Toshiba Satellite L630/00E review: Toshiba Satellite L630/00E

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The Good Includes both 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Home Premium. Reasonably rugged. Decent battery life, but you'd expect that for the specs.

The Bad Keyboard is awful to type on. Status lights aren't visible due to positioning. SSD would increase ruggedness.

The Bottom Line Toshiba's L630/00E is very much an entry-level laptop, with the spin of being kid-friendly. While the wipe-clean keyboard is horrible to use for adults, it may save some sanity if you decide to go down the path of buying a computer for your kids.

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6.5 Overall

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It must be noted from the outset that this is the 00E model of the Satellite L630, and despite the seemingly innocuous nomenclature it means a world of difference. The other L630s are mostly black, multimedia-focused laptops. While the L630 looks business-like, the 00E looks like the love-child of Alien and Crayola.

It feels reasonably rugged with its faux kickplate finish, while the lime green edge protectors, mouse and power buttons certainly make it unique. It's the keyboard though that steals the, er, limelight.

Apart from every letter being coloured in the same green, Toshiba's included what it calls a "wipeable keyboard" — a rubber membrane sitting over the real keyboard. It's a little loose, is non-removable (unless you never want to use the membrane again), and despite many attempts at acclimatising it is one of the more unpleasant keyboards we've used, if only because the sensation of typing feels like running your fingers repeatedly over a popped blister.

The slack response caused by the rubber causes typing accuracy to go down, and there are no keyboard lights; the only way you'll know Caps Lock is on is to type and find out. There are other status lights, but they're useless, as they've been placed on the lip of the laptop, completely out of sight when using the machine.

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