"Finally, a laptop that doesn't make me regret buying it"4.5 starson by rustynail600
Pros: Battery life is great, boots fast/resumes fast from sleep, and its a sturdy design that looks great. The keyboard is actually pretty nice. And finally, if you are a Linux user at all, you'll be glad to know that it runs Ubuntu Natty almost flawlessly
Cons: Cons are few and far between but.... I don't like the loud click the clickpad buttons make, there isn't any direct buttons for brightness/volume, and of course Toshiba's notorious bloatware out of box is a pain to deal with.
Summary: I was in the market for a new laptop but wasn't sure what I wanted. I bought a 17" HP from Costco that was a beast (to replace the 17" I just had). After about 2 months, I realized that I just needed something smaller. After much research, I picked this guy up at the beginning of May. Here are a couple thoughts.
Design: This thing is sturdy as heck. The all metal design makes me pretty confident that I won't destroy it over time. I was worried about the keyboard, with other reviewers saying it was small and cramped, but I don't find it hard to use at all. A backlit keyboard would have been nice. I would have been willing to pay a premium for that. The trackpad is just about the right size for this laptop and I like having dedicated click buttons. But like I said above, the click is way too loud for me and I end up double tapping the pad instead to avoid the sound. The A/C charger is typical, with the brick design halfway down the cord and the round metal prong at the end. When is someone other than apple going to come up with something better than this? The screen is a good size, it seems to be more widescreen than other 13" equivalents which is good for watching movies (also it still has a DVD drive which is a huge plus).
Performance: I've found this little guy to be more of a powerhouse than I was expecting. Backing up my DVD's with DVD shrink and Handbrake is a snap. I can't use the "eco" mode while watching streaming video though... so be prepared to lose a bit of battery life if you're doing that. On that note, the battery life is amazing. My previous laptop had about 1.5 hours on the most conservative setting. I continuously get 6-8 hours out of this battery. The screen gets a 3 star rating from me. It is a glossy finish and reflects a lot of light back at me, and the viewing angles are not great. I find myself tilting the screen to find the sweet spot. That said, the resolution is a good fit for this size screen and the screen does have a good range of brightness. The speakers are also not that great. Although... what do you expect in a 13" laptop? They can get pretty loud, but there is no low end and the high end can clip off at the top volume. It is good for listening while you are at the computer, but you'll need external speakers if you want to play music to a room full of people.
Linux/Ubuntu: I am a big fan of free and open source software, therefore I'm going to write about this laptops performance with Ubuntu Linux. After installing Ubuntu 11.04 I had almost nothing to tweak. I recognized all the components and I didn't have to use proprietary drivers. The trackpad took just a bit of tweaking to get it to my preferred sensitivity, but otherwise was great. For some reason, running Ubuntu sucks a little more power so I ended up getting more in the 6 hour range from the battery. If I played around with it, I'm sure it could be better. Dual booting was a snap (and I actually used the in Windows installer for the first time... and had no problems). There are still a couple of the Function buttons that I have yet to get working like the "lock screen". Ubuntu also doesn't seems to recognize the dedicated trackpad disable button also... but maybe I just haven't found the right settings yet.
And on another side note I really like the BIOS on this laptop. They give you ample control over different components and functions of the laptop... and that is much appreciated from Toshiba.
This laptop is a great buy for what you get. I almost bought an Macbook, but I'm glad I ended up getting the Portege.