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Photos: Toshiba NB100

Toshiba's 8.9in. NB100 is affordable even for a netbook, especially if you choose the entry-level model running Ubuntu remix.

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Topic: Laptops
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1 of 4 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Toshiba, like pretty much every other notebook manufacturer, has recently entered the netbook market. Toshiba refers to its NB100 series as 'mini laptops' and currently lists four models at its UK web site.

We got our hands on the least expensive of them, the NB100-11R. This is the only one of the quartet to run Ubuntu — the rest run Windows XP.

Our NB100-11R comes in at a very reasonable £189 (ex. VAT), with prices rising to £373 for the most expensive model.

 

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2 of 4 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Visually the NB100-11R looks every inch a netbook. It measures a suitably compact 22.5cm wide by 19cm deep by 3-3.3cm thick, while the weight is described as 'starting at 0.999kg'. Let's call it a kilogram shall we?

The lid section is a shiny black, with a matte finish on the inside. Build quality is pretty good — if anything, the hinge is a bit on the stiff side. The 8.9in. screen has a native resolution of 1,024 by 600 pixels and a 'TruBrite' finish that makes it sharp but reflective.

 

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3 of 4 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The 80-key keyboard won't suit fast touch typists as the keys are small and a bit on the cramped side. This is not unusual for an 8.9in. netbook, although we've seen roomier keyboards. More importantly, there's a fair amount of flex in the keyboard, and the Enter key is rather small.

One other comment on ergonomics: out of the box, the touchpad is calibrated to get the cursor around the screen very quickly. We couldn't get used to this, and had to slow it down considerably.

 

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4 of 4 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

This 1.6GHz Atom N270 system's 80GB hard drive left us with 70GB of free space out of the box. If this isn't enough, the two mid-range (£249, £254) models have 120GB hard drives, while the most expensive (£373) option has a 160GB drive.

For networking there's Wi-Fi (802.11b/g but not Draft-N) and Ethernet (10/100Mbps, but not Gigabit). There is no Bluetooth.

As far as ports and connectors are concerned, there are three USB ports, a VGA connector and a reader for SD-compatible media. Headphone and microphone slots are on the front edge, and there's a VGA-resolution webcam above the screen.

 

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