LAS VEGAS--Back when the line first debuted around the Windows 7 launch, we reviewed and generally liked Toshiba's T100 series of thin-and-light laptops, with some reservations. Their glossy plastic construction and uncomfortable trackpads weren't ideal, and although they were affordable, the entire line used single and dual-core Pentium ULV processors, which perform better than Atoms but worse than Core 2 Duos.
Toshiba's CES updates to the T100 line include AMD Neo processors, offering what Toshiba says will be more computing power for a similar price. The official news was announced today, and we had a chance to see the models a few weeks ago, but the form factor to the T100 series has remained unchanged. The news is exciting because, with increased graphics power thanks to the included ATI Radeon 3200 HD processor, video streaming and HD playback should be improved in the new T100s. This was a notable drawback in the holiday models of the Satellite T135 and T115 models we reviewed.
The 11-inch Satellite T115D will come with a choice of AMD Athlon Neo processors, 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and optional Bluetooth. The starting price is $449, similar to before. The 13.3-inch Satellite T135D will add a Turion Neo CPU option, plus a maximum hard drive capacity of 320GB, for a starting price of $599.
This isn't the first shift to AMD we've seen in thin-and-lights: in fact, Lenovo made a similar move with their ThinkPad X100e and ThinkPad Edge laptops. Perhaps AMD could be making a comeback in the zone between Netbooks and full-fledged laptops: stay tuned for reviews when we can get our hands on a few after CES.