True 8.5 hr battery life: Toshiba’s NB205 netbook

The netbook market is getting crowded one of the only holdouts is Apple and some believe that will soon change. Today Toshiba announced its first netbook with a full-size keyboard called the mini NB205. (Tosh has had some previous netbooks including the infamous NB100 which we recommended people steer well clear of but this is a better effort.)

The big claim to fame for the netbook is that it somehow shoehorns a full-size keyboard into a 10.1-inch netbook chassis. Oddly though the keyboard is the big selling point for the netbook that is otherwise identical to any other netbook on the market.

Above: Toshiba NB205 in a girly hue

Along with the full-size keyboard the machine gets a large track pad Intel Atom N280 CPU 1GB of RAM and a 160GB HDD. Those specifications sound familiar? The little rig runs Windows XP Home and uses an LED backlit display to provide up to nine hours of run time per charge. That Atom N280 processor could be downgraded to an N270 to save cash since the performance gain in so minuscule the part has not been particularly popular and may even be pulled from the market early.

Toshiba offers the machine in two models which only differ in finish and color options. The NB205-N310 comes in a stylized texture finish with a chrome hinges and brown white blue and pink colors. The NB205-N210 comes in a fusion finish in black only. The N310 will sell for $US399 ($AUD499) with the N210 going for $US349 ($AUD436).

Launch day is late June in the U.S. and Toshiba Australia couldn’t give us a specific date that it would launch the NB205 though Toshiba generally launches new notebooks every three months and the last launch was at the beginning of May so we may see a launch sometime around the end of July.

Meanwhile Australia does have the NB200 already which has a nearly identical configuration; it weighs 1.18 kg with a three cell battery a 10.1” widescreen LED backlit display 160GB hard drive and a 1.66GHz N280 Atom CPU. It comes in high gloss black arctic white & silver indigo-silver and in textured matt copper finish.

Toshiba Australia claims a 3.5 hour battery life with the included 3 cell battery or nine hours if you buy the optional six cell battery. It has an RRP of $799 (though there’s a $100 mail-in rebate) but you can find it on sale as cheap as $684 which would bring the effective price down to $584 — not bad.

Laptop Magazine has got its hands on an NB205
and put the little machine through its paces ultimately scoring the
netbook 4.5 out of 5. That’s some high praise for sure. Laptop says
that the NB205 offers a stunning design stellar keyboard and the
longest battery life of any netbook to date.

Battery life in
testing was 8.5 hours and the more expensive version clocking in at
$US399 reviewed had a metal island keyboard (read: aluminum-clad
chicklet style) while the cheaper version will get a plastic standard

The battery life on the machine is certainly impressive and
it uses the newer Atom N280 CPU. The Asus Eee 1000HE still bested the
NB205 in performance testing though. In the end Laptop Mag found that the NB205 is the perfect if your main need is a netbook with long battery life. The model they tested had the six cell battery.