We're out in Zurich at the moment, attending Toshiba's first 'Mobility Conference'. It's an event largely geared towards the company's business notebook offerings, including the new Portégé R600, A600 and Tecra R10, but also on show was the company's netbook offering, the Satellite NB100, and us being us, we couldn't help but grab one and try and runaway with it. Once we were caught and returned to conference room, we spent a little time playing around with the machine. Here's what we thought.
Before we add anything, we should stress that the units we saw were engineering samples but even so the basics of the machine were very evident and we don't expect the machine to change a great deal. One thing we instantly noticed, however, was that it actually has three USB ports, as opposed to the two previously reported and this is obviously a very good thing since it brings the NB100 in line with pretty much all the other netbooks currently available.
Due to arrive in the UK and worldwide at the end of this month, we understand from Toshiba representatives that the machine will be priced extremely competitively - though exactly how much we're not at liberty to reveal. This is reflected in a simple look and feel that's quite reminiscent of the Eee PC 901, though in the instance of the NB100 the machine is finished in a combination of matte black plastic with silver accents around the edges, rather than white. This is combined, on the units we saw, with a glossy navy blue lid that's common on Toshiba's other Satellite notebooks. This doesn't quite correlate with previous product shots we've seen, so it'll be interesting to see how the final products are finished.
Inside the NB100 features much the same components netbooks of all creeds are utilising. There's a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor that's backed up by 1GB of RAM. Interestingly, the samples we saw were utilising 800MHz DDR2 memory, though we'd be surprised if this were the case on retail products. As ever there's 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on-board as well, while storage is supplied by regular 2.5 inch mechanical hard drives with capacities up to 120GB - samples on show had 80GB drives.
Continuing the Eee PC similarities, Toshiba has chosen to focus on the 8.9 inch form factor, as opposed to the 10 inch one utilised by the MSI Wind. This makes the NB100 very portable and Toshiba rather handily had a weighing scale on hand, which revealed the netbook weighed just 1.037kg - not quite under 1kg but more than light enough. It's also more or less the same size as the Eee PC 901 or the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 that we reviewed earlier this week, both in terms of width and depth and thickness too. As an aside, it remains an absolute marvel the SSD version of Toshiba Portégé R600 weighs only 800 grams, less than pretty much every netbook - keep an eye out for hands-on impressions of that very soon.