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Toshiba NB250 review

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

Toshiba NB250
Is it worth ignoring the shiny tablets and embracing the good ol' netbook?

Our Verdict

A great example of the strengths of netbooks, even if there are a few niggles.


  • Great keyboard
  • Amazing battery life
  • Solid construction
  • Well priced
  • Better performance than most tablets


  • Shoddy speakers
  • Odd keyboard layout
  • Annoying, hard-to-adjust screen
  • Full of shovelware
  • Worse performance than most laptops

There's a big question in the PC market at the moment: Has the netbook had its time? It's not hard to argue that it has. Certainly the Toshiba NB250 is what you'd call a standard example of the genre. It doesn't do anything remarkable to push netbooks to radical new heights.

Technologically – and this a given for the genre – the NB250 is a world away from Core i5 notebooks such as our top-rated Samsung R590, which comes in at triple the price, and even the cheap-but cheerful £590 Medion Akoya P6625.

Core i5 notebooks mix power and performance, don't cost the world (although they look pricey next to the likes of this), and have none of the fundamental restrictions of Atom-powered netbooks.

Of course, the netbook isn't meant to compete with powerful PCs like these. It's meant for slinging in a bag, taking on the road, doing the tiny things and doing them for longer than any power-hungry platform could even hope to.

Netbooks are good at it, too. But times have changed, hence the initial question. We live in Steve Jobs' radical 'Post-PC era', where tablets like the iPad and ever-strengthening smartphones are doing the netbook's work and far more besides.

Toshiba nb250

But don't panic. The Toshiba NB250 still has its place, as we'll prove. Your bag deserves a netbook even if you've already got a touchscreen tablet or a shiny mobile phone. As long as you're not looking to run heavyweight games or play high-def video, a low powered laptop is the perfect computing partner.

What's more, the NB250 has a few tricks up its sleeve that set it apart from the near-identical competition.