The Bottom Line
- Easy Grip Finish
- Excellent Trackpad
- Above Average Build Quality
- Slightly More Expensive Than Similar Equipped Netbooks
- While Battery Life Is Improved, Still Slightly Below Average For Six Cell
- Intel Atom N455 Mobile Processor
- 1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 Memory
- 250GB 5400rpm SATA
- 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
- 10.3" x 7.5" x 1.4" @ 2.9 lbs.
- Windows 7 Starter, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security
Guide Review - Toshiba mini NB505-N508BL 10.1-inch Netbook PC
Feb 16 2011 - Toshiba's mini NB505 is more a variation on the previous mini NB255 netbook than a radically new design. The big change to the netbook is the exterior finish. Toshiba has coated it with their new EasyGrip finish. This consists of dimpled surface to give it a bit more traction when being carried in the hand. This can be a bit distracting on the exterior look depending upon the color but the default blue hides it better than their neon green color.
Powering the Toshiba mini NB505-N508BL is the Intel Atom N455 mobile processor. This combined with 1GB of DDR2 memory provides it with the exact same level of performance as the previous mini NB255. Unlike some other affordable netbooks, the memory system can be upgraded to 2GB which will improve the performance.
The hard drive size of the Toshiba mini NB505 has been increased thanks to the new Windows 7 Starter licensing. Now it comes with a 250GB hard drive that provides additional storage over previous Windows XP based netbooks.
The screen of the Toshiba mini NB505 is pretty much the typical one found in just about any netbook. It uses the standard 10.1-inch size with the 1024x600 resolution. It also uses a glossy coating that can make viewing the screen difficult in certain lighting conditions or outdoors. Graphics are driven by the Intel GMA 3150 integrated graphics which still has extremely limited performance including the inability to view even 720p high definition video streams reliably.
The standard battery pack for the Toshiba mini NB505 is a six cell version. The nice thing is that they have done a better job integrating it into the netbook so that it doesn't jut out the back like in the previous NB255. In video streaming tests, the netbook was able to run for roughly five and a quarter hours before going into standby mode. This is an improvement over the previous NB255 but still falls well behind class leading models from the likes of ASUS. It should provide plenty of time for most users though.
The keyboard design of the mini NB505 is pretty much identical to the mini NB255. It would have been nice to see an isolated key layout similar to their more expensive NB305 models but part of the object of the NB505 is to keep costs down. One annoyance is the very small function keys in the lower left including the control, function, window, alt and tilda keys that can be difficult to use. The trackpad is a nice overall size and very responsive but the trackpad buttons have shrunk in this version. At least they are still individual buttons rather than the button bar found on many net netbooks and laptops.