The Bottom Line
- Slightly Faster Performance
- Excellent Trackpad
- Above Average Build Quality
- Below Average Battery Life
- Smaller Hard Drive
- Battery Sticks Out Behind Display
- Intel Atom N455 Single Core Mobile Processor
- 1GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory
- 160GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 10.1" WSVGA (1024x600) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
- Intel GMA 3150 Integrated Graphics
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, VGA, 4-in-1 Card Reader
- 10.4" x 8.3" x 1.3" @ 2.8 lbs.
- Windows 7 Starter
Guide Review - Toshiba mini NB255-N245 10.1-inch Netbook PC
Aug 31 2010 - Toshiba has updated their budget oriented netbook line with the new mini NB255. It shares much more common with the previous NB205 design than the more premium NB305. This of course has to do with keeping the costs down but it does show in a few of the components.
The big update for the Toshiba mini NB255 is the processor. It uses the latest revision of the Intel Atom N455 processor. This gives it a very slight performance boost over the previous N450 and the older N200 series processor but for the most part users won't really notice any real performance differences. It still remains best used with single applications for productivity, internet and basic media. As with all Windows licenses netbooks, it is still restricted to a single gigabyte of memory that provides the biggest performance limitation.
Since the mini NB255 is designed as a budget oriented netbook, Toshiba decided to use a smaller 160GB hard drive. This was common in the older Windows XP generation of netbooks because of the Microsoft licensing. Most new Windows 7 netbooks though are starting to use larger 250GB hard drives. As a result, the mini NB255 lacks the storage space that can be found on many similarly priced netbooks.
Graphics for the mini NB255 are pretty much identical to all of the other 10.1-inch netbooks the company has released. It still uses the same 10.1-inch sized display panel with a glossy coating. This makes the screen difficult to use outdoors or in certain indoor lighting conditions. It is still powered by the Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics that lack any real performance for either HD video streaming and playback or 3D graphics.
Toshiba's previous budget netbook, the NB205, offered some pretty impressive running times for a low cost netbook. The mini NB255 continues to use a fairly sizable six-cell battery pack that juts out of the back of the laptop behind the screen. One would expect this to provide some long running times similar to the competition. In my video streaming playback test, the unit was only able to yield just below five hours. This is below the average for a six-cell netbook and a good hour less than the previous NB205. It also falls well short of the class leading models that can provide over eight hours of streaming.
It would have been really nice to see Toshiba use the same metal isolated keyboard that is used on the mini NB305 but that would surely have increased the price. Instead, the mini NB255 uses the more typical plastic layout. It is still comfortable to use but not nearly as nice as their NB305 keyboard. The trackpad is still one of the best on the market with a very large surface area, responsive movement and individual buttons.