Price: Around £1,600 plus VAT
Do you like your notebooks powerful, with sleek looks, fast ports, and blow-the-doors-off sound? If so, the Satellite 5105-S607 has what you crave. The Satellite’s striking design features a blue lower casing and a silver-&-black audio panel on the front, studded with five brightly coloured status lights, and a small status LCD that shows the time, day of the week, and remaining battery life. A deep-blue, hard-plastic lid – reminiscent of the polished hood of a sports car – tops off the look. Under the hood, the 5105-S607 has a lot going on for multimedia types. The GeForce4 440 Go graphics chip provides plenty of processing power – and as well as the now-standard FireWire port and trio of USB 1.1 ports, there are SmartMedia and Secure Digital card slots stacked on the left side of the case for speedy photo import from digital cameras. The Satellite 5105-S607 excels at audio with loud, clean, robust stereo sound, thanks to a built-in set of Harman/Kardon speakers backed by a subwoofer. The speakers and front audio controls remain exposed when you close the lid, so you can listen to CDs whether the notebook is turned on or shut down. The 5105-S607’s hard drive is easily removable, and the RAM is easy to access, too – but to upgrade beyond 512MB, you’ll have to swap out one of the memory modules. You don’t get much in the way of printed manuals, but the on-screen documentation is complete and easy to use. With a 1.7GHz P4-M processor, the Satellite 5105-S607 performed adequately in our speed tests, earning a PC WorldBench 4 score of 98. The design of the 5105-S607’s case results in a slight tilt backward, but the keyboard is comfy. It’s backed up with the cPad – a combination touchpad and 240-x-160-pixel LCD that can be used as a scribblepad, calculator, or artistic display.