746 of 755 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2011
Great little netbook at an affordable price. Specs are pretty standard for a 2010/2011 netbook: 1G RAM, 250Gb HD, 3 USB ports, basic video camera, separate Mic & headphone jacks, sd card slot, vga output and a very useful 8h battery life.
There are a lot of netbooks like this on the market, but what really stands out for me on this one is the keyboard, FULL size main keys with ALL the cursor movement keys: DEDICATED up, down, right,left, PGUP, PGDN, HOME and END. I work a lot with excel spreadsheets and it is really uncomfortable to move pressing fn+end/up orf+end/down or ctrl+fn+home, ctrl+fn+end, etc. to move around. Also scrolling with pgup/pgdown while reading a long web page is a pain when you have to press also the fn key! With most netbooks you have to live with the fn key, not in this case, the NB505 keyboard is really practical and comfortable, almost like a full laptop or pc keyboard, even do the position of the keys is not standard, they let you do the work easier and faster.
I also really like the case feeling: like some very soft rubbery cover, it looks nice and grips nice!
Windows 7 Starter is really basic, but you can find programs, utilities and tips on the Internet to take care of the basic "missing features" like changing the background image, colors, sounds, re-size pictures, etc. I got rid of most of the Toshiba utilities and also Norton, and installed MS Security and my preferred freeware home edition utilities.
I would have liked to have stereo speakers, but the netbook only includes a mono speaker under the unit.
I have older Toshiba laptops with excellent experience, in fact they are still working (WIN98, 450Mb HD,64Mb RAM)! so I decided to take the risk and bought the netbook from Amazon. It arrived fast, and working OK! (no DOA).
Its been a month since I got the netbook and I am still happy, but I think I will upgrade the memory to 2Gb, to make it snappier, I find Win7 heavier than Win XP for 1 gb of RAM (but that is just my feeling...).
All in all, I WOULD recommend it to my friends!
*** UPDATE **** July 2011 ****
I did upgrade the memory to 2Gb on February'11 and it works faster, but, if you plan to do it, just be aware of THIS: (info from the Toshiba support web site)
"NOTE: Two types of DDR memory are used in the Toshiba NB500 and NB505 netbook series. In order to upgrade, you WILL NEED to determine the current memory speed of your Netbook before you buy and replace it:
1) Locate the gray part number label on bottom of machine.
2) If there is a "D3" in the UPPER RIGHT HAND CORNER of the label, then DDR3 memory is installed, upgrade using the following: "PA3856U-1M2G Toshiba DDR3-1066MHz, 2GB Memory" or compatible.
3) All other units, assembled with DDR2 memory, upgrade using the following module: "PA3669U-1M2G, Toshiba DDR2-800MHz, 2GB memory Module" or compatible (cheaper).
Alternate Identification Method (Serial Number):
1) PLL50U-01900C(5B294965K or greater, or a serial number starting with 6B ,7B , 8B) use DDR3.
2) PLL50U-01900C(5B294964K or less, or a serial number starting with 4B,3B , 2B ,1B, ZA, YA, or XA)- use DDR2."
Mine used DDR2...
210 of 216 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2011
I bought this computer a few weeks ago and so far my experience has been very positive. This netbook is solidly constructed and is ready to use out of the box. The keyboard isn't difficult to use and the trackpad is OK - a little oversensitive for my taste. Unlike many other systems it doesn't come with a lot of bloatware - trial versions of programs you don't want anyway. There is some, but almost all for arguably useful programs. The included Toshiba software seems well-designed even though I personally have no use for it.
As for speed, the computer is powerful enough for a netbook, and will run net-based and home office applications smoothly. Of course, it falls short for more intense use like video editing, image processing or games - but then again, that's not what this computer is for. However, the Atom processor in this unit is on its way out, and for about $100 more you can get a netbook that is considerably faster. Nevertheless, or a solid, cheap, ultraportable computer, this is a good pick.
* good keyboard
* good battery life
* nice, slim design
* little bloatware, useful software included
* solid build quality, looks like it will last
* underwhelming sound (single speaker on the bottom)
* slow CPU
313 of 329 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2011
I read a lot of the reviews before i bought this little netbook, glad i ignored most of them. This is a great little gizmo, It's not for gamers. It's not for techies. But it's perfect for surfin the web, email, facebook and day to day stuff or travel to keep in touch. It's small (the keyboard takes a little practise) and light weight. it's more than fast enough. People who expect this to run and do all the things a desktop or full size/function laptop do are being silly. It's not what this is for. I like it a lot.
63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2011
This is exactly what I needed - lightweight, small and easy to carry without sacrificing screen quality and processing speed. The keyboard is extremely comfortable for its size, the screen crisp and clear. It's advertised mainly as a communication device for Web browsing, email and Skype but I've already put it through some serious software and graphics loads without a hiccup. I wasn't planning on using it for heavy-duty PC-like applications but it looks like it will be able to handle anything I dish out without objection. I purchased this at a small military retail outlet at a fairly remote location in the Middle East and it came out of the box undamaged and ready to go, with no problems. This is a great buy and I'm pleasantly surprised by the NB505's capabilities, capacity and quality. Recommended for anyone who doesn't need more load to carry but does need ease of handling and packing, especially if you're on the move a lot.
81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2011
I've only had my netbook a week, but I like it very much for what I use it for: I am a journalist and often cover conferences. It is a perfect size to take along in my purse and is unobstrusive for me to use. I only do simple word processing on it and check e-mail or do simple Internet work. It also will be idea for personal travel.
I was amused by the people who complained that the basic software was not sufficient or that the speed was poor. Granted, I wouldn't want this to be my only computer, but for my use as a take-along, I can live without wallpaper choices and sophisticated word processing tools. Yes, it is a bit slower than my Dell Inspiron, but its speed is acceptable, and the price, size and weight more than compensate. The keyboard is slightly smaller than my Dell, but I have small hands, so that isn't an issue for me.
I had absolutely no problem setting up the computer, and the display is very sharp. The battery life also is amazing, compared to my Dell laptop, which is another plus for taking to an all-day conference. With my Dell, I had to search for a seat near an outlet. I also notice it does not give off as much heat as my Dell.
I think this is a great choice if you are buying something for portability and simple functions.
152 of 161 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2011
The first one I ordered would not start Windows, just gave a DOS screen saying it could not find the operating system. Credit Amazon for an almost totally painless return process and for having a replacement in my hands 24 hours after the defect was found.
I really like the second one so far. Boots fairly quickly, feels very solidly made, has a super display and an excellent keyboard and touchpad. Seems like very good value for the price.
I would give it five stars right now except that the delivery of the first defective machine makes me wonder a little about quality control and durability.
67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2011
really nice basic computer, not suitable to do anything really fancy like games etc but if you are looking for a nice computer for on the go like work, school or just out and about or even convenience at home this is an ideal choice at a good price. HOWEVER, i highly recommend upgrading to 2 gigs of RAM instead of just relying on the pre-installed one. windows 7 CAN work on one gig but from my experience you need at least two gigs for it to really operate efficiently. i upgraded from 1 to 2 gigs and the difference is immediatley noticeable. also, like most manufacturers Toshiba comes bloated with a ton of crap ware you do not need that do nothing but bog you down, took me a while to clean it all up. by the way, Norton is one of the useless programs it comes with, it along with mcAfee suck big time use a free anti-virus like Avira and you will do fine, and save some money. that's my story and i am a stickin to it, lol
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2011
I had wanted to get a netbook for a while - I use PCs at home and work, and wanted something budget-friendly for blogging and freelance writing on the go. I wanted a real keyboard, nothing virtual, and I cared more about battery life and reliability than apps and customization. After much research, I decided to get this Toshiba.
I have had it for three weeks and it's everything I expected and wanted. I am typing on it right now! It's small, it's lightweight, it's relatively durable (I have a two-year old and it has survived her knocking it off the table, tripping over the cord, trying to adjust the angle of the screen and touching it with her sticky fingers). It doesn't get hot, can sit on my lap for hours. The screen is easy to see in all levels of light. The keyboard is a bit smaller than normal, but I found it easy to get used to it and now can type on it just as fast as I can on a regular sized keyboard.
I only use this for surfing the Internet and writing in Word. I downloaded Firefox because I use that on my other computers (it comes with Chrome and IE installed). Other than that, the only stuff I have on my netbook are a couple articles I have written and some images for said articles. I deleted a lot of the Toshiba bloatware and am not tech savvy - very easy to do.
I didn't add anything and am working on Windows Starter. The only difference with Word and Word Starter is you have to deal with a sidebar that has ads and stuff on it. If you can ignore that, there's no real need to upgrade.
I do occasionally use this netbook for viewing movies; the screen looks great but the audio is a bit poor. For less than $5 I found some external travel speakers on Amazon that plug in and take care of that issue, no problem.
It's fast, it's light, it's reliable. The packaging is easy to wipe clean and keep looking new. The cord is super long so it's easy to keep it plugged in and watch movies in bed or use it a long distance from the plug. I can't think of any complaints. It's not a laptop, it's a netbook. If you don't expect it to do everything your PC can do, you will be pleased.
175 of 192 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2011
This unit is very much like the NB305 series with the card reader location exchanged with the audio inputs, by moving the reader to the front (beneath the touchpad) and vice versa. Some people may be interested to know...the SD card reader holds the card kind of flush with the front edge of the computer, but does not use the type of mechanism that I am used to. Some types push the SD card into a spring and lock. This one, just pushes into place with no lock and no click. You have to sort of pry the card out when you want it out, but if you leave a card docked there, like I do, its not a problem and it doesn't dangerously stick out the side of the machine when you are putting it into a case. Plus they save the cost and complexity of a spring.
I'd give the display and keyboard a 5. Battery and weight is a 5, but due to the design issues with the mousepad and the poor audio, it gets a 3 overall.
It's hard to consider dinging it for only 1GB RAM, when that seems standard. I wish they would just raise the price of netbooks $10, throw the 2GB in there and stop messing around. Like everyone else, I upgraded RAM immediately and had to trash an otherwise good RAM board.
Although I shouldn't compare the 2 models. The NB305-310 is a joy, the NB505, not as much. NB505 Sound is wimpy, a single tiny speaker on the BOTTOM of the unit, essentially requiring even the cheapest set of external speakers for acceptable (and audible) sound. That's one of the big downfalls with the new slew of Netbooks in general. Is stereo worth the extra $30, U decide.
Also this unit uses the N455 processor instead of N450, shades of gray regarding performance, as far as I can tell (I have both systems). Also battery life has dropped from 11 hours (NB305) to 9.5 hrs (NB505), according to their specs. I am not sure if this is a different 6 cell battery, a function of the Atom 455, or Win 7. I suppose people were complaining about the battery life being too long. It's one step forward for Microsoft and Intel, and a step backward for mankind.
I love the full size Keyboard and the mouse and the isolated arrow keys. I also prefer the separate mic/speaker ports to the single port PC's.
The touchpad has faults. The edges are not well-defined, and in low light, you may find yourself off the edge of the pad without noticing it, except for the obvious lack of response. The touchpad buttons on my NB505 seem to drop sometimes even while pressed (it could just be me), IMO they could have been designed better. The XP synaptics driver is much better than the Win7 driver, IMO.
The Rubberized coating on the outside of the case is great. In addition to adding a splash of color, it is highly functional at enhancing your grip when carrying it like a book.
And, in case anyone even mentions the fact that the hi-resolution isn't supported, Well it is! (VGA cable only, no HDMI). You just have to hook up an external display, like the Aquos TV to view hi-res to your heart's content. The built-in panel is clear with rich color but it also drives an external display very well.
To adjust your display driver optimally for external display resolutions, you MUST feed the video out to the Monitor ONLY. If you clone the screens, you will get only the standard 1280x600 resolution and be disappointed (see my comments for display capabilities).
The only game I have loaded is Torchlight...its a bit painful on the built-in display, but it works. Running Torchlight on an external display is excellent.
If you don't get a lemon, (lemons are pretty rare), it's a solid machine. If you get a bad one, then for goodness sake run fast and return or exchange it as soon as you can, because I have heard terrible things about Toshiba support for problem hdwe. That being said, this is my 3rd Toshiba, shuffled between Compaq and Sony purchases and I have yet to get a lemon in any brand.
Update: The Lowdown on memory....The N455 supports DDR3 memory, but apparently, only at 667Mhz, NOT 1000Mhz. As of May 2011, DDR3 prices have fallen below the price of DDR2. Therefore, Toshiba and other vendors made an update to their motherboards or BIOS to outfit it with the DDR3 for the obvious savings. But you will find that these netbooks are running the memory at below optimal speeds resulting in NO performance gain at all. So, don't be fooled into thinking that a DDR3 version of the same Netbook will outperform the DDR2 version.
Update: I run XP on my NB305-310 to get the most bang for my buck and I really love it (run more than a few apps at a time, choose your own screen background, exotic stuff like that, plus all those old programs you have invested $$ in actually run on XP)! I loaded XP on this NB505 in March and had to use the 305-310 drivers. So far everything works except Networking (internal and wireless). Still not sure why the networking is having trouble though all the other drivers seemed to work. (See my comments for XP driver recommendations.)
Update: I have loaded OpenOffice in lieue of upgrading my OFC'07 to OFC'10. Not only did I save some bucks, but OpenOffice has a much smaller footprint and a lot less memory leaks than OFC'07. It runs very smooth on the netbook and so far has been totally compatible with my OFC'07 Docs.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2011
I like this little machine and i bought a toshiba because my last one (Satellite) lasted a decade. No, really. Toshibas are unusually easy to take apart and repair, and this one looks like it would be easy to tear apart also. The keyboard is just a shrunken version of my old laptop so it works great. As far as performance, I am upgrading from that ten year old laptop with only 512 mb ram so I am cooking right now.
That no OS screen is really easy to fix. I went tot he toshiba website and found the answer right away. Just go into set-up and set defaults. Easy as that and you are up and running. I understand others have had problems with support from toshiba. I never went to them for anything. They are very simple to fix.