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)
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!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- More iPad screen sizes unlikely to stop slump
- Android struggling in tablets as Windows 10 2-in-1s come on strong
- Samsung unveils Galaxy Book, a Windows 10 tablet aimed at the Surface-curious
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectVIC
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FTProduct Manager - FintechNSW
- TPOrganisational Change Manager | Office 365QLD
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- TPProject Manager - Digital Banking ProjectQLD
- FTWeb Developer/ReportsNSW
- CCLevel 1 IT Support OfficerACT
- CCAgile Project ManagerNSW
- FTAgile Project ManagerACT
- TPBusiness Analyst | HealthQLD
- FTPower BI Reporting DevelopersSA
- FTJunior Applications SupportQLD
- FTTest AdvertSA
- FTSecurity EngineerACT
- FTFull Stack .Net Developer Developer (Front and Back end)QLD
- FTDocumentation AnalystNSW
- CCDevelopment Lead - Java - TelcoVIC
- CCSenior Full Stack Web Developer - Port MacquarieNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst/Project MangerVIC
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistNSW
- CCSenior Developer - Oracle - TelcoVIC
- CCUnix/Linux Systems AdministratorNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Data Warehouse/ Statistical projectNSW