Toshiba NB305-440 Review
Intel Atom N455, 1 GB DDR3 RAM, Huge Touchpad, Great Keyboard
No dedicated graphics chipset
The Toshiba NB305-440 is an updated version of the Toshiba NB305-310 I reviewed back in April so the netbook is very similar to that model that I reviewed favorably; however, this model is updated with a few things that help make it even better including the Intel Atom N455 1.66 GHz processor (one of the latest) and the support for DDR3 RAM. Overall the Toshiba NB305-440 is a stellar netbook for it's $353.99 price and it continues the long standing tradition to offer a great keyboard and touchpad for maximum usability in a netbook. You can't go wrong with the Toshiba NB305-440 (see more about this model at Amazon.com). The full review is continued after the break.
Quick Product Specs:
Intel Atom N455 1.6 GHz, 1 GB DDR3 RAM, 250 GB Hard Drive, Windows 7 Starter (See Full Specs)
The netbook has soft rounded edges surrounding all sides of the netbook and is frost white on the exterior and interior. The frost white is offset by the chrome colored hinges and in the center of the chrome colored bar is the power button. I'm personally not a fan of the big chrome section as I believe it looks too bulky, but I love the rest of the design. The netbook sits at nearly 1.25 inches high (thanks partly because of the 6 cell battery bulge) so if you're looking for a thin and sleek design this won't be it. Beyond the size and my complaints about the chrome bar the netbook looks great.
This is where the Toshiba NB305-440 truly shines - it has a great keyboard and roomy touchpad. It is the newer chiclet style keyboard which provides more space between each key to make it easier to type. This is the same keyboard style of every other Toshiba netbook I've reviewed and it's nice to see they didn't change it. They keyboard is very easy to type with and I was able to type at full speed in less than a couple minutes after adjusting from my desktop keyboard. The touchpad is very responsive and did I mention it's huge? Yes, Toshiba almost always has the biggest touchpad and it is very easy to surf the web and perform various functions on this netbook over some of it's competitors that skimp on the touchpad real estate.
The 1024 x 600 resolution is back again in this model and as I've said on numerous occasions before I think it's time we start seeing more of the higher resolution 1366 x 768 screens on current generation netbook models; however, if you plan to use your netbook like most people do (typing emails, papers, browsing the web, playing Facebook games etc. this isn't an issue). This netbook does feature a glossy screen so if you'd prefer a matte option instead I'd suggest you check out the comparably priced Samsung N230 I recently reviewed.
The Toshiba NB305-440 gets about 8 hours of battery life which is more than enough for most users. If you absolutely need a higher battery life check out the netbook comparison grid for other 6 cell netbooks. The netbook is rated for 11 hours but I got about 8 hours of battery life which is to be expected (most manufacturers come up with this figure by using less brightness etc.).
Overall I think the Toshiba NB305-440 does everything better than it's predecessor in most places like performance and battery life; however, I would have still liked to see improved graphical performance and a higher resolution screen. The keyboard and touchpad are top notch in the industry and the build quality of this netbook is greater than most competiting netbooks. The only thing you really need to decide is if you do need better graphic capabilities and if you do I suggest looking for a netbook with Nvidia ION built in or a Broadcom HD card. If this doesn't matter to you then I highly recommend checking out Toshiba Mini NB305-N440 especially when the price is only $353.99 as well.
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