Specs and speed
The Toshiba NB300 comes equipped with an Intel Atom N450 CPU, which runs at 1.66GHz and has Hyper-Threading. It’s a much more advanced CPU than the Intel N280 CPU in previous generation netbooks — it has integrated graphics and memory controllers — but it’s not faster. The NB300 will perform just like any other netbook on the market and, in fact, it’s actually a little slower than the Toshiba NB200,
A 3D accelerometer is installed to help detect excessive movement and park the hard drive heads to prevent loss of data. It’s very sensitive by default — even vigorous typing can set it off — but you can turn down the sensitivity so that the hard drive isn’t always stopping and starting.
One of the best features of the NB300 is its Sleep-and-Charge port. It can be used to charge MP3 players and phones with USB connections, even iPhones. That means you can leave your netbook switched off in your backpack and plug in your iPhone to charge it. It’s a great feature for when you’re on the road. It was available in the NB200, but it’s even more useful in the NB300 because the standard battery it ships with is so much bigger.
The Toshiba NB300 has a 6-cell battery with a 61-Watt hour rating and it managed to last 5hr 2min in our rundown test. In this test we disable power management, enable the wireless radio, maximise the brightness and loop an Xvid-encoded video until the battery completely drains. By lowering the brightness and switching off the wireless radio you will be able to get more life out of the netbook; you could potentially watch up to three two-hour movies while you’re on a plane, for example. Toshiba’s ‘Eco’ mode can also be used to prolong the battery life when you’re not using it as a video player. It will dim the screen and switch off the hard drive when it’s not in use, as well as institute sleep mode and switch off the screen after predetermined idle periods. It even comes with a utility that graphs your power usage and carbon footprint.
The worst part about the long battery life is that the critical battery alarm is set to go off when the capacity reaches 10 per cent. The problem is that 10 per cent of the battery’s capacity is 49min (according to Windows 7’s notification) so you’ll want to go into the custom power settings and switch off the alarm.
Even though the NB300 is slimmer than the NB200 netbook it replaces, the big battery means that it weighs a little more: 1.25kg compared to 1.1kg. This is a good compromise and shouldn’t be seen as a downside, especially since the NB300 is still very easy to carry with you everywhere you go.