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Toshiba Satellite A350D-202 - 16in Multimedia Notebook
Today we're taking a look at the Toshiba Satellite A350D-202. This latest 16in general purpose and entertainment notebook is basically a slightly different take on the Toshiba Satellite A350-11N. It uses the same chassis with mostly similar specifications, except that at its heart beats an 2.1GHz AMD Turion X2 Ultra processor and discrete ATI Radeon HD 3650 graphics card rather than the 11N's 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and measly integrated graphics.
Another welcome change to go with the upgraded graphics is that the A350D now finally features an HDMI port, offering digital connectivity to your monitor or television. Aside from this and the S-Video connector the 202's chassis is pretty much identical to its predecessor in every way, so if you want all the fine detail refer back to the earlier review. For the rest of you, let's have a quick recap of what you're getting.
As with most consumer-oriented notebooks these days, the A350D-202 sports a piano black finish on the lid. Fingerprints are easily visible, so if you want to keep it looking good you'll be using the included cleaning cloth a lot.
Opening the machine up, the 16in screen's matte bezel houses the obligatory 1.3 megapixel webcam and the bottom part of the notebook is again glossy with a grey striped pattern to add some variation.
The glossy keyboard is very good overall, with positive feedback and excellent layout. It's mostly a pleasure to type on, though keys can be a tad slippery thanks to their shiny finish and visually it's an acquired taste - to say the least.
Below the keyboard, the wide and responsive touchpad has a nice matte surface and is easy to find and use in the dark thanks to a backlit white strip above it. The chromed touchpad buttons were rather stiff on the 11N and unfortunately this remains the same here.
Between keyboard and screen reside a set of very usable touch-controls similarly backlit in white, as is the large round power button. To either side of these reside the sculpted Harman/kardon speakers, which as with other Toshiba notebooks we've reviewed are a highlight of the company's mobile machines, producing a level of fidelity, volume and bass that's a cut above most of the competition. They're also enhanced by Dolby Sound Room, which delivers improved bass, a sound expander and its excellent virtual surround sound for headphones.