Toshiba Satellite Pro A300 (PSAGDA-00K00R)
Cheap, effective and drab.
- Value for money, great variety of expansion ports, good typing action
- Boring design, heavier than average
The Toshiba Satellite Pro A300 is a unit that sits comfortably between the entry-level and mid-range notebook categories, featuring an excellent range of expansion ports and decent performance when balanced against its price tag. What lets it down is the dull design.
Price$ 1,540.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 4 stores)
Toshiba’s Satellite Pro A300 is a rather drab-looking workhorse that will satisfy business users looking for a device that’s better than an entry-level laptop but cheaper than a mid-level unit.
We weren’t impressed with the A300’s identically designed cousin, the Satellite Pro P300 (PSPCDA-00L00D), because of its boring grey aesthetic and dearth of features relative to its price tag (particularly because Toshiba is the source of the excellent and attractive Satellite A300 (PSAG4A-02600M)).
Fortunately for Toshiba, many business users won’t mind their laptop having the complexion of an elephant and, cosmetics aside, this notebook offers decent performance and a great range of expansion options for a price that's much more competitive the Toshiba Satellite Pro P300's .
Opening the hood reveals a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 CPU and 2GB of DDR2 RAM, as well as a 200GB hard drive that spins at 5400rpm. While this isn’t much space for those looking to store lots of movies or play high-end games, business users who limit themselves to office functions should find the capacity adequate.
That’s not to say that the A300 lacks gaming performance, however, with the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 providing a 3DMark06 score of 3803. The result isn’t mind-blowing, but it certainly is refreshing for around $1500, and will allow for faster frame rates when playing games. Even though we all know office workers would never game at work [Yeah you were just testing that graphics card — Ed], this notebook will be able to handle older games like F.E.A.R. at middle to low settings. Newer games like Crysis will probably barely run.
More relevant to all types of users is the excellent keyboard, which is easy to use and has great key response. The touchpad lacks traction but has fairly responsive tracking along with a fingerprint scanner between the left- and right-click buttons for more convenient security.
The A300’s 15.4in screen, with its native resolution of 1280x800, is fairly good and has decent colour contrast. Using it in sunlight is bound to cause reflectivity problems, but then this is a widespread issue found in almost all brands of notebooks.
Most users won’t mind the lack of Blu-ray drive, especially given the low price of this device. The dual-layer DVD-RW that is provided should continue to be relevant for some time to come thanks to the relatively slow take-up of the next-gen format.
Thankfully the notebook offers great future-proofing in the form of expansion options. Older ports like D-sub and S-video out are provided, and there is a built-in dial-up modem, too. Sleep and charge USB 2.0 ports continue to be a Toshiba staple and four of them are present, with one of them doubling as an e-SATA connection. There is also a FireWire port, which is a useful addition, and it sits below an ExpressCard/54 slot. This slot is great for attaching a 3G data card or digital TV-tuner.
When put through its paces in our worst case scenario DVD rundown test, the Pro A300 survived for 1hr 30min, which is pretty much the average for a 15.4in notebook. The laptop is a little on the heavy side, coming in at 2.8kg without the power supply and 3.5kg with it included.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Witness a 241% Australian price hike: Dell Latitude 7370 review
- 2 Is this the best value phone on the market? Moto G4 Plus review
- 3 Sony Xperia X Performance review: Sony’s most disappointing product in years
- 4 Huawei P9 review: lifting photography to another level... sometimes.
- 5 Huawei Mate 8 review: probably the best all-round Android phone you can buy
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Early Android app support rolls out to two more Chromebooks
- Microsoft's pricey Surface Book is getting stomped by the ancient Surface Pro 3
- Alienware's tiny Alpha gaming PC gets bigger muscles... in the US
- Why Apple's new MacBook Pro needs more than just one USB-C port
- Asus ROG teases a massive gaming notebook that outperforms Titan X
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTSocial Media AssistantQLD
- CCAgile Scrum MasterACT
- CCIP & Fixed Process Improvement SpecialistVIC
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperSA
- CCEnvironment Support AnalystQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Process Analyst - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTPositive Vetted ICT positions - Defence intelligence and information securityACT
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerACT
- FTDefence Network EngineerACT
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperNSW
- CCApplication Service TechnicianVIC
- CCHigh Severity Incident ManagerVIC
- CCChange Portfolio ManagerNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst / BillingNSW
- CCProject CoordinatorVIC
- FTEnvironment Management AnalystACT
- FTSOE Desktop Engineer - must have SCCM 2012NSW
- CCUX / UI Visual DesignerNSW
- FTDefence Network Architect | NV2ACT
- CCChange CoordinatorNSW
- CCSenior Agile Java/Spring/AngularJS EngineerNSW
- CCPeoplsoft Technical SupportACT
- CCSAP MM / Ariba Functional ConsultantNSW
- CCMac (iOS) Support Engineer - $30 p/h - Three Year ContractNSW