Toshiba Satellite U400 / H00 (PSU44A-00H00C)
Looks good, lacks endurance.
- Good portability, Sleep-and-Charge USB ports, plenty of connectivity
- Short battery life
The U400 is a good size for travellers, has plenty of connectivity and good speed, and it's also well priced, but its battery life is short.
Price$ 1,699.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
If you’re constantly on the go then there are four things you’ll definitely want out of a notebook: portability, connectivity, performance and longevity. While the Toshiba Satellite U400 easily scores high marks on the first two points, it falls short on the last two thanks to its CPU and low battery life.
Any user, especially those chasing deadlines, will appreciate the need to work on laptops in places without power points, be it on aeroplanes or at press conferences. With this in mind it was disappointing to get a time of 1hr 7min in our worst-case scenario battery test, which is about 23min less than we’d like to see. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that using a more economical power profile will extend how long the notebook lasts away from a power outlet.
The lower-than-average battery capacity is a pity because the unit itself is great for use while travelling. Measuring 314x231x38mm, the U400 weighs in at 2.1kg without the power supply and 2.51kg when it’s included.
The Toshiba is no speed demon. A 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 CPU is the beating heart of the notebook; storage is provided by a 250GB hard drive that spins at 5400rpm. The unit also has 2GB of 800MHz DDR2 RAM.
Although the CPU comes from the latest family of Intel dual-core laptop processors, that doesn’t automatically mean mind-blowing power as shown by our testing. The WorldBench 6 score of 76 basically translates into an ability to multitask with ease and run almost any office application without any problems, but it will be slightly slow when attempting more hardware-intensive tasks such as video-encoding.
In our iTunes test we convert 53min of .WAV files into 192Kbps MP3s in order to strain both cores of the processor. Although the U400’s time of 1min 28sec isn’t terrible in its own right, it simply confirms that higher-end software packages that require more punch will sometimes lag.
The Satellite is cosmetically pleasing. The piano-black finish with subtly contrasting horizontal stripes on the palm-rest provides a welcome point of difference to drab competitors and cousins, such as the Satellite Pro A300 (PSAGDA-00K00R).
But all of this means very little if you can’t connect to the world around you. Fortunately the Toshiba is very well-endowed in this area, and features three USB 2.0 Sleep-and-Charge ports, one of which doubles as an e-SATA port. An ExpressCard/54 slot allows for the devices like TV tuners to easily connect, while the HDMI port is great for those wanting to hook the notebook up to compatible plasma or LCD screens. The D-sub port on the left side is useful for external display devices like projectors and the FireWire port will facilitate direct connections to things like camcorders. On the front of the unit is the 5-in-1 card reader, which is perfect for camera-happy users who want a quick an easy way to transfer images from their memory cards to their laptops.
In terms of network connectivity, the U400 is brilliant thanks to its built-in 802.11n wireless networking and Gigabit Ethernet. Bluetooth 2.1 capabilities are also provided for users wanting to wirelessly connect compatible devices like headsets or speakers.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Asus ROG teases a massive gaming notebook that outperforms Titan X
- Chromebooks beat Mac notebooks 1.4-to-1 in U.S.
- Guess how much HP sold its gold- and diamond-encrusted laptops for?
- No Play Store for old Chromebooks
- Google is bringing Android apps to Chromebooks
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCBusiness Analyst, ReportingNSW
- CCTechnical WriterACT
- CCNetwork Access Specialist - Telecommunications (Apply now)!!NSW
- FTPeopleSoft Finance Functional ConsultantNSW
- CCEnd to End Project Manager - PMO and GovernanceVIC
- FTSenior Java Developer / Technical LeadACT
- FTNV1, NV2 Network Engineers | Permanent role with diverse Defence projectsACT
- FTTechnical LeadNSW
- FTAX Lead Technical ConsultantNSW
- FTProduct OwnerNSW
- CCData Engineer | Real Time StreamingNSW
- CCPositive Vetted ICT positions - Defence intelligence and information securityACT
- CCSr. Net DeveloperVIC
- CCHastus AdministratorVIC
- FTData Feeds Developer | Financial Services | C# & SQLNSW
- CCSystems Engineer- VMware / Cisco UCSNSW
- CCSenior IT Security Specialist-SANS, ISC2, ISACA, ITILNSW
- CCWeb DeveloperACT
- CCSenior Automation & Performance EngineerVIC
- CCAmazon Web Services (AWS) IT SupportWA
- CCBusiness Analyst or Information AnalystNSW
- FTCloud ArchitectAsia
- CCSystems Engineer - NV2ACT
- CCSenior Systems AnalystSA
- FTData EngineersNSW