Toshiba’s 10 inch netbooks have always had a few things going for them: large touchpads, comfortable chiclet-style keyboards, and excellent battery life. The latest model, the Toshiba Mini NB305 appears to be no different at first glance. But despite the fact that it uses the new Intel Atom N450 Pine Trail processor which is more energy efficient than the N270 chip found in earlier models, Laptop Magazine found that the new model’s battery life isn’t quite as stellar as the Toshiba NB205’s.

Of course, this is all relative. In the Laptop Magazine reviews, the Mini NB305 ran for 8:37 on a charge, while the NB05 ran for 8:51. It’s not a huge difference. And to be fair, I barely managed to squeeze 7 hours out of the NB205 with Windows 7 Starter Edition in my own test. So I’d take all of these battery tests with a grain of salt. But more importantly: Once you pass the 7 or 8 hour mark, do you really care that much about which model has slightly better battery life?

Laptop Magazine also reports that Toshiba has refined the chassis for its new laptop. While the computer still has the same keyboard and touchpad, the battery has been moved from the back to the bottom of the laptop. And the front of the netbook is now thinner than the back, giving the Toshiba Mini NB305 a slimmer appearance when viewed from the front.

For more photos and details, check out the complete review.

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20 replies on “Toshiba Mini NB305 reviewed – same price, smaller case”

  1. Too bad they dropped bluetooth when they replaced the NB205 with the NB305. The ability to connect a wireless mouse without a dongle is real important on a netbook.

  2. Good stuff. Glad that a Japanese product as live up to its expection. Good Asian stuff. Cool and easy to use. user friendly as well. only that it cost slightly higher in Singapore. But still worth it.

  3. Brad, you got a very good point there. seriously, once it passes the 7 hour or 8 hour mark, there is really nothing to worry abt.

    Why chase 12 hours or 15 hours anymore?

    9am to 5pm is 8 hours. Just go home and charge your netbook again for the next day!

    Sometimes, we consumers, chase things for the sake of chasing. Like for most people, a dual core pentium notebook itself is good enough but people chase high end pricey core2duo notebooks. Now it is getting worse, amateur consumers just wanting to surf the net are chasing core i7 notebooks.

    For what?

    Its like digital cameras. A 5megapixel camera shoots as great as a 15 megapixel camera. But IGNORANT consumers just chase things for the sake of chasing and become victims of mere marketing

    1. So true Michael. Its amazing how we rush to buy technology that’s overkill for our daily use.

    2. You’re missing what all-day-computing is about. It’s not just about 9-to-5 office use, people also want to check their private mails or read news during breakfast, or use their netbook after work (maybe on the train home, or in a coffee shop) without worrying about battery life.

      So 12 hours usage would be a reasonable scenario.

      And then you also have to consider that battery capacity degrades with time and use – which is why it’s a good idea to have a little extra battery capacity.

      1. Marc I think you have to factor in that most of those activities are conducted between the hours of 8-5 and usually if the netbook is not in use or idle the battery is being conserved anyway. Most will not be using there netbook continuously for more than 5 straight hours throughout the day. I personally use my netbook all day on generally one charge and I have a 6 cell battery which give me about 6 hours of real time usage and it last me all day even on trips to the coffee shop.

        1. You are right bro.

          Netbooks I think have already become like mobile phones. In the beginning they were chasing longer standby times. Now, who really cares if your mobile phone last 7 days or just 2 days?

          Once the Asus 1005 came out, people have decided no point chasing battery life as 9.5 hours is good enough.

          People want speed now.

          I used to use my Asus 1000HE netbook the whole day. From 9am to 6pm. By that time, you are exhausted. Nobody, unless a computer geek, goes on his PC for more than 10 hours a day. If one does so, one has serious psychological and social problems.

          Health problems will also creep in if someone just uses his PC non stop the whole day. He or she won’t have a normal life as he will be an addict.

          So now , manufacturers are soon going to hit a wall. People are going to look for speed and weight as the factor to perfect mobility.

          1. Michael, I think you are right about the weight factor – I don’t see the reason why e.g. a 10″-netbook still has to weigh 1.5 kg, when components are getting smaller and lighter.

            This is also the direction you see smartbooks moving – weighing less than 1 kg.

            Regarding battery life: I’m not so much interested in heavily using a netbook the whole day, but in what I call “peace of mind”.

            I want to leave the power brick at home and having a good feeling that I can use the netbook whatever tasks might come up during the day, not having to worry about battery life.

            And with smartbooks you will see the netbook-market move more into smartphone-like usage scenarios (always on, always connected), not classical laptop use. I can take my phone with me away on weekend trips, without packing the charger, because it easily lasts for 2 or 3 days. I want to do the same with a netbook/smartbook, not having to pack power adapter and cable stuff.

            Basically we are looking a two different markets here: when you are talking about more speed etc., then this is the classical territory of subnotebooks. And there will be products for this classical laptop use.

            But it is different from smartbook usage, where you have typical smartphone features: always connected, immediately showing new messages, etc. You don’t shut down your smartphone during the day, or reboot it – you just leave it running all day long.

            Again, these are different markets, and there will also be products for your needs – more speed, etc. But don’t discount battery life as unimportant just because it doesn’t fit into the picture of how you are currently using a netbook.

          2. This is more like the idea of smartbooks/netbooks. Yes on a day to day basis 8 hours is actually an excessive amount of battery life.

            But what if I want to watch a lot of flash videos (yes standard quality) on a given day, something that consumes twice the amount of battery. Netbooks aren’t the device for this, no device is really. Kind of why I had high hopes for Smartbooks but they seem too expensive and media prowess comes at the cost of utility.

            And the decay in battery life from usage is also a concern. If the battery barely covers what I need today, it’s going to come up short eventually.

            However, how many netbooks are going to last long enough for the decay in their battery life to really matter. With the minutes per milli-amp hour ratio increasing, doesn’t dicay rate also increase?

            But really it’s just us talking about technology, where ‘future proof’ and ‘perfect’ are just pipe dreams that consumers (like me) chase.

          3. Agree with you but honestly, on the weight issue, I cannot comprehend why a mere 10 inch netbook must weigh nearly 1.4KG. It is a real joke that Dell (their new mini is 1.37Kg) and the other manufacturers are coming out with heavier netbooks.

            The new Acer Aspire One 532h is a step forward at least. It weighs 1KG, a huge big difference and yet it has a 6 cell battery.

            What a huge difference in weight in comparison to the Dell and others around.

            Manufacturers are plain lazy. They don’t lift a finger. They all use the same OEM parts to assembly a given netbook. At least do some R&D to make your body lighter.

  4. Say Brad, the “review” link is to the NB205 not the NB305. Thank you.

  5. The tilde is still in the wrong place. I kept seeing rave reviews of this machine online, especially the keyboard, so I went and played with one in Best Buy. No way. As a I writer, I just can’t work with that keyboard. Keys must be in their correct places. And I didn’t like the feel of the keys either. Or the look of the machine up close. Although the bronze pictured looks much nicer than the blue.

    1. Since you mentioned keyboard, I’m curious specifically which keys you didn’t like. Are you testing a Canadian version? For some reason laptop mag claim this netbook to have the best keyboard. And yes, I’ve heard other people say it’s lousy. I’m interested in your take. From what you’ve tried out, what are your favorite keyboard/netbooks? Thanks. I appreciate a viewpoint on this from a writer. Cheers.

      1. Standard US version. The only key I recall being completely wrong was the tilde (which ruins the touch-type finding of ctrl, alt, etc.) but I played with it over a month ago so I may have forgotten more. However, a lot of the non-letter keys did “feel” wrong to me. Subjective, I know.

        The best netbook keyboard I’ve had a chance to type on was the HP Mini 110. My wife’s favorite as well. Second best was the Dell Mini 10v and the 12.1 inch Asus (don’t remember the model). Unfortunately, my local stores don’t believe in netbooks and discourage you from buying them, so they don’t have a lot of models to test. I didn’t like the keyboard on the Samsung N130. Nothing wrong with it but nothing right about it either. That scared me out of getting the N310 Go.

        I’d love to get the Thinkpad x100e. I trust without testing it that the keyboard will be outstanding, but the battery life is so abysmal that I’ll have to pass. I’m most likely getting the HP 5102 when it comes out, based on reviews and my good experience with the 110 keyboard. I’m hoping the keyboard will meet my expectations.

        1. Terrific I really appreciate your thoughts and opinions. I’ve taken some notes! Cheers!

          1. I had a chance to play with some netbooks tonight and I still feel the same way about the Toshiba. Didn’t care much for the Samsung 210 keyboard either. Local Best Buy is in the process of rolling out the new machines for this year so not much new there yet.

        2. “Samsung N130. Nothing wrong with it but nothing right about it either. That scared me out of getting the N310 Go.”

          The N310 Go has a chiclet keyboard and is one of the best netbook keyboards I ever used. It’s also totally different from the traditional style N130 keyboard, so I don’t see the connection you are drawing here.

  6. To me this is the most beautiful netbook going. Part of me giggles inside thinking that this is the updated version, which in fact offers less battery life than the older model. I think this is one of the few times in history (thanks to my friends at Intel) where a new technology product is not improved upon performance wise, but is in fact, slow. It’s like technology in reverse. Hey the new slogan for Intel! Seriously, I love this damn netbook and really has me mad that it is actually worse. Maybe the looks make up for it, I’m not sure. I’m not buying one now that’s for sure.

  7. And they have given the front bottom edge a smooth bevel also.
    It looks sleak in profile. The battery move gives some slope to the keyboard.

    Now that point will be a matter of personal preference,
    but I am one of those people who likes a bit of slope to the keyboard.

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