Working from home a couple of months back I happened to remark on Twitter that I was experiencing a bit of laptop trouble. That was enough to get the attention of a nice man at Toshiba who offered me the loan of a Satellite X200, with a view to getting my opinion on the laptop from the point of view of someone who listens to a lot of music online.
It’s a hefty piece of equipment, that’s for sure – I’ve seen someone using the X200 in a pub, but I’m not sure I’d want to lug it around due to its chunkiness. Having said that, this bulk does make it feel like a rather macho toy, which is cool for people like me who don’t have enough manly status symbols in their life.
It has a faux-mahogany lid which is rather pretty. The silver keyboard looks a little tacky to me, but functions well enough and is quite pleasing to type on. Sadly the same can’t be said of the mousepad – or TouchPad, as Toshiba call it – which is gimmicky to the point of irritation. A couple of taps on the pad lights it up, which is novel the first time you see it, but this also disables its usual functionality so that you can adjust the volume and whatnot. This double-tap functionality can be enacted accidentally, which is rather annoying. If you’re suffering with the DTs you might give up altogether.
In other areas, however, the X200 is terrific. My flatmate, a DJ, used it to create a new mix and was impressed with how easily it handled the process. The sound is great, and many a post-pub night were spent drunkenly playing hip-hop videos on YouTube with the volume cranked up. It’s similarly impressive when you watch longer video content – I didn’t get around to watching any movies on it, but it was great for half-hour episodes of TV shows.
The X200 comes with many of the standard features you’d find on a decent laptop these days – webcam, microphone, HDMI and TV Out ports, etc. The user’s manual has several pages explaining the FingerPrint Utility, which is a security feature that incorporates the scanning of user fingerprints – the fact that I would have had to read all this to understand it was enough to put me off that particular feature.
Of course, having been manufactured before Blu-Ray’s triumph in the hi-def DVD war, the X200 also features an HD DVD drive. Unsurprisingly, I don’t possess any HD-DVDs to test this feature.
All-round a pleasing experience, then – I’ll miss the X200 for the post-pub YouTube forays if nothing else. Maybe de-gimmickify the mouse pad, though.