Toshiba's NB205 Netbooks start at $350, have sleep-and-charge port

Toshiba's new Netbooks are light, colorful, and can charge your USB devices even when shut down, thanks to a sleep-and-charge USB port.

The Toshiba NB250-310 Netbook can charge USB gadgets all the time. Toshiba

The Netbook arena keeps growing, but it's a good thing new features sprout up once in a while to keep our attention going. Toshiba's NB205 line of Netbooks are on their way to the U.S., in two different form-factor flavors: one for lovers of flat-keyboarded black machines, and a slightly slicker model with raised keys and bright colors.

What makes them truly notable notebooks, however, is their inclusion of a sleep-and-charge USB port. Available on other Toshiba models of laptops, the port can charge USB devices even when the Netbook is turned off. This is a great idea: it turns your dormant Netbook into a makeshift backup battery for your travel gear. It's a good thing, then, that the NB205 comes with a six-cell battery standard instead of a three-cell, because if you're like we are at an airport, you're going to use that sleep-and-charge quite a bit.

The NB205's specs are otherwise Netbook-standard: an Intel N280 processor (slightly faster than the more common N270), 1GB DDR2 RAM expandable to 2GB, 160GB HD, Windows XP, a 10.1-inch TruBrite LED-backlit LCD, and 802.11 b/g wireless. There's also a 2-in-1 memory card slot and an RGB port for display connection. Packed with a six-cell battery, the NB205 weighs 2.9 pounds. There's also a built-in hard-drive impact sensor included in all models.

For a difference of 50 dollars, two configurations are available, with Bluetooth available in the NB205-310, but otherwise identical internal specs. The NB205-210, priced at $350, only comes in black and has a full flat keyboard. The NB205-310 is $400, but has a metallic finish, comes in four different colors (Sable Brown, Frost White, Posh Pink, and Indigo Blue), and has a raised "chiclet" keyboard in the style of the MacBook. The touchpads in both models promise to be "laptop-size," and from the photos, they look more than ample.

The NB205 line is Energy Star 5.0 compliant.

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,, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.


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