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Toshiba NB520-10U review

An attractive netbook with ace sound and great battery life

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1024 x 600
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Good sound quality
  • Connectivity
  • Build quality
  • Battery life

Against

  • Performance
  • Small keyboard

From the lime-green rubberised lid to the integrated Harmon/Kardon speakers, the Toshiba NB520-10U is a netbook that demands attention.

Not content to be a standard black business appliance, the Toshiba NB520-10U wants to be the life and soul of the party. It's cooler and louder than the Asus Eee PC and one of the best netbooks worth owning.

The Toshiba comes in a choice of colours; green, blue or brown. Your chosen hue extends to the lid, mouse buttons and speaker edging while the rest of the chassis is solid black. The textured rubber of the lid is pleasant to touch and won't get covered in grubby fingerprints.

There's no flex to be found around the chassis and the netbook is easily light enough to carry around without a problem. There's also a little extra bulk given to the battery compartment so, when open, the netbook is slightly raised at the back giving you a nice typing angle to work with.

The only minor gripes we had with the design was a particularly thick bezel and an awkwardly placed power button that's nestled in the hinge below the centre of the screen. These are some tiny niggles but overall the design of the Toshiba is catching and stylish with a Converse-cool kind of appeal.

Of course, most noticeable are the twin speakers built into the palm rest. They've been developed with Harman/Kardon technology and will reach a genuinely impressive volume for a netbook. We were also impressed with the bass we could get out of it.

The 120GB disk space will likely preclude you from loading your entire music collection onto the hard drive, but if you subscribe to a streaming service like Spotify, the Toshiba would be a great addition to any house party.

If you want to work with this netbook then using the keyboard isn't immediately intuitive as it's packed pretty tightly into the chassis. Frankly, we preferred typing on the Acer Aspire One or Asus Eee PC, but anyone using this netbook regularly will adapt to the feeling of the keys quickly.

Toshiba nb520 10u

The touchpad is neither too responsive nor sluggish and is positioned well – you can use your thumb without your fingers leaving the keyboard. Although, being a netbook, it's a little on the small side.

The standard Intel Atom processor, 1GB RAM and Windows 7 Starter OS means this won't rival a laptop for performance. But if you want to browse the web and type out an email while streaming some music, you won't have any problems here.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Battery Eater '05: 220 minutes
Cinebench: 521
3DMark 2006: 151

On top of that, the battery life is exemplary. By far and away the most important feature for a netbook, Toshiba has ensured you won't need to regularly charge and the NB520 lasted for 220 minutes under our barrage of tests.

Advanced features

Toshiba has thrown some nice features into the NB520 to make it an even better choice for a netbook purchase. Plug an MP3 player into the USB port and you can use the Toshiba's speakers to play your music, even when the machine is in standby or switched off.

It also has built in sleep-and-charge facility, so you can charge up a USB device while the laptop is powered down and idle.

This is a netbook a little different from others available and Toshiba has put together a great product – highly recommended for anyone who wants to enjoy their collection of music when they are on the move.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelGMA 3150
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time10 Hour
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyMini NB520
Operating System Architecture32-bit
Processor ModelN570
ColourMetallic Lime Green
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)1.32 kg
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, WEEE
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 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height35.5 mm
Width262 mm
Depth190 mm
Screen ModeWSVGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesNB520
ManufacturerToshiba
Product ModelNB520-10U
Product NameMini NB520-10U Netbook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineMini
Aspect Ratio128:75
Manufacturer Part NumberPLL52E-01U00SEN
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.toshiba.co.uk
Marketing Information

Looking for a lightweight companion PC that screams style without cramping your style? One that's perfect for emailing, browsing, or updating Facebook and Twitter? Our award-winning line of netbooks will keep in touch with the things that matter most-no matter where you go.

Easy Mobility

Because life doesn't just happen when you're standing still, Toshiba netbooks are ready wherever and whenever you are. They offer up to an eight-hour battery life rating so you can sail by power outlets. Also available a Webcam and microphone for chatting live, and an SD slot for added storage.

Maximum Memory2 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Mini NB520-10U Netbook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year