A generic monitor not specifically designed for photography isn’t going to deliver the colour quality we seek. Processing images on the BenQ SW271 gives the user a stunningly vivid colour range.
Toshiba Satellite X200 (PSPB9A-02J022)
- HD-DVD-R drive, dual-function touchpad, Harmon Kardon speakers, HDMI
- Lower than expected WorldBench 6 score, low resolution screen for an HD-DVD notebook
Although it didn't score as well as we'd hoped in WorldBench 6, the gaming results were good and the inclusion of an HD-DVD-R drive is an excellent bonus.
Price$ 3,999.00 (AUD)
Perhaps it's the smell of Christmas in the air, looming ever so close, or perhaps it's the imminent release of some big game titles, but everyone is jumping onboard the gaming notebook bandwagon; enter the Toshiba Satellite X200.
The X200 doesn't quite stack up to products such as the Dell XPS M1730 in terms of gaming performance. However, it's still a powerful gaming machine and has the advantage of an HD-DVD-R drive with an HDMI port for high-definition audio/visual output, making it an excellent choice as an all-round entertainment unit.
At the core of this system is an Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 2.4GHz CPU, an NVIDIA 8700M GT graphics card with 512MB of dedicated graphics memory and 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 RAM.
The Harmon Kardon speakers produce some of the best sound you'll find in a notebook, offering very nice volume levels and solid bass. The screen is a little disappointing, supporting a maximum resolution of only 1440x900 with a fairly average viewing angle, but brightness and contrast levels are good, at least. This resolution means you'll need to output the HD-DVD signal to a high resolution TV or monitor to get the best picture quality.
To compliment the HD-DVD drive and jammin' speakers, a set of media controls can be found above the keyboard. On the other hand, to compliment the gaming aspect of this machine, Toshiba has opted to include a full number pad as part of the keyboard. Toshiba has also opted to include the dual-function touchpad on this model. Tapping a switch button on the corner of the touchpad disables the touchpad and enables a set of six shortcuts for e-mail, network setup and more.
In our gaming benchmarks we saw good results; however, in WorldBench 6 the Toshiba Satellite X200 scored only 75. Certainly this is a good score, but we would have expected it to go higher with such a high-end CPU, 2GB of RAM and a high-end graphics card - at least into the 80s.
In 3DMark 2006 it scored a nice 4854, which is up in the ranks with some desktop computers, while in 3DMark 2001 SE it scored 27,577, which is just overkill for older games. In the DirectX 10 Call of Juarez test it only averaged 8.6fps (frames per second) when using the default setting, but this was expected. In the Lost Planet: Extreme Condition DirectX 10 demo it averaged a more respectable 30fps.
In the MP3 encoding test it performed exactly how we would expect, taking just 76 seconds to encode 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files in iTunes, and 122 seconds in Cdex. In the DVD rundown test, where we loop a DVD movie to drain the battery, the Toshiba Satellite X200 lasted 85 minutes, around the average for this size unit.
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