Toshiba Satellite U400 / H00 (PSU44A-00H00C)

Looks good, lacks endurance.

Toshiba Satellite U400 / H00 (PSU44A-00H00C)
  • Toshiba Satellite U400 / H00 (PSU44A-00H00C)
  • Toshiba Satellite U400 / H00 (PSU44A-00H00C)
  • Toshiba Satellite U400 / H00 (PSU44A-00H00C)
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Good portability, Sleep-and-Charge USB ports, plenty of connectivity

Cons

  • Short battery life

Bottom Line

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.

Would you buy this?

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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: notebooks, ultraportable laptops, toshiba, laptops
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?