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Check your processor: Toshiba T135-S1310 thin-and-light worth a buy

There's a big difference between single-core and dual-core thin-and-light laptops. Case in point: two versions of the Toshiba Satellite T135.

Check your processor: the much better dual-core T135-S1310.
Sarah Tew/CNET

I had a hard time coming up with a title to this post: Intel processors are confusing? Dual-core ultra-low-voltage processors make a difference? How about, what a difference a config makes? All could apply to the Toshiba Satellite T135, a Windows 7 thin-and-light that we've reviewed two configurations of here at CNET. Although similar in design and shape, the small shift from an SU2700 to an SU4100 Intel Pentium processor in the slightly more expensive Satellite T135-S1310 makes a world of difference. Here's why it's worth a look.

First of all, the Intel Pentium SU4100 in the T135-S1310 is a dual-core processor. The SU2700 in the previously reviewed laptop, the T135-S1300, isn't. You wouldn't know the difference from the "Pentium Inside" sticker below the keyboard, but the dual-core T135-S1310 is far better at multitasking, and also gave a significant boost in dedicated media tests like our iTunes benchmark. For all intents and purposes, it behaves much like an ultra-low-voltage Core 2 Duo processor.

What do you get in the T135-S1310? For just $100 more than the S1300, the S1310 includes an extra 80GB of hard drive space, an extra gig of RAM at a faster speed, Bluetooth, and the far better SU4100 processor. Throw in $10 for a red or white paint job, or stay at $699 for the black config. Either way, with the mere change of a number, the Toshiba T135-S1310 has suddenly become a highly recommended budget thin-and-light with Windows 7 Home Premium preinstalled and excellent battery life. Just make sure you get this model, and not the very similar-looking (and similar-named) Toshiba T135-S1300.

We still don't like the keyboard very much, though.

Read the rest of our review.