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Toshiba Mini NB305-N410BN review: Toshiba Mini NB305-N410BN

Toshiba Mini NB305-N410BN

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
6 min read

The world of cheap, ubiquitous, and nearly identical Netbooks has been a stable and predictable landscape for a while now, and hasn't gotten any less predictable with the launch of Intel's next generation of Atom processors. Whereas Netbooks used to run Windows XP, have N270 processors, and 1GB RAM/160GB hard drive as standards, now Netbooks run Windows 7 Starter, have N450 processors, and have 1GB RAM/250GB hard-drive configurations, with occasional variations.


Toshiba Mini NB305-N410BN

The Good

Great battery life; large touch pad; improved speakers, bulge-free battery; sleep-and-charge USB port.

The Bad

The keyboard, while wide, has awkwardly sized keys for touch-typing; some Netbooks offer HD displays for the same price.

The Bottom Line

With a new Atom processor and a tweaked design, the Toshiba Mini NB305-N410BN is an improvement over the already excellent NB205, at a price that's identical.

Those variations--extra RAM, better resolution or larger screens, larger batteries, and keyboard designs--define how much any Netbook is worth. The Toshiba Mini NB305-N410 is, by most standards, an average Netbook in terms of base features. At $399, it's affordable, but still $100 more than some budget models out there. On the other hand, the advantages when compared against the previous Toshiba Mini NB205 model we reviewed last December are considerable. For the same price, the Mini NB305-N410 has much-improved battery life, thanks to its new N450 Atom processor, plus the battery bulge we always hated about the NB series has been nearly eliminated. Throw in stereo speakers, and the NB305-N410 is a good step up from Toshiba Netbooks of the past, and it's offered at the same exact price point.

Price as reviewed $399
Processor 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N450
Memory 1GB, 800 MHz DDR2
Hard drive 250GB 5,400rpm
Chipset NM10
Graphics Intel GMA 3150
Operating system Windows 7 Starter
Dimensions (WD) 10.5 x 7.6 inches
Height 1.4 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 10.1 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 3.5/2.9 pounds
Category Netbook

Toshiba's Mini NB series of Netbooks has always been one of the strongest in terms of overall construction and design. With an attractive, silver, plastic finish and a bronzed, semi-shiny lid on our Sable Brown version, the NB305-N410BN cuts a professional profile and avoids looking like a toy, even in colors such as royal blue and frost white.

Even better, the battery that used to bulge out the back has now been tucked under the chassis, leaving a slight riser underneath that's barely noticeable. The result is a far more compact body all around and cleaner lines. The NB305 series does include another configuration, the NB305-N310, with a different tapered keyboard, Windows XP, and only a 160GB hard drive. The price on the NB305-N310, however, is only $50 less than the N410 we reviewed. We prefer the N410, but some might prefer Windows XP to the slightly under-featured 32-bit Windows 7 Starter.

Inside, a large rounded hinge houses the power button, centered above the keyboard. Shiny plastic frames the glossy inset 10.1-inch screen, and an integrated Web camera provides decent Web video chat with the included Skype software. The NB305-N410 keyboard is a raised chiclet-style affair, running edge to edge across the Netbook base and making the most of the limited space. The keyboard has a similar feeling to that of the Sony Vaio W, but the keys are larger. Unfortunately, they're a bit wider than they are tall, and are oddly oriented, which is sure to provide some difficulty to touch-typers--the space bar is smaller than normal, and tab keys feel very compressed. The multitouch touch pad is huge by Netbook standards, and the two buttons below are easy to click--more so than on the Toshiba Satellite T100 series.

Below the keyboard, a somewhat absurd array of LED indicator lights display everything from Wi-Fi status to whether the battery's low. Honestly, Toshiba could have whittled down the light array to five key functions, instead of nine.

The 10.1-inch glossy LED-backlit screen on the Mini NB305-N410 has a 1,024x600-pixel native resolution. Though this lower-than-HD-resolution screen is common, there are plenty of Netbooks with 1,366x768-pixel resolution displays, including the Sony Vaio W series. Colors and icons are crisp and bright, offering a better-than-average experience once resolution is forgiven. The NB305's audio has received a welcome bump up from the NB205 series, adding a second speaker for stereo sound. The speakers still lean toward tinny and soft, but they are significantly louder than they were before.

  Toshiba Mini NB305-N410BN Average for category [Netbook]
Video VGA-out VGA
Audio Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks headphone/microphone jacks
Data 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 2.0/sleep and charge, SD card reader 2 USB 2.0, SD card reader
Expansion None None
Networking Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Optical drive None None

Our favorite feature on Toshiba laptops, the sleep-and-charge USB port, is once again included on the Mini NB305-N410BN. Gladly, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi is included, but unfortunately Bluetooth is not. The NB305-N410 can expand its memory from the included 1GB of RAM up to 2GB, but upgrade features beyond that are somewhat limited.

Intel's new Atom N450 processor offers nearly the same level of performance as previous N270/280 Atom processors, and the NB305-N410 therefore doesn't do much more than its predecessor, the NB205. Basic single-process tasks such as Web browsing, light office work, and e-mail are perfect fits for a Netbook such as this, but heavier multitasking and online video viewing will be disappointing. Our Hulu-watching experience ranged from choppy and passable to full-screen stutter that's unbearable, although downloaded video files play relatively well.

Juice box
Mainstream (Avg watts/hour) Toshiba Mini NB305-N410
Off (60%) 0.81
Sleep (10%) 0.91
Idle (25%) 5.63
Load (05%) 15.2
Raw kWh Number 24.04
Annual energy cost $2.73

Annual energy consumption cost
Toshiba Mini NB305-N410BN

The six-cell battery in the Toshiba Mini NB305-N410 ran for 7 hours and 4 minutes using our video playback battery drain test, which is a fantastic number for a Netbook. Great battery life is fast becoming a standard of newer Atom N450 Netbooks, but it's important to note that 7 hours represents what we consider a grueling scenario of continuous video playback: under less strenuous conditions, battery life should be even longer.

Toshiba includes an industry-standard, one-year, parts-and-labor warranty with the Mini NB305-N410, which can also be upgraded to three-year coverage. Support is accessible 24-7 via a toll-free phone line, an online knowledge base, and a Web site with driver downloads.

Jalbum photo conversion test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Multimedia Multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Mini NB305-N410BN

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Toshiba Mini NB305-N410BN
Windows 7 Starter; 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 50MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 3150; 250GB Hitachi 5400rpm

Sony Vaio Eco VPC-W212AX
Windows 7 Starter; 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 250MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 3150; 250GB Seagate 5400rpm

Asus Eee PC 1201N
Windows 7 Starter; 1.6GHz Intel Atom N330 Dual-Core; 2048MB DDR2 SDRAM 2050MHz; 256MB Nvidia ION; 250GB Hitachi 5400rpm

Acer Ferrari One
Windows 7 Home Premium; 1.2GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core L310; 4096MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 384MB (Dedicated) ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200; 250GB Seagate 5400rpm

Acer Aspire One 532h-2326
Windows 7 Starter; 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 250MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 3150; 250GB Seagate 5400rpm

Asus Eee PC 1005PE
Windows 7 Starter; 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 251MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 3150; 250GB Seagate 5400rpm

HP Mini 5102
Windows 7 Starter; 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 248MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 3150; 160GB Seagate 7200rpm

Find out more about how we test laptops.


Toshiba Mini NB305-N410BN

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Performance 7Battery 9Support 7