Toshiba Satellite A300-177 Notebook - Satellite A300-177

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers


Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

The 1,280 x 800 high-gloss screen is fairly standard for a notebook in the A300's class. Though it showed no obvious artefacts in DisplayMate, viewing angles are slightly poorer than one might expect from a laptop TN, with dramatic loss of contrast when moving even slightly off-angle. As long as you're in the sweet spot though, it's perfectly acceptable for entertainment use - just keep in mind that thanks to the lack of a discrete graphics card, you can forget about all but the most undemanding games.

The rest of the A300-177's specifications don't leave you wanting, however, with 2GB of RAM and a generous 200GB hard drive providing ample storage, while the T5550 Intel Core 2 Duo zips along at 1.83GHz. Thanks to this, the Toshiba is fast enough in most scenarios. Naturally, there is also a DVD writer on hand, which can handle most media on the market (including DVD-RAM), while its weight is again average at 2.9kg. The only weak point for portable use is its unimpressive battery life, lagging up to 30 minutes behind the HP Pavilion dv6750ea (which has a dedicated nVidia 8400M graphics chip) despite also using a six-cell battery.

The A300-177 did come with an English-only safety manual, which is far more extensive than most (even covering typing ergonomics), a clear Quickstart guide, support leaflet and universal manual for the whole Satellite range. Software of note includes a 60-day trial of Microsoft Office Student Edition and full version of Microsoft Works 8.9, Ulead DVD MovieFactory and 30 days of updates for McAfee Internet Security Suite 2008.

Finally, having left the best till last, are the speakers. They're two small, circular units positioned on both sides of the laptop just above the keyboard. The drivers are deeply seated beneath a transparent cover, though I wish Toshiba had made these chrome to match the touchpad buttons. As is, they merely add to the inconsistency of the Satellite's design - but on the other hand I can understand Toshiba wanting to show them off, since the sound they produce is nothing less than stunning for their size.

They're Harman Kardon units, and while in the technology world brand names are not necessarily a guarantor of quality, Harman Kardon has consistently produced notebook speakers that have exceeded rival efforts. Thankfully, it doesn't break its tradition of excellence here. With hardly a hint of distortion even at maximum volume levels and deep, rumbling bass that shakes the whole chassis, their only (minor) weakness is that treble can come across as the slightest touch strained. But make no mistake, these are easily the best notebook speakers we have heard at this price point, even beating some smaller standalone systems.

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Gordon Hunter

July 28, 2008, 8:23 pm

Well, it is obvious that Ardjuna Seghers (the reviewer) does not like the styling of the Toshiba A300-177 from all the negative comments on it. Personally, I think it is one of the most stylish notebooks on the market today, without looking over the top, or plasticky. I love mine. It looks good. It performs well and it didn't cost the earth. I use mine for demonstrations to customers and I frequently get envious comments of "Wow! That's a nice looking laptop!" or something similar. Customers often think it was a very expensive laptop due to the styling and are amazed when I tell them it was under 𧺬. What's more it performs better than my wife's Samsung of the same age which cost over 𧴜 more has another Gig of RAM and a supposedly a faster processor. From me it is "WELL DONE TOSHIBA!" and I'll leave it up to you to decide who has the best taste on styling, the reviewer or me! ;-)

Jonathan Fletcher

August 4, 2008, 2:04 pm

I agree with Gordon. I went into my local PC store looking to order a new laptop, and I was instantly hit with the glossy great looks of the Toshiba A300. Myself being somebody who generally loves expensive taste and simplistic classy looks, the A300 stood out to me by a mile in a long row of gleamy new laptops as the classiest and certainly the most expensive looking laptop. its a beautiful finish, yes it does show fingerprints, but they easily wipe off. Again regarding the review, the screen looks every bit as good as some of the higher res screens on other laptops, and in store you could see no visual difference.

The speakers as mentioned are brilliant for a laptop. Even to the point where i dont always hook up my external speakers and sub-woofer, they are simply stunning. I paid 𧽳 for a 4GB / 250HD 512mb Radeon 3600 graphics machine, and its worth every penny.

I can guarantee, if you see a line up of new laptops, you will be drawn straight to the new toshiba's.....oh by the way, I also like pin stripe suits! ;-)


August 18, 2008, 6:28 am

I wrote an earier (and more detailed version) review but it disappeared before I could publish it and I won't rewrite it because it will take too much time but here it is in a nutshell. I was looking for a laptop that could meet my business and entertainment needs without breaking the bank. I'm a New Zealander and I run 4-employee management consultancy and I'm an avid (but not hardcore) gamer. I did some research and after comparing models that met my criteria I bought the Toshiba A300/M00, this is not the same as the A300-177 but very similar in terms of screen size, look (including keyboard), CPU and ATI 3650 graphics card. That is one of the best buying decisions I ever made. The laptop met all of my needs and requirements. If your needs and requirements are similar to mine and provided you've also taken into consideration price drops and newer (and more powerful) machines coming to market--the Toshiba A300 won't let you down. I'm going to agree with Gordon and Jonathan and go even futher. I don't think Ardjuna Seghers review provides a balanced and reliable analysis of this laptop's capabilities.


August 29, 2008, 12:40 am

well, this notebook is has the best price/performance rate I have seen. You can play the latest games, with descent graphic qualities (assassin creed, call of duty 4. (I played the same games on other top levels laptops, the quality differences won't kill you.

the design is quiet good, and I guess it must be the choice of moderate users who would still be able to enjoy games, medias, while not over spending.


September 26, 2008, 10:13 am


i'm sorry, but "You can play the latest games, with descent graphic qualities (assassin creed, call of duty 4. (I played the same games on other top levels laptops, the quality differences won't kill you."? on an intel GMA X3100?

personally i find a difference between "it can run" and "it can run AND is playable. i've never been able to play any of those games at any sort of detail, and command and conquer generals/and zero hour gets reduced to stop motion animation as soon as you activate shadows.


February 1, 2009, 4:44 am


we need hep...just purchased the A300 and the screen won't display at all...any advice? as we're flying out with said computer to the Outback tomorrow...


February 3, 2009, 6:07 pm

I currently own a 2007 Toshiba A200 centrino duo which is maxed out at 4GB ram.

A300 looks sweet, sure design is a very subjective thing but for me the best thing is being able to expand the memory upto 8GB, I only wish it supported newer DDR3 RAM.

Dont the C2D versions have HDMI sockets?

My A200 is up forsale :)


February 10, 2009, 4:31 pm

Sorry for the late reply on some comments here.

@Gordon & Jonathan: Goes to show once more that style is very much a matter of personal taste. Glad you like the design, here at the office none of us were very fond of it.

In terms of performance and value, in everything but audio the Toshiba was bested by the examples I listed at the end of the review. When you can get so much more for only a little more money, there really is no competition.

@Mugly2000: You bought a different configuration for a different price. Obviously it has no effect on either the value or performance of the A300-177. I hope the only part of my review one could justifiably call unbalanced would be the style aspect, and agiain that's a matter of personal taste.

@nomailx: I couldn't agree more with ilovethemonkeyhead. How ON EARTH did you even RUN Assassin's Creed and COD4 on a machine that gets LESS THAN 17FPS in TRACKMANIA? Seriously, running these games at even low levels of detail on Intel integrated graphics results in a horrific slide-show. Or do you enjoy the latest titles looking like PS1 games?

@Parky: Sorry I'm probably too late to be of any assistance, but when you have an error like that there's not likely to be much anyone can do. Have you tried pressing the 'display-switch' shortcut? This switches between internal/external display (i.e. your notebook's screen or an external monitor), and as far as I remember is Fn + F5. Hooking up an external display would also allow you to check whether the system or screen is at fault. But tbh your notebook's probably faulty, and you'll need to contact Toshiba to see what they say. Good luck.

@COPYRIGHT: Many notebooks allow upgrading the RAM to whatever amount your wallet will stretch to, and it's usually a very easy upgrade to do yourself. But why don't you check out the newer Toshiba Satellite A350 review that's coming soon!


August 21, 2013, 5:02 pm

it is a very good laptop and very beautiful i like it very much it smart design is very owsome

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