Toshiba AC100 review

Can Tosh's Android-powered netbook do enough to convince us?

TODO alt text

In appearance the AC100 resembles a netbook in pretty much every way.

The 10.1-inch screen features a 1024 x 600 pixel resolution that's more than detailed enough for browsing the web, reading spreadsheets and even watching movies.

It's also particularly bright, and although you wouldn't describe colour reproduction as vivid, the AC100 is great for viewing your photos and films on.

Toshiba ac100

Unfortunately, unlike netbooks such as the Samsung N230 (among many others), the AC100 features a shiny screen coating. This is in a bid to add greater vibrancy to onscreen colours, but has the unfortunate secondary effect of creating irritating reflections in bright light, and means you'll be ducking and weaving your head to get a comfortable viewing angle.

As with the screen, the AC100's keyboard is great to use. It doesn't quite compete with the excellent MSI Wind U160's typing experience, but the large keys make mis-hitting a key a rare event.

Toshiba ac100

The shallow travel of the AC100's keys takes a little getting used to, but caused us no problems in the long run, and we were quickly typing at full speed with next to no errors.

One quick point worth noting is that the AC100's board doesn't feature a delete key. It's not a massive deal, but it's funny how you miss it when it's not there.

The AC100 features a spacious touchpad, and two responsive click buttons. There's not multi-touch functionality (more on that later) but there is a scroll bar, meaning running your finger down the side of the touchpad will scroll up and down documents and web pages alike.

Toshiba ac100

The AC100's chassis is built from tough black plastics that provide great protection for the device on the road. Both the lid and the chassis feature an inoffensive crosshatch pattern that looks great, and also makes the AC100 easy to grip.

To spice up the look, Toshiba has painted the keyboard's characters, the border of the touchpad and also the chassis trimmings an aggressive yellow. It may not appeal to your Nan, but we like the look of it.

Also differentiating the AC100 from its netbook siblings is the fact that it features an HDMI port. Sitting down the left side of the chassis this makes it possible for you to hook up to an external digital monitor or high definition TV and share photos and movies with friends and family.

Toshiba ac100

Also down the left side is the media card reader (5-in-1). This is useful for expanding the AC100's slightly limiting 8GB SSD by 32GB (via a SDHC card). It also makes it easy to import your photos from your digital camera without messing around with cables.

Down the right side of the AC100's chassis sit two USB ports (one a mini), the power socket and a Kensington lock.


Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time8 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity8 GB
Backlight TechnologyLED
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSPA, HSUPA, UMTS
Product FamilyAC100
Cellular Network SupportedGSM
Processor Model250
ColourEclipse Black
Operating SystemAndroid 2.1 Eclair
Brand NameToshiba
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeTegra
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Screen Resolution1024 x 600
Standard Memory512 MB
Weight (Approximate)870 g
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyTruBrite
WWAN SupportedYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Total Number of USB Ports2
Memory StandardDDR2-800/PC2-6400
Height21 mm
Width262 mm
Depth189.8 mm
Screen ModeWSVGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesAC100
Product ModelAC100-10U
Product NameAC100-10U Netbook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberPDN01E-00500EEN
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Instant on portable computing. The AC100 is an ultra-thin mobile internet device with intuitive Google Android 2.1 system, nVIDIA's Tegra 250 engine, a 25.7cm (10.1") TruBrite display and built-in keyboard for ease of use. It also offers up to 8 hours constant battery and up to 180 hours standby as well as instant-on functionality making it the perfect device for social networking and web browsing.

Maximum Memory512 MB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • AC100-10U Netbook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year
Bus Speed333 MHz