Single-core CPUs and Windows 7 thin-and-lights shouldn't mix: Toshiba T135-S1300

The Toshiba T135-S1300 is a new Windows 7 thin-and-light, but that doesn't necessarily mean its innards are shiny and new.

Toshiba Satellite T135-S1300: single-core CPU inside. Sarah Tew/CNET

We have a bit of a beef with a trend that's currently happening in full-size (by that we mean 13-inch and above) thin-and-light laptops, the machines that as of late have shaved thickness at the expense of optical drives and often processor power. While the battery life on thin-and-lights generally exceeds expectations, the compromise that's often been used is incorporating a single-core ultra-low-voltage processor, which provides marginally better performance than the Atom processor on any Netbook.

Unfortunately, thin-and-lights are more expensive than Netbooks--often by several hundred dollars at the least--and other than increased screen size, they run the risk of not showing much extra value when going single-core. Even worse, it's hard for consumers to tell when their thin-and-light has a single-core or dual-core CPU inside. Thin-and-light laptops may look similar, but they're not all made the same. It's a deceptive world out there, especially since many thin-and-lights trade performance for a stylishly thin chassis, all while marketing a mainstream look that suggests performance equal to other notebooks.

The $599 Toshiba T135-S1300 is part of Toshiba's new T100 line of optical-drive-free thin-and-lights, losing thickness in exchange for a portable design competitive with products such as the Asus UL30A-A1 and the Acer Timeline 3810T. It's set to debut on October 22, when Windows 7 launches its way onto retail shelves and into PCs everywhere.

Unfortunately, while the design tries hard, it simply doesn't provide the power that its Windows 7-running, HDMI-port-toting countenance suggests. This is not a multimedia machine on a budget: rather, it's a slim but underpowered single-core 13.3-inch laptop.

That's not to say we aren't excited about Toshiba's long-term decision to slim down its laptops and enter the world of thin-and-lights, and in other configurations, the T100 series could provide better value. But right now, we were left a little in the cold.

Read the rest of our review of the Toshiba Satellite T135-S1300.

About the author

Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired, Esquire.com, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.

 

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