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9/96 Reviews Systems: Toshiba Satellite 110CT

Listing of September 1996 Reviews

Satellite for the SOHO Set

By Jim Forbes

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all notebook computer, so companies like Toshiba aim to please all tastes by marketing as many as four separate lines of portables. I tested a preproduction version of Toshiba's Satellite 110CT, the newest entry in the company's popular "value line" of notebooks.

The Satellite 110CT's standard configuration includes a 100MHz Pentium processor, an 810MB IDE hard drive and 8MB of EDO RAM. The model I tested had an 11.3-inch active-matrix screen linked to a Chips and Technologies graphics controller with 1MB of memory. This combination yields a maximum resolution of 800x600 pixels, and up to 1024x768 pixels for an external monitor. The unit has serial, parallel and docking station ports, and two Type II PCMCIA slots. A PS/2 port will accommodate a keyboard or mouse.

I like the layout of the 84-key keyboard, and the track stick pointing device is easy to use. The notebook has a palm rest adjacent to the cursor controls. The power switch and PCMCIA slots are on the left side, with the internal 3.5-inch drive on the right. At 6.9 pounds, the 2.2-by-11.8-by-9.1-inch Satellite 110CT is not as svelte as I'd like, but at least the self-contained power supply doesn't add to travel weight.

The Satellite 110CT's battery life was good for a Pentium-class machine. In my tests, I consistently got around 2.8 hours of power from a single battery charge. Toshiba uses its own BIOS in the Satellite 110CT, and it performed without a hitch when tested with a variety of PCMCIA peripherals.

The Satellite 110CT's scores on the WINDOWS Magazine Wintune benchmarks were generally good. On the CPU test, the unit racked up a three-pass average of 177.66MIPS, about the norm for a local-bus notebook that lacks a level 2 cache. The Toshiba-brand 810MB hard drive scored a better-than-average uncached throughput of 2.13MB per second. The notebook's video test results were also a notch above average, with a rating of 5.73Mpixels per second. On our 32-bit application tests, the Satellite 110CT completed the Word macro in 24.33 seconds and the Excel macro in 16.66 seconds.

Although the Satellite 110CT performs well for a value-class notebook, it would do much better with the addition of level 2 cache or an additional 8MB of system memory. Also, while the video subsystem tested well, some screen operations seemed a little slow during extended use. Still, even without additional memory, the Toshiba Satellite 110CT is a good choice for SOHO or student users.A 100MHz Pentium and built-in power supply make this Satellite quick and easy to carry.

--Info File--
Toshiba Satellite 110CT
Pros: Hard disk performance; battery life
Cons: Screen driver; computer size; no L2 cache
Toshiba America Information Systems
800-334-3445, 714-583-3000
WinMag Box Score: 3.5

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