The Toshiba NB505 10.1-inch netbook is an entrant into a market which yet has to figure itself out. It is a segment that offers smaller laptop-style PC with all of the features of a laptop and which also offers itself as an alternative to a tablet-based computer.
In the case of the NB505, there’s little doubt that it is a smaller, much more conveniently sized version of its fuller sized cousins in the laptop world such as the Satellite L755-S5349. In looking at each unit closely, Toshiba is right, the NB505 with slower on all counts from its 1.66 GHz Intel Atom processor to its 667 MHz front-side bus. It is also much more limited in the amount of memory with which a user can upgrade the NB505, 1 GB versus 8 GB. The NB505 uses Level 2 cache while the Satellite uses Level 3 for more processing power, though both PCs do share their cache with their high-performance Intel video chipsets.
The key dimensions are in the size and weight department.
Where the Satellite is 15-inches wide by about 9 inches deep and about nearly 2 inches inches thick, the NB505 is 10.3 by 7.5 by 1.4 inches and it weighs in at a mere 2.9 pounds.
The size alone makes it more convenient as you can easily toss it in your tote or briefcase and take it with you to a meeting or luncheon where you must take notes. You can then easily network the NB505 through its WiFi networking capability or through your office’s hard-wired Internet and sync and update your laptop or desktop with the information stored on the NB505’s 250 GB hard drive.
Indeed, the NB505 has a 5,400-spin SATA drive available in its small size, as well as a full keyboard and a host of built-in business applications that allow you to access your mail, edit and upload a document via WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n networking.
About the only item that the Satellite has that the NB505 lacks is a multi-spin DVD/CD player, however, the ability to upload graphics to standard SDHC memory cards or upload or download sensitive documents to SDXC cards, takes away some of the sting of not having the DVD/CD drive (to be truthful in the three years I’ve owned my dual-core full-sized laptop, I have used the DVD/CD maybe 10 times in total, while I appreciated the boost the upgrade from 2 GB to 4GB of memory that was provided.
Indeed, the NB505 only offers 512 MB of memory available as standard and one would think that you would take advantage of the ability to upgrade to 1 GB which the NB505 offers.
The real key to the NB505 has to be its size. Yes, its display is rather tiny at 10.1-inches, however, it is a high-resolution backlit color display that offers rich, full high-definition video potential. Thanks to the Intel chipset, one has access to full 32-bit color potential. The Intel graphics chipset produces sparkling color, as well as very deep blacks and shade of contrast that are easy to view. Also, in using this as a word-processing machine or an email device, you will see sharp clean letters. Toshiba and Intel have done their homework on this netbook.
It seems that beyond Apple there are few netbook machines available that offer the features you find in the NB505 for a reasonable price. That’s why this machine is definitely worth a look, if you need something you can tote along all day and which only needs one charge for 8 hours of lithium-ion battery power.