Notebook - Toshiba Satellite A40 | Review

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Toshiba Satellite A40 Review - the system comes equipped with a mammoth 12-cell Li-Ion battery (more on this later), an AC adapter, and a nice leather “portfolio-style” carrying case, which is just big enough to fit the laptop (but cannot really accommodate any external items like power cords).  Computer plus battery weigh about 7.7 lbs, so this is not the most portable machine out there.  Still, as long as you’re not a frequent traveler, you should find it manageable.  The total cost of the above system (including the wireless b router that was bundled with it) was Canadia Dollars $1500 (about $1100 in U.S. Dollars).


Externally, the computer looks stylish enough, if a little bulky.  It measures 13.3 in. (w) x 11.7 in. (d), with a height of 1.8 in. at the back and 1.6 in. at the front.  Its blue lid opens with a sideways-sliding latch.   The underside, keyboard, and screen are all black.  The area around the keyboard is silver.  On the left side is the Ethernet jack, two of the USB ports, and the PC card slot.  The right side has the optical drive, modem jack, wireless card on/off switch with indicator light, microphone and speaker jacks, and a speaker volume dial.  On the front are 4 indicator lights for AC, battery, power, and hard drive status.  At the back you will find the parallel and VGA ports, two more USB ports, the AC jack, a security lock port, and a couple of huge outlet vents that allow the hot air inside the machine to escape

Underneath, in the front end, is a large battery compartment.  This does not have a lid, leaving a big gap if the battery is removed.  However, this does not seem to make it uncomfortable to use the computer on your lap, since the centre of gravity (at the rear) keeps the front from pushing down too hard on your legs..  The underside also has 4 fixed pegs to elevate the computer from table surfaces.  This helps the fan suck in more air, which in turn keeps the machine cooler. 

The laptop feels durable, and seems to have been made with good materials that will not chip or scratch too easily.  That said, the otherwise sturdy lid seems to bounce a bit on the sides when pushed down (in the closed position).

The Toshiba A40 can come with various configurations, ranging from budget Celeron-chipped models starting at 2.4GHz, to absolutely lavish Mobile Pentium 4s with Hyperthreading topping out at 3.2GHz.  For my part, I chose the relatively modest A40-VH3 configuration, which has the following specs:

-Celeron 2.7GHz processor (with 128K level 2 cache)
-512mb of DDR RAM (in 2 slots)
-40GB hard drive
-64mb Intel shared video memory
-15” TFT XGA screen (max resolution: 1024x768)
-DVD/CD-RW combo drive  (8x DVD, 24x/10x/24x CD)
-Networking:  -56Kbps modem
-10/100 Ethernet
-802.11g wireless card
-Ports:   -4 high speed USB 2.0 ports
-1 VGA port
-1 parallel port
-1 type II PC card slot
-security lock port

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