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Toshiba Satellite A350-11N - Toshiba Satellite A350-11N
When it comes to software, there is an awful lot of it loaded onto the Satellite. Most of it is useful for something, like Toshiba Supervisor Password Utility, but there is also a lot of bloat. What for example, is the use of HDMI Control Manager on a notebook without HDMI?
Battery life, meanwhile, sees a significant boost over the older A300 thanks to the Centrino 2 platform upgrade, with a fairly impressive MobileMark Reader result of three hours and 21 minutes, just over three hours in the Productivity test and just under two in the DVD Playback test. For raw number crunching, meanwhile, the A350 performs well enough and though it's no powerhouse, for typical household usage it's more than adequate.
Finally, we look to that most crucial of considerations: price. Direct from Toshiba, the Satellite A350-11N notebook is £529, but it can be found online for just under £500. This puts it squarely in the budget arena and, for the money, it offers a reasonable set of features, but competition is (as ever) fierce. For example, the Medion Akoya S5610, a 15.4in notebook, is available for the same money and offers a number of extra features, including HDMI output and discrete ATI graphics. Or, if you want a larger screen size, similarly-specified 16in and 17in notebooks from big brand names like HP and Acer are available for less from the likes of PCWorld and Currys.
Overall then, in the Toshiba Satellite A350-11N we have a notebook that carries over a lot of the strengths (including darn good speakers and an excellent keyboard), but unfortunately also a lot of the weaknesses of its predecessor. It's not bad value for the money and does offer fairly good battery life, but considering failings like the screen's poor viewing angles and lack of digital video output there might be better and cheaper alternatives available depending on your priorities.