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Toshiba Satellite X200-219 review: Toshiba Satellite X200-219

Everyone wants good performance, but there are few who can actually afford the premium. Enter the Toshiba Satellite X200-219: with a price tag around the £900 mark and decent performance for both desktop and gaming applications, it could be an excellent find.

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8.3

Toshiba Satellite X200-219

The Good

High performance; excellent graphics; good expansion.

The Bad

Very short battery life; heavy; screen isn't HD resolution.

The Bottom Line

Performance doesn't have to come at a premium rate. The Toshiba Satellite X200-219 proves this to be true. Stick to your desk, though: it's too heavy to use on the go and its battery life is incredibly short

Strengths
The X200 is equipped with the slightly older Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 running at 2.2GHz. When combined with a reasonable 2GB of RAM, it proved it could keep up with the pack when it comes to performance. It managed to achieve a PCMark 2005 score of 5,615, which puts it up there with some of the fastest laptops we've seen.

It's also particularly impressive when it comes to gaming, featuring not one but two Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT graphics chips in an SLI configuration. As a result it's no surprise that it was capable of notching up to a 3DMark 2006 score of 3,740. That's pretty high for a semi-portable machine.

Elsewhere, its specification may seem pared down compared to more expensive machines, but it's still more than enough for most users. For example, the two 160GB hard drives may provide less space, but 320GB is still a huge amount of storage and will take a while to fill up. Unless you're on BitTorrent downloading all the unrated versions of Judd Apatow's movies, you should be okay.

Toshiba has been especially generous when it comes to ports and connectors with six USB sockets available. It's also flexible in terms of video connections with HDMI, VGA and S-Video on offer. Unfortunately, the Tosh still hangs on to a HD DVD drive despite Blu-ray's victory, but it's still better than just a standard DVD writer.

Weaknesses
Like many machines of this size, the X200 isn't cut out for life on the road. You're probably never going to get much juice out of desktop replacement models, but the X200 is particularly feeble. It didn't even manage to keep going for one measly hour running the intensive Battery Eater test, giving up after a pitiful 51 minutes. Switching to the easier Reader test, it managed to top 60 minutes -- but only just, with it conking out after 1 hour 13 minutes.

If you did attempt to brave the wild world with the X200 in tow, you'll huff along with its 3.79kg weight. It's also equipped with a large 17-inch display, but despite the obsolete HD optical drive, it doesn't have a sufficiently high resolution to view high-definition content at its best. The screen only stretches to 1,680x1,050 pixels, which is just shy of the 1,920x1,080 pixels needed to view 1080p content at its native resolution.

Our last gripe with the X200 is the red status lights along the front of the machine. They're on the bright side, which can be distracting if you're trying to get some work done without distraction.

Conclusion
With a sub-£1000 price tag, the X200 offers extremely good performance for the money -- especially when it comes to gaming. It'd be nice if the HD drive was Blu-ray, but the lack of 1080p display is less forgivable and the battery life is pretty appalling.

Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Shannon Doubleday