Toshiba Satellite T215, T235 Supersize Our Fave Netbook Keyboard-Touchpad

A stiff, narrow touch button. Too much gloss. The keys are slippery. We didn’t have many bad things to say about Toshiba’s Satellite T115 or T135, but almost all of our complaints dealt with ergonomics. Well, it looks like the company was listening, because the new T200 series answers the call for comfort.

Both the 11.6-inch T215 and 13-inch T235 feature raised tile keyboards and wide touchpads inspired by the award-winning NB series netbook series. They’re just fuller sized. Toshiba has also cut down on fingerprint smudges by debuting a new dual-tone Fusion Chrome design. The outside has a patterned lid with three color options (red, white, and black) and the inside has a matte silver textured with chrome trim.

Check out the specs, pricing, gallery, and hands-on video below.

Available starting June 20, both lightweight notebooks will feature HDMI ports, integrated webcams, and hard drive impact sensors and USB Sleep-and-Charge ports. The T215 weighs in at 3.3 pounds (not much heavier than a netbook) and starts at $469 for the single-core AMD Neo II model and $499 for the dual-core version. Expect around 5 hours of battery life.

The 13-inch T235 tips the scales at 3.9 pounds and starts at $549 for the AMD model and $629 for the Intel version with a U5400 processor. The Intel-powered T235 should last nearly 9 hours on a charge, while the AMD system gets a little over 6 hours. However, that notebook sports more powerful ATI Mobility Radeon 4225 graphics.

Stay tuned for full reviews of both systems to see if Toshiba can shake up the ultraportable market like it did with netbooks.

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AUTHOR BIO
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. Mark Holle Says:

    I spent some time with the AMD T235 version at Office Depot (K625/4225). It looks like Toshiba has a winner on its hands.

    In trying to analyze which model to buy, the difficulty here is that we are dealing with new technology in both the AMD and Intel chipsets. We have some Passmark info on the AMD version (1007) but nothing in terms of reviews (thermal and battery life) yet. We know even less about the Intel version.

    I’ve been burned (literally) by choosing AMD before. Unless someone can convince me that AMD has had a breakthrough, I can’t make the same mistake again. That’s a shame since I believe the K625/4225 version is the better performer than the U5400/HD. Let’s start to here some reviews so we know.

  2. Stefanie Says:

    Mark- I too am looking for more info on the U5400 in terms of performance and speed….I also saw this one at OD and LOVED it instantly… only thing holding me back is that chip… I don’t know if it would be markedly slower than a different laptop running w/an i3-330 or i3-350 … wish there were more reviews out there, but I guess it’s too new yet.

  3. grave72 Says:

    I called toshiba sales to see if they had any opinion. Rep I talked to did not seem to help, and I didn’t feel he knew anything at all. He said battery life between the 1340,1345,and 1350 were the same. I’ve seen different statements on the web. The rep also said their graphics/video capability were all the same….??? I would like some more qualified opinions on these topics, and/or some more reviews before purchasing. And what’s the difference with the 1352 (best buy has it)… seems way cheaper but is it the same specs?

  4. Jay J Says:

    I had a chance to review both the T235-1350 and the 1345, the latter is the AMD/ATI model and it got a 4.0 Windows Experience (Win 7) vs a 3.4 for the Intel model.

    Any I3-350 powered notebook would blow these away, but you’d be looking at anywhere from $150-$300 price difference.

    I saw an Acer 13″ notebook running an I3-350 with 4GB of RAM, like the T235 and a 320HD again like the T235 and it’s Win Exp score was like a 5.7 if I recall correctly, but it was also $200 more than the T235D-S1345 that I saw on sale this week (until 7-24-10) at Office Depot and I can’t justify the big of a price diff for the extra horsepower.

    I would LOVE to see some 3D Mark scores on these models if anyone out there can post them that would terrific.

    I’d also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see a comparison of this vs. the new Asus 1215n that is coming out in a few weeks.

    Thanks

  5. Jay J Says:

    PS: In the video review above, the author states that the 13.3″ T235 will only be available with the Intel CPU… That’s obviously incorrect. Check toshibadirect.com for specs on all 3 of the 13.3″ models.

  6. danielevan Says:

    After a little over a month of owning the AMD Turion version of the t235, I have no idea how anyone could rave about the keyboard. Yeah, it feels great to type with, but if I could ever make it through more than a paragraph without the thing fritzing out and moving the cursor around on me, I would probably have a heart attack. At first I thought maybe I was just bumping buttons with my wrist, but now I religiously keep my hands well above the keyboard, and it still won’t stop. It will jump back to an earlier point in the text, jump dialog boxes while logging in to websites, and sometimes highlight and delete sections of text (and I know I didn’t hit ctrl+A, or any other shortcuts). I really can’t figure out what is causing this, and everything else about this laptop is simply wonderful for the price and incredibly light weight. It’s really disappointing, I would be fully in love with this computer if not for this issue.

  7. DesmondVT Says:

    Daniel,

    Jumping cursors is a problem with many touchpads I’ve used. You can use the touchpad UI control from the Control Panel to disable touchpad clicks. It’ll still detect finger drags so you can mouse around, but you have to use the physical buttons to perform clicks. It’s a minor inconvenience, but completely eliminates the spurious clicks and jumping cursor problem that is so maddening.

    Also, I own both the earlier model T125 and just bought the current T215 for my wife, and I have to say the T125 is definitely impressive from a fit and finish standpoint. Improved chassis stiffness, no more smudges and smears, and better touchpad/button layout. LOVE the new keyboard. I got her the red chassis and it’s really handsome.

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