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Toshiba U405-S2830 new “Fusion Finish” Notebook Computer…

Toshiba U405-S2830 Notebook Pc $999 – $1140 Brief Review: The reasons I got it ? Small size 13.3″, nice screen, nice keyboard, 3 USB ports, firewire, etc.. (great amount of ports for the 13″ form factor), easy to access hard drive slot (to replace it), 4.5Lbs weight and yes it has a cool new look that Toshiba updated for their midrange notebooks. This new look is called “Fusion Finish”. While not as thin as a Macbook Air (U405 is about 1″ thick), the U405 does run faster, has more ports, an optical drive, has an extra gig of ram, 3 times more HD space and about $700 less than the macbook air. That being said I’m still buying a macbook air.. haha, but probably the next generation of it. I’m happy with my macbook / pros on the apple side at the moment. The screen on the U405 is nice and bright. From a straight on work position its brighter than a Sony SZ’s LED backlit screen (pic below) and about equal in brightness to the Macbook Pro’s LED backlit 15 inch model. I’d have to even say the screen on the U405 looks better than Toshiba’s own X205 series of Gaming notebooks. It’s a solid machine with fairly decent T8100 2.1 Mhz Intel processor, 250 Gig HD, A,B,G,N Wireless, great screen and a very nice quality feel overall. What is not so good about it is the integrated Intel X3100 graphics, and weak sound output (expected from this small a machine with small speakers) but thats about it. I threw in Battlefield 2 and it runs fast with everything on low, COD 4 even can be tuned way down to be “barely acceptable”, but some games like Crysis and some others forget it. Bottom line… like most all Intel 945 / X3100 based machines… it is by no means a game machine… for older games and MAME maybe, but the newer 3D games… its an LOL. Personally I only needed it as an add on to one of my other game machines and I’m a nerd that likes to buy laptops often anyway.. heh. The first thing you will notice is all the upper surfaces including the display lid, keyboard keys and trackpad buttons have this piano gloss finish to them. HP made this popular with their line of current laptops. Toshiba probably figured WTF lets up the ante put this glossy finish on the keyboard keys as well. Everything but the underside of the machine and the touchpad area are glossy. This is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. The downside of course is that fingerprints show up all over the place. Another possible negative is that you might have to worry about reflection from your keyboard keys since the keys themselves are also glossy. Under certain light that may be a problem for some. Those are about the only negatives to the glossy finish for me. You might consider some positives to having everything glossy. It does appear like the screen printing for the keys are under the glossy coating. This means you’ll never have to worry about your keys getting worn out by heavy usage. The shiny finish itself is also fairly scratch resistant. Despite the fingerprint magnet nature of the finish, it does clean up quick with a wipe of a micro fiber cloth. As for power consumption, my meter shows the computer only uses 20 watts on average up to about 45 watts during full CPU usage. There are LED lit media buttons, hd access, power, battery and charging indicators. The “Satellite” logo is also lit up. There is cool backlit “bar” that goes across the width of the touchpad. The touchpad buttons are chrome. A fingerprint reader is tucked between the two buttons. On the frontside of the machine there is a media card reader, volume wheel, wireless switch and Irda port. Note that each of those media buttons are individually lit with their own led. When you touch the stop button for example, that individual button turns off and slowly fades back on to give you feedback that you touched it. This happens for each of the backlit media buttons which are flush with the case and glossy. The touchpad area is a slightly textured surface to give you feedback when you use it. It is a tad small. The LED bar above above the touchpad does give you a good visual cue of where it is if you are in a dark room. The keyboard is NOT backlit (like the macbook pro) though in total darkness the screen itself does a good job of illuminating it. VGA output, air vent, 2 USB ports, Firewire, expresscard slot, line in and head phone jacks are the left side of the machine. The all the USB ports on the U405 have “Sleep-and-Charge” support, which means you can charge your cell phones and other accessories when the computer is off. You can enable or disable this feature. There is also a blocked up “HDMI” labeled port that one may at first think will be something that Toshiba will offer in a custom configuration. Speculation also says that Toshiba was planning on these machines having HD-DVD drives in them. So when HD-DVD went bust… so also did the HDMI port option… HDMI would have been great if it was there. The right side of the machine has the DVD DL burne, usb port, lan and modem jacks. The bottom of the machine has the battery, memory door and hard drive access door. Fortunately this design allows very easy swapping of the hard drive to a larger capacity one. Here is the screen brightness compared to the Sony SZ Premium LED backlit (left). Toshiba U405 (right). The U405 is the same size as a Sony SZ series. The footprint is virtually identical with the U405 being only just a tiny bit thicker than the SZ. Here is the U405 next to the Fujitsu Lifebook U810 UMPC form factor. Bottom line. For around a grand it’s a great little computer for everything but gaming. MORE SPECS BELOW:


Operating System
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium (32-bit)
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T8100
Processor Type
Coreâ„¢2 Duo
Processor Number
Processor Speed
Front Side Bus
Memory Size
Memory Speed
PC2-5300 DDR2 667MHz SDRAM
Display Size
13.3″ widescreen
Display Type
WXGA with TruBrite® Technology
Display Resolution
Graphics Engine
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
Graphics Memory
128MB-358MB dynamically allocated shared graphics memory
Hard Drive Size
Hard Drive Speed
Optical Drives
DVD-SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) with Labelflashâ„¢ drive supporting up to 11 formats
Wireless LAN
Intel® Wireless WiFi Link 4965 AGN (802.11a/g/n)
Bluetooth® V2.1 + EDR
Webcam and microphone built into LCD bezel
Input Devices
85 key US keyboard, Internet Launch button, CD/DVD Buttons (Play/Pause, Stop, Prev Track, Next Track), TouchPad pointing device
Finger Print Reader
10/100 Ethernet LAN
Standard stereo speakers, Headphone jack (stereo), Microphone jack (mono)
AC Adapter
75W (19V 3.95A) Auto-sensing, 100-240V / 50-60Hz input
Battery Type
Li-Ion (4800mAh)
PC Express Slot
1-ExpressCardâ„¢ Slot
Media Port
5-in-1 Bridge Media Adapter
USB Ports
3-USB (2.0)
i.LINKâ„¢ IEEE-1394
TOSHIBA ConfigFree®, TOSHIBA Speech System, Microsoft® Office Trial Home and Student 2007 Edition (60-day trial), TOSHIBA DVD Player, Microsoft® Works Version 9.0, Norton 360™ All-In-One Security (60-day Trial), PowerCinema for TOSHIBA, TOSHIBA Face Recognition, TOSHIBA Games Console, designed by WildTangent®, Google Picasa™, Ulead® DVD MovieFactory® 5 for Toshiba, TOSHIBA Disc Creator
Starting at 4.85 lbs.
Fusion finish with Horizon pattern
1-Yr Parts and Labor, 1-Year Battery
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