives it quite the look and you are going to be happy to parade it around.

As far as specs go, it is pretty updated. It is powered by the latest Atom N455, clocked at 1.66GHz with one integrated single-channel DDR controller, an integrated graphics core and also support for multi-threading. It is also SSE3 and 64bit capable — making it quite the deal. This is a system-on-a-chip and its graphics bit is derived from GMA 3100, which gives it the hypothetical power to run 720p videos. However, the realization of that will depend on how good the drivers are.

The new Starling comes pre-installed with Ubuntu 10.4 and the display is 10.1″ with a native resolution of 1024×600. It has LAN, WiFi (b/g/n), VGA out, 3 USB 2.0 ports, SD Card reader and a built in 0.3 MP webcam. It also has a Kensington lock slot. The price starts at USD389 and you have to pay $25 extra for the Coral Red soft rubber finish.