Is Toshiba Satellite A305-S6905 safe for home

Laptops

The Good Modern design; big keyboard; decent speakers; includes media controls and ample ports.

The Bad Glossy finish leaves visible fingerprints on hood; no Bluetooth.

The Bottom Line The Toshiba Satellite A305-S6905 offers good value as a middle-of-the-road mainstream laptop, but for an extra $150, a step-up Toshiba model offers more RAM and dedicated graphics.

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6.5 Overall

Editors’ note: This review is part of our Winter 2009 Retail Roundup, covering specific configurations of popular laptops that can be found in retail stores.

Coming in at the lower end of the $600-$899 mainstream category in our current retail laptop roundup, the Toshiba Satellite A305-S6905 is a well-designed, middle-of-the-road system with a 15-inch display, 320GB hard drive, touch-sensitive media controls, and Harman/Kardon-branded speakers.

If you must have Bluetooth with your laptop or have a pet peeve about visible fingerprints, then this glossy, black Toshiba A305 may not be for you. Also worth noting: this system’s slightly more expensive cousin, the $749 Toshiba Satellite A305-S6916, looks similar and adds more RAM plus a dedicated video card for casual gaming.

Price as reviewed $629
Processor 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400
Memory 3GB, 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM
Hard drive 320GB (5400rpm)
Chipset Mobile Intel GM45 Express Chipset
Graphics Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
Operating System Windows Vista Premium
Dimensions (WD) 14.3 inches wide by 10.5 inches deep
Height 1.5 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 15.4 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 6.3 pounds
Category Mainstream

The Toshiba Satellite A305-S6905 has a modern look and feel, with rounded edges and a black, glossy finish with a silver, striped pattern along the edges. Toshiba calls the pattern Horizon, and it gives the A305 a little more design flair than other budget laptops.

The flat trackpad is backlit, as are the media controls that sit above the keyboard. The sizable, rounded, silver mouse buttons are easy to find without have to look down at them. While the glossy keyboard keeps with the overall modern design, it is a tad unusual in that the individual keys are especially fingerprint-prone (in the same vein as the Toshiba Satellite A305-S6916).

One slight drawback was the lack of volume controls (other than mute) in the row of media control buttons. The volume was easily adjusted on the physical volume control wheel at the front of the device, but you’d have to know to look for it.

The 15.4-inch wide-screen LCD display offers a 1,280 x 800 native resolution, which is standard for a screen this size. This provides for text and icons that are highly readable, and while it’s well-suited for 720p HD video content, you won’t get the full effect of true 1,080p video downloads, which are becoming more popular.

  Toshiba A305-S6905 Average for category (mainstream)
Video VGA-out VGA-out, HDMI
Audio Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks
Data 3 USB 2.0 (1 USB/eSATA), mini-FireWire, SD card reader 4 USB 2.0, SD card reader
Expansion ExpressCard/54 ExpressCard/54
Networking Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Modem Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional WWAN
Optical drive DVD burner DVD burner

While Bluetooth is conspicuously missing, we do credit the budget-priced A306-6905 with including a full ExpressCard/54 slot and a combo USB/eSATA port, both of which will be very helpful for expanding your system down the line.

Intel’s 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400 CPU is pretty much the default for mainstream laptops under $900, and the Satellite S6905 was on par with other T6400 laptops in our benchmark tests. The very similar Satellite S6916 was slightly faster, thanks to 4GB of RAM versus 3GB in the S6905. In real-world terms, any of these T6400 laptops is fine for typical use, such as Web surfing, office documents, media viewing. The S6905 was a perfectly acceptable performer, with no slowdown or stuttering in anecdotal use.

The Satellite S6905 performed better than the S6916 in terms of battery life on our video playback battery drain test, running for an impressive 3 hours and 36 minutes. The S6916 also has to power a dedicated video card, so it understandably ran for a little less than 3 hours.

The Satellite S6905 includes an industry-standard, one-year, parts-and-labor warranty with the system. Support is accessible through a 24-7 toll-free phone line, an online knowledge base, and driver downloads. While Best Buy is happy to sell you an in-store extended warranty, those are often expensive and hard to use, so we don’t recommend them.

Multimedia Multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Toshiba Satellite A305-S6916
932 Asus X83VB-X2
933 HP Pavilion dv5-1235dx
957 Sony Vaio VGN-CS215J/W
959 Sony Vaio VGN-NS240E/W
959 Dell Studio 17-162b
963 Dell Inspiron 15-157B
964  Toshiba Satellite A305-S6905
991 HP Pavilion dv4-1275mx
1,251 HP Pavilion dv7-1245dx
1,274 Gateway MD7818u
953 

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Asus X83VB-X2
158 Toshiba Satellite A305-S6916
159 Dell Studio 17-162b
161 Dell Inspiron 15-157B
163 HP Pavilion dv5-1235dx
164 Sony Vaio VGN-CS215J/W
171 Sony Vaio VGN-NS240E/W
229 Toshiba Satellite A305-S6905
232 HP Pavilion dv4-1275mx
246 HP Pavilion dv7-1245dx
257 Gateway MD7818u
162 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Toshiba Satellite A305-S6916
185 Asus X83VB-X2
186 Sony Vaio VGN-NS240E/W
187 Toshiba Satellite A305-S6916
188 Sony Vaio VGN-CS215J/W
188 HP Pavilion dv5-1235dx
188 Dell Studio 17-162b
190 Dell Inspiron 15-157B
192 HP Pavilion dv4-1275mx
221 HP Pavilion dv7-1245dx
238 Gateway MD7818u
189

Video Playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

HP Pavilion dv5-1235dx
295HP Pavilion dv4-1275mx
265Dell Studio 17-162b
262Toshiba Satellite A305-S6905
216HP Pavilion dv7-1245dx
201Asus X83VB-X2
169Toshiba Satellite A305-S6916
169Dell Inspiron 15-157B
160Sony Vaio VGN-CS215J/W
129Sony Vaio VGN-NS240E/W
125Gateway MD7818u
252

Find out more about how we test laptops.

HP Pavilion dv5-1235dx
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 64MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Fujitsu 5,400rpm

Dell Studio 17-162b
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 32MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Dell Inspiron 15-157B
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 32MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Sony Vaio VGN-NS240E/W
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 250GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

Sony Vaio VGN-CS215J/W
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 250GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Toshiba Satellite A305-S6916
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650; 320GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

Gateway MD7818u
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 500GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Toshiba Satellite A305-S6905
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400; 3072MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD; 320GB Toshiba 5,400rpm

HP Pavilion dv7-1245dx
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core RM-72; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200; 320GB Western Digital 5400rpm

HP Pavilion dv4-1275mx
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core ZM-80; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200; 400GB Toshiba 5400rpm

Asus X83VB-X2
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS; 250GB Seagate 5,400rpm

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