126 of 127 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2009
I looked at netbooks for about 2 months, comparing all of the various features. Then I went on the road to see them in person and put my hands on the keyboard. I ended up choosing the Toshiba NB205-N325 because it met all my criteria (Windows 7, upgradable RAM, great battery life, and overall quality construction) and because it has the best keyboard for my hands. The chicklet keys are great and the sub-sized keyboard only slows me down a little from a full-sized version.
After shopping all around I ended up buying it direct from Amazon. They had the best price on cyber monday of 329.99. Interestingly, the price is now back up to 380+ so I guess I got lucky with the timing.
I tossed the 2GB RAM upgrade into my shopping cart and the machine showed up at my door about 8 days later.
Start up was a breeze. It found my home network and network printer without a problem. I downloaded chrome as my browser with no problem, activated the Norton trial (still shopping for an antivirus program), and activated the free trial of Office (I actually have the software but haven't gotten around to activating my copy). I've plugged in several USB devices without issue including a wireless mouse and external hard drive. No problems. The 160 GB hard disk has plenty of space and unless you plan to make and store movie files you should never need more. After about an hour I shut back down and installed the 2GB RAM chip which is simple to do. You just remove one screw on a small cover on the back and the chip is right there. Pop the old one out and the new one in, then start back up. The user manual spells it out perfectly. I didn't run it long enough on the 1GB chip to give you a comparison on performance but with 2GB it seems as quick as my other laptops. I think this upgrade is a no-brainer if you plan to use your netbook for anything more than reading e-mail.
The only glitch I've had is with the display. About 2 hrs after I started it up the display suddenly went crazy, jerking all over. I was talking on a cordless phone at the time and assumed it somehow interfered with the display. It happened again one time two days later only I wasn't talking on the phone. Both times I got it to stop by putting it to sleep and then starting back up (which only takes a couple seconds). I don't know what to make of this but so far it hasn't repeated itself and at least I know how to stop it. If it happens again I'll call Toshiba.
My overall impression is that I love this little guy. It does everything I wanted it to do and is the ultimate in portability. I use it on and off all day, closing the lid when I'm done which puts it to sleep. It wakes up almost instantly, so this is a great way to extend the battery. The only time I plug it in is at night. I've never come close to running the battery down. The fit and finish of the machine are terrific.
Toshiba hit a home run with this model. It gets 5 stars from me.
57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2009
Speedy (Win 7 boots faster than Vista does on my much more powerful laptop), amazing battery life (I've eked out more than the 9 hours on the label), light and a pleasure to use. The full-sized keyboard makes typing easy and with 3 USB ports, if you need peripherals, you're covered. The keyboard is a little squishy which takes a moment to get used to and I wish there was more than just a VGA port for video options, but overall as long as you're not trying to stream full-screen 1080 resolution movies, you'll find nothing to complain about.
I bought a Crucial CT25664AC667 2GB memory stick to improve multitasking and dual boot with Ubuntu Netbook Remix Karmic, which works out of the box for everything except sound (and the fix for that is in the pipeline). Personally, and I'm surprised to say this, I prefer Win 7 Starter. Everything just works flawlessly on this little netbook and I can't find anything that really disappoints me.
66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2009
I have had my Toshiba N205-N325BL for a week. I had never used a laptop before so the touch pad took some getting used to. I have since purchased a mouse and external DVD to use with it. The user manual is a file on the internal disk so learning how to find my way around the laptop and Windows 7 was a challenge but I doubt if any computers come with a hard copy user manual anymore. I called Qwest to get help configuring my DSL modem for wireless and they even helped me with the laptop. It only took a few minutes to get it all working. I have had no problem with the netbook and am very happy with my purchase. I had considered the ASUS for a long time but the negative customer reviews regarding the AC adapter/charger and their customer service convinced me the Toshiba was a better choice. I don't think it's fair to give the Toshiba a bad review based on Windows 7 Starter. Toshiba doesn't make Windows and all the netbooks with Windows 7 Starter will have the same restrictions. If you want all the bells and whistles of a full sized laptop then buy a laptop and not a netbook.
Update after 2 months and using it on vacation for 3 weeks. My only complaint is the audio volume is poor.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2009
After much comparison I ordered the NB205-325BN over all others. We already have an Asus net book in house with XP installed so I really figured I would buy another Asus. Not so, after doing the research I ordered the NB205 and a 2gb 800mhz memory module at the same time and installed it prior to even powering up the computer. First remember that a net book has a specific set of tasks that it functions best at, stick to those and you will not end up a whiner about your small computer. The Wi-Fi is very capable of picking up weak signals and not dropping it. The keypad is a rather pleasant one to use. The touchpad needed to be adjusted to my preferences but is nicer to use than most. Battery life is excellent, I'm getting just over 9 hours of life using it for streaming and normal web use. The fit and finish are great, the screen is sharp and I really like the Sable Brown finish. Windows 7 starter works without a hitch. I have had no problems with the OS. I routinely run Skype and 2 or 3 windows tabs at a time. This model does not have Blue Tooth so remember that if you require it. Toshiba has a great reputation for quality and customer service too. There are a lot of choices now for net books but if it's not a throw away device for you then invest in quality and this little computer is just that, quality. Small, light and very capable of performing its' assigned tasks.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2009
Excellent battery life, a keyboard that is large enough to make typing a breeze. first we uninstalled all the bloatware and installed the programs we prefer like Firefox, Thunderbird, and Open Office. Perfect for travel, but I use it on the kitchen table almost constantly.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2009
I am very pleased with this netbook so far. It is nice looking, seems sturdy. Trackpad has some minor issues but if you check that you have all the appropriate drivers installed then that should fix the issue. upgrading to Win7 Home Premium somehow deleted the trackpad driver but it was easy to re-install. Battery life is great, on my first real test of it I got well over 7, probably closer to 8 hours of use and that is including lots of downloading, burning a large disc with an LG portable superdrive (bus powered), and other pretty power-hungry uses.
Win7 Starter is purposely restricted so that Microsoft can gouge you $75 to upgrade to home premium. It's a shame, but apparently bill gates doesn't have enough billions yet. Of course, the other options are vista (yuck!) or XP (2gens old now!). If you are a student buying this to use at school look for the Win7 special price, you can upgrade for only $30, and get Office Ultimate for only $60. great deal.
I recommend also investing in a portable superdrive. Toshiba makes one but you don't have to buy theirs, the LG one I got works just fine with this computer.
Most people will also want to get a 2GB DDR2 ram stick. I haven't gotten one yet but I already want to after just a couple days, I can tell the computer is just struggling a teeny bit and more ram would really do the trick.
So now you're talking over $500, depending on what kind of deals you can get on the netbook itself and all the addons. As it turns out, full size laptops on a good sale come with their own Win7 HomePremium and Superdrive included for less than that, so if you don't need the superior battery and portability, a regular laptop might be better for you.
But, for a student this is a great buy. super portable, excellent battery life, and with the right tools it has everything you need. If you don't want to be forced to work on that tiny screen all the time, look for either a cheap desktop to also use or an addon desk-size monitor that you can use while you're at home. Wireless mouse and maybe even a fullsize keyboard might be a good bonus, as well.
I might have to knock a star off this thing. Toshiba's preinstalled bloatware has been causing me problems. Ultimately, I will probably now have to wipe, format, and reinstall the computer to resolve the issue. I haven't yet identified the exact cause of the issue, but I'm pretty sure it is one or more of the preinstalled "utilities". If you are having frequent BSODs, self-restarts, driver problems, user-initiated restarts that get stuck (get the "didn't shutdown correctly" screen even if you initiated the restart), etc and figured out the cause of the problem, please let me know.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2009
I bought this for my wife thinking she would have to sacrifice a lot of performance for extended battery life, especially with the new Windows 7 operating system. However, that really hasn't been the case. Even with the standard 1GB of RAM, the unit performs great, and battery life is on the order of 7 hours or more. As far as fit and finish goes, I compared similar units and this one has the best in it's price range, especially the keyboard -- doesn't feel flimsy at all, and the almost full size mouse pad is a plus. My only complaint is you need either a large thumb-drive or external CD/DVD-ROM drive to create factory installation media. For some reason, you can't use a regular USB drive.
40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2009
If you are looking for a small portable computer with a basic OS this will fit the bill. For me it is a disappointment.
Processor is much slower than my L505 series Toshiba which I paid basically the same price for.
Windows 7 starter is stripped down to a bare bones basic OS. Check out what's missing before you make your decision.
The mouse pad is very sensitive, even after adjusting the sensitivity. This is the only laptop that I have a problem with my finger hitting the mouse pad and the cursor jumping.
If you bump the computer the hard drive always stops and gives you a warning. You can adjust this setting but it is still way to sensitive.
Great battery life. Very lite and portable. Key board is pretty good for a netbook.
If I had to do it all over I'd skip on this one and buy another L505 series laptop, it's GREAT.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2009
My first netbook arrived with a faulty webcam. Amazon was super-helpful and cross-shipped a replacement overnight. The second one is a great little machine, with almost everything I need. My main concern going into the purchase was to find one with a comfortable keyboard and a long battery life. The Toshiba has both. I'm an average-sized man (5'10"), large-framed, with proportional hands, and have no trouble at all typing on the Toshiba's keyboard, though other makes/models I tried on display at the local big box store did give me problems. My biggest piece of advice is to find a store display of a bunch of these things and try out every single keyboard.
The quick-function keys for disabling the touchpad, putting the computer to sleep, flipping the display when attached to an external monitor, etc., are all very well done. It's one of my favorite features of the machine. I did have a little trouble finding a case that would work well for toting the thing around, because the battery makes it an odd shape and won't let it fit into standard sleeves/cases for 10.1" netbooks. I wound up grabbing a sleeve for an 11" netbook and it works great, but then decided I wanted handles, so I bought an InCase brief for the 13" MacBook Pro. The Toshiba swims around in there, but it works for me.
I bought the Toshiba with the purpose of using it for writing, and didn't anticipate just how small and cramped the screen would feel in that endeavor. It's great for surfing and even watching videos, but the screen just feels too small to write on. I'm looking forward to replacing it with something else for that purpose, though we're going to keep the Toshiba around because it's a great machine to have on hand for surfing from the couch or taking on the road, and I plan to give it to my wife -- it actually makes her want to have her own computer on trips instead of constantly borrowing mine.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2010
Buying this netbook has been a nightmare.... First it turned to be really slow, unable to process anything at a minimum normal speed, then it crash completely. The crash happened in May; I bought the device in February... It was supposed to be under warranty so I called Toshiba. They told me first that I could to do a process with them online, nevertheless that meant I was going to lose all my data.... I was eager to get my slow netbook back so I agreed. It didn't work, so I had to send it to their repair center. I paid around $22 to get a pre paid special box from Fedex. The safest way they told me.... After waiting more than a month to get the pre paid Fedex box I called them back. They told me I have to track it with Fedex (???) After several back and forth I got the box (I bought the box in June and I got it in August...) . Finally I send my netbook to the repair canter. Some days later I got an email from a guy who didn't even identified himself asking for my credit card details (his email address wasn't even from Toshiba, it was from Bizcom). He said that the problem was caused by a Customer Induced Damage so I need to pay 120$, even if it was under warranty. I called Toshiba, no way to dispute the Customer Induced thing. OK. I really need that netbook so I decided I could do little but paying, so I asked for another way of payment as I was clearly not going to send my credit card details via email (again, they didn't even give me a way -chance- to dispute if it was CID or not...) They answer back telling me to call them .... After a couple of days (I was on a business trip outside the country), when I got home, my netbook was waiting for me... UNREPAIRED! I just asked Toshiba to send me a sticker or something to resend the netbook. No one would like to take care of that... They treat me really bad over the phone; they told me that they couldn't even escalate my call. Finally, after hours over the phone the most I could get from them was to give me the chance to prove them that I had been in contact with Bizcom (the reason they return my netbook unrepaired was apparently because they were unable to contact me... UNTRUE!) I didn't have any problem with that as I have a couple of emails that proved it. I asked for an email address to forward them the emails, they told me it was impossible, I have to fax them (sic). I had to wait till Monday because I don't have a fax at home. I did fax them. No answer back. I call Toshiba customer service again. It didn't matter. After another hour or so over the phone they told me they had received the fax but they were not going to take care of my problem. They basically didn't want to. They told me that they sent the fax to Bizcom and they didn't answer back. So they could not do anything (???). Apparently Bizcom wasn't answering because they didn't want to pay for the shipping cost. They told me Toshiba was not going to do so either. They suggested me to go to Best Buy if I wanted my UNDER WARANTY netbook to be repair.... I went today. They charge 84$ only for shipping the netbook to their repair facility. I will definitely never ever buy a Toshiba again and I will definitely going to talk everyone I know about the most terrible, unfair, unrespectful customer service I had ever experienced. And today, after 6 months, I am still without a personal netbook or laptop at home. Sad.