A few weeks ago Toshiba introduced a new version of its T115 thin and light 11.6 inch laptop. The new version is available with an AMD Neo processor and ATI Radeon 3200 graphics, while the earlier versions shipped with Intel CULV processors and graphics. Notebook Review forum member Aerows is one of the first people to receive a new Toshiba T115D and she’s posted some initial impressions.
Unfortunately, she had meant to get the dual core version and accidentally wound up with a single core model. But here’s what we know so far:
- The battery on the single core version is good for about 3.5 hours of moderate use (watching a movie, installing applications)
- The laptop gets a little warm, but the fan isn’t loud
- Some of keys (Tab, Alt, Win, and Fn) are smaller than you’d expect
Aerows plans to return the laptop and get the dual core version. If you’re interested in this laptop, you might want to keep following the thread to see how that model compares with the single core version.
All these devices would be much better if the netbook manufacturer’s and chip makers would see the light and :
a) Could shut off the CPU when just viewing a screen etc (like OLPC XO-1 did).
b) Used AA battery design (proprietary battery availability for these marginal units means that when it dies, or you want a second and you can’t find it, then your laptop is worthless). AA Battery like Edubook is the best idea yet.
c) Pixel Qi screen and power savings (current 3qi takes netbook screen power from 2.5 watts to .5 watts, and the next version from Pixel Qi will have the screen using 1/10th of a Watt… and maybe 20 hours of battery time between charges (and if using AA battery then maybe 10-12 or more hours at least is a good guess).
AFAIK, nothing except the XO has shipped with a Pixel Qi screen. I suspect that this is a manufacturing or licensing issue, not a lack of willingness on the part of OEMs.
I wonder how on earth the XO-1 could let you shut down the CPU when viewing a screen. The Geode chip has an onboard GPU, so if you shut it down, you shouldn’t be able to even perform screen refresh.
Finally, you have to use far less power than even a netbook to make AA batteries feasible. A charger using one or more AAs works great or a smartphone, but would be completely impractical (and financially ruinous, if you buy alkalines) for anything with a netbook-sized power draw. Also, third-party battery makers keep mking replacement units for many years, so your laptop won’t become “worthless” for quite a while.
I purchased one yesterday as well. Here’s my take so far in addition to Aerows’s comments. I agree 100% with her current assessment to date.
-11.6″ with 720p Native Resolution
-Nice nearly full sized keyboard with stylish squared keys
-ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics is much better than crap Intel GMAs on many similar models and netbooks
-Win 7 Home Premium rather than Starter
-Upgradeable to 4GB RAM
-Battery Life is EXCELLENT! Currently on 5+ hours with brightness nearly all the way up, and still at 42% left!
-HDMI is always a plus
-Wifi speeds have been exceptional, despite only have G
-Extremely silent fan, honestly can’t hear it unless you put your ear directly to it. Also runs pretty cool, have not experienced it running what anyone could consider “hot”.
-Touchpad. While using the touchpad, pointer lags/skips (very jittery is the best way i can describe it) as you move across the screen. Not an issue when using a USB mouse
-Speakers could be louder. Definitely lower volume than other netbooks/laptops
-No wireless N
-Although DDR2 800mhz is nice, DDR3 would have been nicer. The earlier model of this (T115-S1100) was DDR3, not sure why Toshiba stepped back.
-A few keys on the keyboard (tab, left CTRL, FN, tilda) are very, very small, but this is not much of a problem for me.
-Drivers are all outdated, which is unacceptable for a laptop barely pushing a week on the market.
BE SURE TO UPDATE AT LEAST VIDEO, SOUND, NETWORK AND TOUCHPAD DRIVERS. Sound drivers can be found on Toshiba’s website. Other drivers can be found on their respective manufacture’s site.
BE AWARE THAT MOST ALL RETAILERS HAVE LISTED THIS T115D-S1120 AS A NEO DUAL CORE CPU. IT IS NOT!!! ONLY THE S1125 IS. IF IT LISTS MV-40 CPU, IT IS SINGLE CORE!
I purchased the T115-S1100 model yesterday from office depot, but returned it today for this. Definitely worth the extra 30 bucks for the upgrade to the 3200 from the Intel GMA4500.
I have tried everything from changing settings to upgrading the touchpad driver, but no luck so far with a fix to the touchpad issue. It is not a HUGE problem, but just an annoyance. Definitely not a deal breaker.
Overall, this is a great unit if you are in the market for an 11.6″ netbook. The design in my opinion is nicer than they other options on the market right now. I stuck with the single core model over the dual only with the assumption of a considerably better battery life with the single core.
SIDE NOTE: Photoshop CS4 runs just fine. Will be using for occasional on the go web and graphic editing.
The Asus UL20A sets the standards for 11.6/12 inch units in terms of battery life.
Its gives a good 8 hours with wifi on.
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