Toshiba Satellite T-130 13K review: CULV laptop

Despite the hype sometimes a netbook just won't hack it. Lucky then, there's a new kid in town - the CULV notebook. It may not sound catchy but if you want portability, power and affordability, then Toshiba has a machine for you. We review the Toshiba Satellite T-130.

As for battery life, Toshiba claims a quite stupendous 11 hours, but in our light use test we achieved eight hours 38 minutes. This is still an impressive amount of time though and if you need to work away from the mains for extended periods you could rely on this machine. The battery is removable so a spare could be picked up for serious long haul use.

LED backlights used to be the preserve of more expensive machines but i'ts now a common site on laptops of all prices. Sure enough there's one here and it's bright enough that we had to reduce the setting to make it comfortable to use under office lights. We found colours to be rich but even too, though we found the reds to be slightly pale.

A webcam is located in the bezel, and is capable of up to 640 x 480 resolution, but we found that the image was grainier than we would have liked. The webcam can actually be used to log into the system using a face recognition software tool and we can confirm that it works. However, it also takes a good few minutes to set up and quite a few seconds to use it to actually login - certainly longer than entering a password, so unless you're pathologically unable to remember passwords, we feels it's nothing more than a gimmick.

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The notebook itself is encased in a shiny black plastic (red and white finishes are also available), which is either to your taste, or isn't and this model has a quite reflective black weave finish and rounded edges that make it pleasant to hold.

Open it up and the same weave pattern surrounds the keyboard, even covering the trackpad. The power button on the left hand side is mysteriously large, which give it a slightly childish look. Things are finished off by silver edging with seven status lights built into the a silver area at the front, which blends into the track pad.

We had no issues with the trackpad but we did have cause to complain over the mouse buttons - the silver and curvy shape may look good, but we simply found it uncomfortable to press down on and difficult to move from left click to right click.

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