toshibat135_openerWHAT: Toshiba Satellite T135

PRICE: Base: $449; as tested: $600

FUN FACT: Pop a bottle! 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of Toshiba's laptop division.

WHY COMPLEX IS CO-SIGNING: Damn, it's a good time to be in the market for a portable computer. You can go for a netbook, though they're a bit underpowered and their small screen can be a hindrance; you can rock with a tablet, though they don't really replicate the computing experience; and there are ultra-portables, which combine the best of both worlds (power and portability) but carry a hefty price. Or, you can opt for an ultra-low-voltage(ULV) laptop like Toshiba's Satellite T135. ULVs are bigger than netbooks, and offer a much-needed boost in performance and real estate. Oh yeah, did we mention they fall well under a stack?

CHOICE OF PROCESSORS. Toshiba gives you the choice between three processors: a 1.3-GHz Intel Pentium, a AMD Athlon Neo Processor MV-40, or a AMD Athlon Neo X2 Dual-Core Processor, which is what our test model came with. Although low-powered, they proved more than capable of handling our daily tasks. Applications, web pages, and images DL'ed off cameras all loaded quickly.
COOL DESIGN. The defining factor in small laptops is the design and Toshiba holds its own with a slim (less than an inch at its thinnest point), well-designed package. Surprisingly, the fake carbon-fiber weave on our model worked well and didn't come off cheesy.
GREAT CONNECTIVITY. It comes with three USB 2.0 ports (more than a MacBook), a microSD card slot, a VGA out port, and, coolest of all, an HDMI port for watching videos on a HDTV.
TOSHIBA LETS WINDOWS BE WINDOWS. Unlike a lot of other computer makers, Toshiba doesn't slather its own software all over Windows, making tasks like connecting to the Internet that much easier. We wish other companies would do the same.
GOOD VISUALS. The 13" screen was nice and bright with passable graphics, thanks to the ATI® Radeon HD 3200 graphics card. It's not a gaming computer and isn't meant to crunch graphic-intensive projects, but it holds its own considering the price.
BUILT TO LAST. We never really tested it, as we didn't want to drop it and damage it, but the T135 comes with a Hard Drive Impact Sensor which is supposed to hold the hard drive heads in place when it feels it's about to be dropped. Does it work? We're not too sure, but it makes us feel secure.
LONG BATTERY LIFE. Depending on how heavy it's used, the battery can almost last you a full work day. We had it running for a little under eight hours.


UNRESPONSIVE TRACKPAD.The single trackpad key was unresponsive at times, making it difficult to right-click. We ended up just clicking through the trackpad itself. Also, you can't scroll using the track pad.
WEAK SPEAKERS. You better pack your headphones as the speakers aren't too powerful. Then again, we can't imagine why you would want to use this as a boombox.
WEIGHT. A little heavier than its competition.

FINAL SAY: Priced just above a netbook, Toshiba's T135 delivers the same portability and battery life while offering much better performance.