Feb 20, 2010

Toshiba NB305 Netbook Unveiled [New Toshiba Netbook Gets Trail, New Keyboard, Software]

Click Video Toshiba mini NB300/NB305 Netbook Laptop - Insider Review Video from Youtube

Just a few days ago, we gave a very preliminary report on the new Toshiba Pine Trail-powered netbooks, and now more specific details on the new Toshiba NB305 netbook have been released. The main new selling point of course is the inclusion oe the new Pine Trail Atom N450 processor.

But, unlike others, Toshiba isn't putting Pine Trail into an older model - they're adding quite a few new upgrades to the NB305. NB305 buyers will get a 250GB hard drive vs. The 160GB drive commonly found on other netbooks and on the previous Toshiba models. The NB305 also sports a smaller 6-cell battery than it's previous models, but thanks to the energy-efficient Pine Trail chip, it has a longer (11 hours) battery life.

Toshiba isn't stupid and knows that consumers can choose between eight identical netbooks, all with a Pine Trail Processor, 10-inch screen, 1GB of RAM and Windows 7, so to different their netbook, they're adding some new features to help the NB305 stand ahead of the other models. For example, you can get the 'Chiclet' keys on the keyboard, first popularized by Apple's MacBook, that are popular with consumers.

Thosiba is also offering a trackpad that is 'full-sized', like something you'd find on a regular notebook, as opposed to the shrinking ones most netbooks carry. The NB305 will also come with some new software, to compliment the Windows 7 experience. Toshiba's NB305 is set to be released January 8th, and will cost $400.

Toshiba hasn't strayed far from its NB205 series of 10-inch netbooks with the all-new mini NB305, but the few tweaks made are welcome. Obviously the Atom N50 processor is the central attraction, but tweaks like a 25GB hard drive, less protrusive 6-cell battery (which clocks in a purported 11 hours of battery life), and slightly lighter finished product (2.6 pounds) all add up to a compeling offering. The regular version of the laptop with "true" chiclet keys goes for $400, while a black versim with a less impressive keyboard takes the entry spot at $350.

We got a few moments to play with the netbooks,and came away pretty impressed. It might not be quite the bang-for-buck on offer from other manufacturers, and the lack of a higher-end graphics option is a little off-putting, but as for simple build quality and usability (we're particular fans of the oversized trackpad), the NB305 might be hard to beat. Toshiba's also pursuing the software angle here with a Media Controller app to expose some of Windows 7's media streaming abilities, along with a visual search app called RealTime and a fridge-style Bulletin Board.

By: Kevin, http://nexus404.com and Paul Miller, www.engadget.com

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