Toshiba's Tecra A11 notebook offers solid business value under $1400

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Toshiba's Tecra A11 notebook offers solid business value under $1400

So new we could get our hands on only the Core i5 version, the Tecra A11 is Toshiba's 15.6in business series. It also comes in Core i7 variants, which may be better suited to desktop replacement tasks, but this A11 has appeal.

The build is sturdy and the design businesslike, and it's one of several laptops in the group to come with Windows 7 Professional installed.

Its 2.5kg weight makes it relatively portable, a fact furthered by a battery life of 4hrs 21mins. It isn't exactly petite at 38mm thick, but you could sling it in a bag and take it to work every day without breaking your back.

The downside to this portability is the Tecra A11's lesser specification. The dual-core Core i5-520M processor and 2GB of RAM produced an excellent benchmark score of 1.70, but the integrated Intel GMA HD chip rules out any serious graphical work.

An extra $200 or so will get you the same Core i7 processor that sits inside the Acer, but there's currently no discrete graphics option.

The 15.6in screen looks a little drab compared to the Sony, and the resolution of 1366 x 768 leaves the desktop looking less spacious next to the Full HD giants. Other drawbacks include the mere 160GB of storage, and a single-year's limited warranty.

Stick to work tasks, though, and the A11 is actually quite a nice machine. The combination of fingerprint reader and TPM chip improves security, and Toshiba has opted for both touchpad and trackpoint controls for added flexibility.

The keyboard doesn't stretch the full width of the chassis, and the keys are a little clicky, but it's comfortable enough for regular use and has a nice, firm backing.

The array of ports includes DisplayPort, eSATA and even serial, and the Tecra has a spare DIMM socket to expand on the supplied memory in the future. And the above criticisms must all be measured against the $1375 price, which is one of the lowest here.

You may want the Core i7 model for a true desktop replacement, but if your needs are more modest the Tecra A11 packs plenty of business appeal.

Toshiba Tecra A11
4 6
Verdict
Performs well in this company: the Tecra A11 is a solid business laptop for a competitive price.
Performance
Battery Life
Features & Design
Value for money
Overall
Specs
$1375
• Toshiba: www.mwave.com.au
• Price: 1375 • CPU model/brand: Intel Core i5-520M • CPU speed: 2.13Ghz • Memory capacity: 2GB • Hard drive capacity: 160GB • Graphics type: Intel GMA HD • Screen size: 15.6in • Weight: 2.5kg • Dimensions WDH: 374 x 251 x 38mm • Operating system: Windows 7 Professional 32-bit • Manufacturer: Toshiba • Supplier: Toshiba
This review appeared in the July, 2010 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
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