The Toshiba Satellite Pro L300 offers a vivid 15.4″ WXGA display and Intel Centrino processor technology. The L300 has all the essentials for business users in its simplistic yet functional design. Let’s take a closer a look and see if the Satellite Pro really stands up to the competition.
- Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 2.1GHz processor
- Intel X3100 Integrated Graphics
- 2GB RAM DDR2
- 160GB (5400 rpm) hard drive
- Windows XP Professional OS
- 15.4″ WXGA 1280×800 screen
- Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG (802.11a/b/g)
- 10/100 Ethernet LAN
- Modem port
- VGA-15 pin
- DVD-SuperMulti drive (+/-R double layer) supporting up to 11 formats
- ExpressCard Slot
- SDCard Slot
- 3x USB 2.0
- Headphone and microphone jack
- Battery: 6-cell (4800mAh) Lithium Ion battery
- Weight: 5.7lbs
- Starting price: $949
Build and Design
The Satellite Pro L300 has a very simple design. It has that sleek business appearance with its silver lid and black keyboard. You don’t get any glossy imprint finishes with the L300. Don’t let the plain looks fool you though, it still is very functional.
The chassis is solid and the overall design didn’t feel cheap. It does feel heavy for my standards, but I am used to smaller Tablet PCs. Weighing in about 5.7lbs is usually average for a 15.4-inch notebook. The L300 hides dirt well, but you can start to see some scratches from normal wear and tear.
The plastic design seemed durable and didn’t show any signs of flex. The hinge was even stiff and the screen stayed in place. The L300 comes with a good array of features for the price, but to me seems like an awkward sized notebook for business use, unless it stayed in your office.
The 15.4″ WXGA (1280×800) screen on the Satellite Pro L300 is above average. The colors are bright and vivid. The screen didn’t have any problems or defects. The backlighting was fine in an office setting and easy to read. I didn’t notice any signs of blacklight bleed through except for a tiny bit on the bottom by the taskbar.
The colors looked good at all angles and that is why I rated the screen as good. I didn’t have a problem at any viewing angle. The only problem I had was when the screen was tilted all the way back the colors were distorted, but who uses their screen like this anyway.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard on the L300 is solid and didn’t show any signs of flex, no matter how hard you typed. The keys have a nice response and are easy to read. The spacebar is a little smaller than I would like, but it’s not the end of the world. The keys even have a durable textured feel to them.
I didn’t feel cramped when typing at all. The keyboard is the perfect size and the palm rest is comfortable to rest your hands on. I am used to typing on tablets, so I enjoyed having the extra keyboard room.
The touchpad is average. I like that it is indented into the palm rests because your finger never slips off. I mean you could use this touchpad with your eyes closed … well, you know what I mean. The only problem was it was kind of slow when navigating and I couldn’t change the responsiveness like on a mouse. The right and left click buttons worked fine as well.
The Satellite Pro L300 didn’t have any problems running multiple programs or multi-tasking jobs with its Core 2 Duo 2.1GHz processor and 160GB hard drive. I could check email, open documents and surf the Web without any lag. The benchmarks are average and overall the L300 did good on its PCMark05 score compared to other notebooks in the same category. I am sure the fact it is running Windows XP instead of Vista helps out this business savvy notebook as well.
wPrime is a program that forces the processor to do recursive mathematical calculations, the advantage of this program is that it is multi-threaded and can use both processor cores at once, thereby giving more accurate benchmarking measurements than Super Pi. (Lower numbers mean better performance.)
The speakers on the Satellite Pro L300 aren’t the best, but remember this notebook is targeted toward business use and it’s not an entertainment or gaming notebook. The speakers are located under the screen of the notebook by the hinge. Music sounds fine when played at normal levels, but the louder it gets the more distorted it becomes. My recommendation is to to use your trusty headphones when working and listening to music or watching videos. The volume dial on the front side is a convenient feature too, this way you don’t annoy your office mates.
Ports and Features
Port selection was average for a notebook of this size, it would have been nice to see S-Video or HDMI. Overall you get the basics with your optical drive and three USB ports, just what the business professional needs. You get the choice to work or watch movies on that long flight.
Front: Wireless on/off, SDCard slot, microphone and headphone, volume dial
With the screen brightness set to 50 percent, wireless enabled, and the power profile set to Toshiba’s Power Saver the L300 managed 3 hours and 45 minutes before I had to plug it in. If you adjust the power settings and put the notebook in Max Power, you will only get a little more than two hours though. I would consider getting a extended battery for longer computing times, especially if you travel.
Heat and Noise
I didn’t have any problems with heat on the L300. I never noticed it getting hot or even warm for that matter. All sections of the notebook were comfortable to hold and the keyboard was always cool enough to type on or rest you hands on. Even when running the benchmarks the notebook stayed under 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it detected a little warm up the fan would kick on.
The noise issue was the same way, barely there. The L300 ran quiet almost the entire time, except for the occasional whisper when the fan would kick on. The only other noise came from using the optical drive, which is normal. You could use the L300 in a library and it wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow.
The Satellite Pro L300 is a business savvy notebook. It doesn’t have a glossy finish or any special features to make it stand out. What you see is what you get: a minimalistic, yet very functional notebook at a good price. The L300 comes with a good variety of ports, has a nice screen and a great keyboard. It is a little heavy and big to be a traveling companion in my opinion, but many business users like to watch movies or presentations while traveling and the 15.4″ screen does it justice. Performance wise it gets the job done as well, I wouldn’t expect to be gaming on the L300 much though.
- Solid design and chassis
- Great keyboard
- Nice screen
- Good array of ports and has optical drive
- A little on the heavy side
- The touchpad has slow response time
- Simple and plain design (some users like this though)