The best way to describe Toshiba's Satellite L300 is basic. It's a straightforward two-tone laptop in silver and black, and doesn't pretend to be "personalised" to your needs. There's no mess of multimedia buttons either, or a fingerprint scanner. In fact it's so basic, that it even comes with Windows Vista Home Basic — a huge blight which can fortunately be updated to Home Premium, and we suggest you take this path. The more audacious among you, we're sure, will order the machine with Home Basic, then nuke it and install Ubuntu.
A matte black keyboard sits nestled in a silver base, and a black trim above that houses the speakers and power button. The exhaust vent is on the left-hand side, so if you're a lefty and use an external mouse your hand could get a nice blast of hot air every now and then. And really, that's it.
The standards are all here — a webcam at the top of the 15.4-inch, 1,280 by 800 screen; modem port on the back; SD card reader, wireless on/off switch, headphone and microphone jack, and volume dial at the front; USB port and DVD drive on the right; and two USB ports, an Ethernet port, VGA out and ancient PCMCIA card on the left. The L300 is clearly targeted at those who don't update their laptop that often, and are working off a budget.
Internally, it's just as functional and unexciting — a single core Intel Celeron 550 runs at 2GHz, 1GB of RAM will get you by, the Intel GMA X3100 is workable and the 120GB hard drive passes muster. Make no bones about it, this is not a performance machine. But for AU$949 it's really hard to complain — the specs and price makes this the perfect cheap office or Internet machine.