Toshiba Satellite P200 (PSPB6A-036024)

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Toshiba Satellite P200 (PSPB6A-036024)
  • Toshiba Satellite P200 (PSPB6A-036024)
  • Toshiba Satellite P200 (PSPB6A-036024)
  • Toshiba Satellite P200 (PSPB6A-036024)
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • HD-DVD-ROM, Harmon Kardon speakers, number pad

Cons

  • Not a high resolution screen

Bottom Line

The addition of an HD-DVD-ROM puts this new P200 in a whole new class, and the implementation of the latest Centrino platform gives it a touch more power and battery life, too.

Would you buy this?

The Toshiba Satellite P200 (PSPB6A-036024) bears the same name is the Toshiba Satellite P200 we reviewed recently, but includes some fairly defining additional features. The most noteworthy of these are the HD-DVD-ROM drive, which doubles as a DVD-RW (DL) drive, and Toshiba's use of the latest Intel Centrino Platform, formerly codenamed Santa Rosa.

Intel Centrino is a brand that only applies to notebooks which adhere to Intel's specifications. These include one of the latest Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs, Intel wireless technology and an Intel GM/PM965 Express Chipset. In this case a T7500 2.2GHz dual-core CPU with an 800MHz front side bus (FSB) and a 4MB L2 cache has been installed. The newer CPU differs from the previous P200's T7400 as it has a faster core speed and FSB (the highway through which data is passed from the CPU to the memory).

Also new to the latest Centrino platform is support for draft-n wireless technology. Draft-n is the latest and fastest wireless standard and has been included in this notebook. Overall we've seen faster results with marginally better battery life.

Let's not forget the inclusion of Toshiba's own HD-DVD-ROM, one of the two competing high-definition formats. This drive is not a burner, so you can't burn your own HD discs; however, it will play the beautifully sounding and stunning looking HD-DVD movies that are available, making you forget you ever had a DVD player.

As we're accustomed to, the Toshiba Satellite P200 has an array of hotkeys above the keyboard including some media controls, and the touchpad has a second function. By tapping a special icon on the touchpad it enables a set of shortcuts to some predefined and self-programmable applications. The P200 also includes a full-sized keyboard with a number pad.

It's not geared as a gaming machine, but with its ATI HD2600 graphics card you're sure to get some value out of a few games, even if it is only mid-range. Clearly, though, this notebook has more of an entertainment focus than one of gaming. The screen offers a resolution of just 1440x900, which is a shame, as the output resolution of HD-DVDs is considerably higher at 1920x1080. Fortunately an HDMI output ensures you can output your movies to a larger HD-TV screen and home theatre setup with ease. If you do end up watching movies on the notebook you'll appreciate the excellent speakers.

We saw slightly better performance results than the previous P200 iteration, scoring a total of 82 in WorldBench 6. This score clearly indicates that the P200 can handle a bunch of taxing applications from video or photo editing to the more basic tasks like word processing or surfing the Internet. In our MP3 encoding tests it also performed well. Using iTunes to convert 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files took just 75sec. Using Cdex (which uses just one core of the CPU) took 117sec.

We were unable to run 3DMark 2006 due to a software error, but 3DMark 2001 SE scored well with a total of 17,008. In the DVD rundown battery test we also saw improved results over the previous P200. This model managed to last 107 minutes before the battery drained. As this test is a worst-case scenario test, which uses more battery power than normal, we expect the system should last longer still under regular conditions.

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