We also ran our usual battery life test: an SD-quality H.264 movie played and looped until the machine shuts down. At the standard 1.6GHz CPU speed, we got three hours and 20 minutes' playback out of the NB100's battery, which puts it ahead of all the other netbooks we've tested other than the Asus Eee 901 and Eee 1000 with their bigger batteries.
Battery Life Results
Time in minutes
Longer bars are better
Playback wasn't good in underclocked mode, with the previously smooth-running video pausing or breaking up if we did anything else on the machine. However, the underclocked mode should boost runtime a fair bit - we didn't have enough time with the device to test it, alas.
You should also note that these are stress tests - ordinary browsing and email netbook activity won't drain the battery quite so quickly, and you can expect to get five or more hours' typical usage out the NB100. That may not be Eee standard, but it's still very good for a netbook.
So why not just buy an Eee, then? There's no key reason not to, we think. We prefer the NB100's display to that of the Eee PC 901, the machine it most closely resembles, and the Toshiba has more storage capacity: 120GB to 12GB. But the two machines' keyboards are equally wee, and the Eee has 802.11n Wi-Fi, a longer runtime and it's cheaper.
Not exactly colourful
So if you need a decent keyboard, you can buy a better netbook than the NB100. Ditto if you want the best battery life, a machine that looks cute, or one that's as cheap as chips. That makes the NB100 a tough sell.
It's not the sexiest netbook out there, quite the reverse, but the NB100 is no slouch when running at standard speed and delivers a good battery life too. It's by no means a bad machine. We just wish Toshiba had come up with something a little less dull. ®
More Netbook Reviews...
Eee PC S101
Dell Mini 9
1024x600 lovely jubbly
1024x600 native resolution on a 9 to 10"" screen - lovely, just right for email and web browsing where seeing icons and text properly are the issues. Could it even be by design?
I Love my brick!!!
I have had one of these since their release and have had none of the problems Patrick has mentioned. The screen is beautifully bright and much sharper than most other netbooks I have seen. I have not seen any rippling. With my wireless connection, page loads are pretty instant, so I suggest that he take task with his ISP or his wireless setup.
I think that although there is not much to tell between netbooks, the build quality, screen and HDD capacity are a cut above.
Mine also runs World of Goo, Quake 3 arena, AVP2, Half-Life, Adobe Indesign (tiny tiny DTP!!) , Photoshop and Microsoft office quickly and smoothly. It comes with me when i travel and it sits on my coffee table at home when I need it. I love it.
This is a far cry from the spectacular Libretto U100, have all the Toshiba engineers that made that great sub-notebook 3 years ago left Toshiba?
I still prefer my U100 (running Mandriva Linux) to any of the current crop of netbooks, even the 1.2GHz, 2MB cache Pentium M inside it, is noticeably faster than any Atom.