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Toshiba NB250 review

Can Toshiba's netbook make its case over the tablet onslaught?

Verdict

Toshiba nb250

Toshiba's NB250 is a perfectly fine netbook. It's solidly constructed, it doesn't look too offensive, and – like every other netbook – it doesn't push any boundaries basically by definition. If you're in the market for a portable PC it is a great choice, probably better than an Android tablet or the Apple iPad given its potential range of functionality. It's not as cool, though, or as simple to whip out at any opportunity.

Being a netbook, it's quite hardy, too. Even though this machine first hit the market in mid-2010, it stands up today, and it'll stand up in a year's time.

That's because you won't be asking too much of it; as long as you're not looking to play games or do anything more than running office applications or internet browsing, it's perfectly adequate.

We liked

The NB250's keyboard is an absolute joy to use. It's super-wide, particularly for a netbook, and the keys are solid and (mostly) well laid out. The trackpad is similarly good, definitely amongst the best we've used. If you're considering a netbook because of its range of input options, this is great.

Toshiba has laid out the ports very well, with a couple of USB ports on the right and everything else on the left. It just makes sense if you're right handed and you might want to plug in a mouse.

The price is definitely right in comparison to the parallel tablet market. Pick up a tablet for £225 and you'll be stuck with something like the seven-inch Creative Ziio.

And the battery life? Amazing. An easy eight hours, which makes the NB250 a plausible companion to a bigger laptop if you're constantly running out of charge.

We disliked

The screen is pretty poor, without a coherent good viewing angle; the colours aren't consistent, and there's really no way to use it without noticing its shortcomings. 600 pixels isn't quite enough height for a web browser, either.

Some slightly annoying decisions have been made with the layout of the keyboard – the right shift key doesn't stretch all the way to the edge, for example. Get used to pressing Page Up instead.

Toshiba has also loaded the NB250 with shovelware. Yes, complaining about shovelware is entirely pointless, but it's there and it annoyed us. This is a low-powered machine, so the less detritus running the better.

Verdict

Toshiba has put together a decent netbook at a decent price with the NB250. It's solidly built and completely unrevolutionary, like any netbook should be, but it's also evidence that this sector of the market is far from deceased. If, for some reason, you're convinced you need a tablet PC for light mobile working and web browsing, you need your head checked.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time8.75 Hour
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Processor ModelN455
ColourGlossy Black
Operating SystemWindows 7 Starter
Brand NameToshiba
Processor Speed1.66 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Screen Resolution1024 x 600
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.18 kg
Cache512 KB
Processor CoreSingle-core (1 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Total Memory Slots1
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 250 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyTruBrite
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height30.8 mm
Width236 mm
Depth211.5 mm
Screen ModeWSVGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
ManufacturerToshiba
Product ModelNB250-108
Product NameNB250-108 Netbook PC
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberPLL2PE-00300WEN
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.toshiba.co.uk
Marketing Information

Essential netbook computing. Offering up to 8.5 hours battery life, the ultra lightweight NB250 has a stylish gloss black textured design and features a 25.7cm (10.1" TruBrite display. Processing is provided by the latest Intel Atom processors and the NB250 has a near full-size keyboard for ease of use.

Maximum Memory2 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • NB250-108 Netbook PC
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year