Toshiba Tecra A9 (PTS52A-00V00F)
- Unfussy businesslike design, large and attractive widescreen display, solid performer in most areas
- Not geared towards portability, limited graphical capabilities
While it might not quite resurrect a dying breed, the A9 (PTS52A-00V00F) proves that big old-fashioned business notebooks still have a worthy place in the ultra-mobile world. Worth investing in.
Price$ 1,815.00 (AUD)
As we march boldly into the 21st century, mobility and travel have become important components of most global businesses. This constantly prowling workforce has seen the big and clunky notebook of old fall from favour; to be replaced with a sleeker, more portable breed. Which begs the question -- is there still room for desktop replacements in the hectic bustle of today's day and age?
Toshiba sure seems to think so. Its latest offering in the Tecra business range has set out to prove that size still matters. Whether it achieves this aim is largely dependant on personal taste, but if you're looking for a super-sized notebook with a nice array of features, the A9 (PTS52A-00V00F) is unlikely to disappoint. It performed well across all benchmarks and will ensure you never need to squint while updating your spreadsheets again.
Despite touting itself as a gateway to freedom and portability, the A9 (PTS52A-00V00F) is very much a desktop replacement machine. Topping the scales at a hefty 3kg and sporting overall dimensions of 366x268x38.8mm, this definitely isn't a notebook you'll want to frequently lug from place to place. Stylistically, the A9 (PTS52A-00V00F) shares the same plain aesthetics commonly found in business-orientated notebooks. Its silver lid and interior are appropriately workmanlike, with none of the flashy superfluousness that so often plagues the casual market. While its industrial-like finish is unlikely to turn many heads, it retains a simplistic charm that is also highly resistant to fingerprints. All up, we quite like the look of this notebook -- simple yet elegant. Furthermore, it is extremely robust, and should subsequently withstand all manner of rough treatment.
Beneath its minimalist hood, the Tecra A9 features the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processors running on the new Centrino platform. The model we tested came equipped with a 2GHz T7300 CPU (800MHz front side bus, 4MB L2 cache) and 1GB of DDR2 RAM, along with an 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi adapter for all your wireless needs. An integrated 965GM Express Chipset has been thrown into the deep end to handle incoming graphics.
In our benchmark tests using WorldBench 6, the A9 (PTS52A-00V00F) received a score of 70. This is a fairly respectable result for a notebook with these components, and should see you through the majority of business applications; including more taxing programs like Adobe Photoshop. However, the notebook scored only 412 in 3D Mark 06; which reflects the absence of a dedicated GPU. If you're the type of worker who enjoys sneaking a few rounds of Quake Wars in during your lunch break, you'll definitely need a machine with a bit more grunt than this.
Despite the A9 (PTS52A-00V00F)'s intimidating bulk, we found its keyboard to be curiously undersized, with a noticeably shrunken top row and no dedicated numeric keypad. This is sure to hamper sophisticated gaming, though as previously mentioned, the notebook is not suited for such endeavours anyway. On the plus side, typing proved to be quite intuitive; in large part thanks to the extra large Caps Lock, Ctrl, Shift, Backspace and Enter keys. We were also pleased to find the Ctrl key located on the far lower right, where it should be.
Elsewhere, the build quality of the A9 (PTS52A-00V00F) fared even better. We scrutinised its 15.4in widescreen display under a variety of settings and angles, and for the most part, both images and text remained highly viewable. Similarly, the inbuilt speakers were impressively loud and robust; especially for a business notebook. This makes the A9 (PTS52A-00V00F) more than adequate for extensive DVD playback.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- 2 Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- 3 Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 4 LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Windows 10's power-throttling feature will benefit battery-hungry laptops
- Microsoft's next Surface may be a Chromebook competitor for schools
- US says laptop ban may expand to more airports
- Intel's Cannonlake PC chip shipments may slip into next year
- Razer’s updated Blade Pro is the first ever THX-certified laptop
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.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCSenior Full-Stack Developer (Digital Transformation Project)QLD
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCLead SAP SRM DeveloperACT
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- CCBusiness Specialist - Data ManagementNSW
- FTNetwork Solution Architect - PresalesNSW
- FTSenior ICT Project ManagerNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Mobile ApplicationsQLD
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- TPSenior Project Officer HSQQLD
- FTPMO CoordinatorSA
- FT.Net Developer - work on cutting edge BAU projectsVIC
- FTService Desk - Level 1 SupportVIC
- CCApplication Developer - Datastage & SQL ServerVIC
- FTField Engineer - Hardware RolloutsNSW
- CCProject Scheduler/CoordinatorVIC
- FTSystem AnalystsACT
- FTSystem Administrator App-VACT
- FTTelecommunications Installation ManagerSA
- CCBusiness Analyst (Mid-level)VIC
- FTSecurity Support Manager - Perth BasedNSW
- FTSenior / Lead AEM DeveloperNSW
- FTProcurement AdvisorQLD
- CCSenior Project OfficerNSW
- FTICT Relationship Manager - Service Delivery EnvironmentNSW