Review Price £359.00
If you've read any of our other recent netbook reviews you'll have detected a common thread linking them. If you haven't we'll summarise now: netbooks haven't changed. While the introduction of Intel's Pine Trail brought with it some minor hardware changes (as well as a spate of new netbook releases), so far as the end user is concerned this new generation of netbooks differs little from the last. This is just as true of the Toshiba NB305-106 as any other netbook.
On the plus side, however, the NB305 is based on the outstanding NB200 - a netbook that received a Recommended Award from us last year. As starting points go it's pretty good and Toshiba hasn't messed with the formula too much, sticking with the same basic chassis.
There are some subtle changes to be seen, though. First and foremost the battery - a high-capacity six-cell unit - extends downward rather than outward. This works better visually and ergonomically; there's no longer an ugly thing jutting out the back and the extra elevation creates a nice angle for typing.
Another subtle change is the slightly tapered front of the machine, making it slightly thinner - albeit only at the front. This particular change necessitates a slight re-shuffle of the connectivity, such as the memory card reader moving from the front to the left side, but fundamentally the options remain the same.
This means three USB ports, one of which supports standby charging ('sleep & charge' as Toshiba calls it), VGA for video, a 10/100 Fast Ethernet port, and a couple of audio jacks. Aside from the standby charging USB port, (a handy feature it shares with the Samsung N210), the NB305 carries the same options found on 90 per cent of netbooks.
It's a similar story for the hardware. You get an Intel Atom N450 processor that runs at 1.66GHz, 1GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. Toshiba is more generous than some with the wireless connectivity, however, offering both Wireless-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
These additions, as well as the NB305's more upmarket design, are reflected in the price. At time of writing it costs around £320, £25 more than most similar netbooks. If this is a little rich for your blood, Toshiba also has the sub-£300 NB300, which is more or less identical but has a cheaper, all-black design.