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Toshiba NB100 netbook

Tosh takes netbooks seriously - too seriously...

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

Toshiba NB100 - Battery Life

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.

Toshiba NB100

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.

Verdict

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. ®

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Toshiba NB100 netbook

Toshiba's office-serious design doesn't impress, but the battery life does.
Price: £286 (Windows XP,120GB HDD) £252 (Ubuntu Linux, 80GB HDD) RRP