Toshiba Satellite M100 - FULL REVIEW

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Balzak, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. Balzak

    Balzak New Member

    Dec 31, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Toshiba Satellite M100

    Overview and Introducion:

    This is a review of the Toshiba Satellite M100. Judging from the many stores I went to, it seems that the M100 is mostly available online. It comes fully customizeable with dual core options.


    Specs are:

    INTEL CORE DUO T2500 2.00GHZ
    HDD0039 120GB HDD (5400RPM, SATA)
    14" WIDESCREEN XGA w/TRULIFE (1280X800)
    2 GB PC2-5300 667MHz
    4 x USB 2..0
    1 Firewire
    1 S-Video
    1 VGA Monitor Output
    1 Infrared port
    1 PCMCIA slot with bonus stowable remote control (for express player & windows)
    DIMENSIONS: 13.5" x 9.53" x 1.5"

    *UPDATE - I just installed the second memory module under the keyboard Using a guitar pick, and small screw driver. The installation is as simple as removing the upper keyboard plate, unscrewing the keyboard, and unscrewing the RAM heat sheild. This machine runs VERY FAST!

    Reasons for buying:

    I actually sold my Dell inspiron 6000 15.4" to buy this computer. I wanted to be able to do everything I did on the Dell with a smaller computer. I liked the dual core and I needed the dedicated video for 3D rendering.


    Build & Design:

    This is a great feeling laptop. The way it was put together feels solid, and I'm confident to pick it up with one hand without creeks. The lid has a little bit of play, but nothing enough to change what is displayed on the lcd screen. The screen hinges are very solid and firm with no play, except for some spring action, which all laptops have. There is a very very minor creek when moving the lid slowly from a stop, but nothing bothersome. The Latch could be a bit more solid though, as it is made of plastic and is a single latch design in the center, as opposed to two on each side. Because of this, if you press down on one side of the lid, the other side goes up just a bit.

    The palmrests are solid and offer great support when typing

    One thing that subtracts from the solid feel of the M100 is the dvd-rom faceplate. It is made of cheap and thin plastic.



    There is minor light leakage at the bottom of the screen. I consider myself a very anal and meticlulous person, and to me, this minute amount of leakage doesn't justify returning the screen for one that could possibly be worse. During normal opperation, I do not notice any light leakage, and a black screen in a dark room is not bad at all. Other than that, the screen is very vivid and has great contrast/brightness. Toshiba's Trulife has won me over.

    A drawback is the relatively low resolution. I was used to a 1680 x 1050 15.4" screen, and going to the M100's 1280 x 800 lost me some real estate. This resolution is acceptable in my opinion. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to multitask with such a resolution, but I'm doing fine. I do long for a 1440 x 900 14.1", though!


    I ordered the Harmon/Kardon speaker option. I played a few dvd's and Music files, and they handle them just fine. The sound isn't stellar, but it is better than other laptops that I've heard with normal speakers. If you want amazing sound, don't depend on these, because at the end of the day, they're still laptop speakers.

    Processor and Performance:

    Everything is snappy and quick, and I've noticed a increase in speed coming from my Inspiron 6000 (2.13GHz/2GB). The M100 came with an ATI X1400, which is supposed to perform just a tad bit better than the ATI X300 (silly naming scheme if you ask me). I haven't installed any games yet.


    I used the Super Pi program since that's what people have been using to test cpu speed. Calculating 2 million digits, I got 1min 20sec.

    I also downloaded 3dMarks05 to see what I'd score. I installed Omega drivers, so that probaly improved performance. I noticed that the drivers changed the name of myt X1400 to "M54". I don't know what an M54 is, so I'll need to look it up. After chugging through the tests, I ended up with a 3dMarks05 score of 2219.

    Keyboard and Touchpad:

    The Keyboard has a small amount of flex, when pushed down on, but not during normal typing. One drawback, however, is the stroke and force used to press the keys. The Dell Inspiron 6000's keyboard is the best I have ever typed on, so the feel of this keyboard is a step down. I measured the keystroke of the letter H, and it goes about 2.5mm deep - too deep for a laptop keyboard in my opinion. Also, it's not as smooth as the inspiron 6000 in terms of stroke force. A little bit of force needs to be applied to turn that potential energy into kinetic energy to bring the key down. All in all, the keyboard isn't terrible, so much as tolerable. It's decent, at best. I also miss the control button on the right side of the keyboard, and I'm still getting used to the delete key being next to the right alternate key.

    The plastic used feels good and like I said before, there are no creeks or gaps and everything fits together fine. I have yet to try to find a way under the keyboard to expand memory because there are no obvious pry-points.

    The Touchpad is nice to use, althought I use a bluetooth mouse. The touchpad buttons are angled downwards at the edge of the front, but I don't see that posing a problem for most people.

    Fingerprint Reader:

    This thing works like a charm. I'm currently using it with firefox and it stores passwords. For example, at the yahoo mail screen, all I need to do is swipe my fingerprint, and I'm directed to my inbox. I also log on into windows using my fingerprint.

    Heat and Noise:

    The exhaust port is a little large and resides on the left side towards the back. I really wish that the vga plug and the exhaust outlet could have switched places to push the heat further back as the fan steadily emits rather warm air. Since I am lefthanded, I need to keep my hand away from the exhaust outlet to stay away from the heat. The fan is on most of the time, probably due to the dedicated graphics card, but it's not too loud at all. I also need to point out that the area on either side of the touch pad get warm after the computer has been on for a while. I've gotten used to it, but it may cause some discomfort for some people.

    The optical drive is quiet, so I didn't use the dvd-silencer program that toshiba provides on its website.



    I haven't had one dropped signal yet, and I can pick up signal from all over my house. The bluetooth stack for toshiba is nice and doesnt hog resources. Smooth sailing. Also included is an infrared port, which interfaces with the PCMCIA-stowable remote control. It can also interface with IR capable devices. The remote control itself is a neat bonus, and easily slides in to the slot (ejected by the pushout button). It can be used to power on and off the computer, and control the express media mode. The express media mode lets you watch movies and music without booting windows.



    I was disappointed by how large the 12-cell battery was. It protrudes 1+3.5/8" (37mm) from the rear of the computer. I am currently testing out the battery life, and if half of that is long enough, I will switch to a 6-cell, which sits flush with the rear.

    Running on battery, with wifi, using a bluetooth mouse, brightness at 5/8 at regular usage, I got 4 hours and 24 minutes. a 6-cell should get about 2hours and 10 minutes with similar specs.


    Operating System and Software:

    After testing my RAM out and looking at the factory cluttered desktop, I installed Windows XP Media Center 2005 - Much better. Royale Vista 1.1 theme - way better.


    I'm still getting used to this laptop. I like the size, but like i said, the huge battery somewhat defeats the purpose of going from a 15.4" to a 14.1". In my laptop back, the M100 fits just as deep as my inspiron 6000 did. The build quality is better than my old Dell's, I have to admit, but I definitely paid for it.

    The Good:

    -Quality Build
    -Small and light
    -Great Performance
    -Vivid Screen
    -IR port & fingerprint reader is convenient

    The Acceptable:

    -Keyboard could use a little refinement (long stoke is unnecessary)
    -Orange LED for on/off of wireless is bright in the dark
    -Palmrests become warm (heated-palmrest for winter?)
    -Exhaust is warm

    The Ugly:

    -DVD-Drive door feels cheap and flimsy
    -Sasquatch of a battery is gar-friggin-gantuan


    $1716 with tax/free shipping after 25% off sale

    3-year extended warranty with systemguard accidental damage protection
    $291 with tax - $150 mail in rebate = $141
  2. 5Gen_Prelude

    5Gen_Prelude There might not be an "I" in the word "Team", but

    Mar 14, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Vancouver, BC, CANADA
    I've lost a bit of faith in Toshiba when I showed up for work and they had 2 of the same model of laptops that I have (Tecra S1). So all 3 laptops of that model that I have personally known have had their motherboards replaced - granted the 3 year warranty did help. The other Toshiba's here haven't had the same issues however so maybe that was just a lemon of a model.
  3. itsosimpo

    itsosimpo Guest

    i had a toshiba laptop and it constantly shut off due to overheating....i don't remember the model number but it had a blue shell. it was a satellite model tho.. i didn 't try utilizing it with an os other than windows. i was thinking it's not entirely compatable with it.

Share This Page