Toshiba's P4-M-Powered Portable

Complete desktop replacement system packs plenty of features

By Anush Yegyazarian

Toshiba's new Satellite Pro 6100 Series offers you a complete desktop-replacement package. We looked at a model that was powered by a 1.7-GHz Intel Pentium 4-M SpeedStep processor.

The $2699 preproduction unit we saw didn't break records on the first of our two PC WorldBench 4 tests; it earned a score of 98, which put it on a par with two previously tested 1.13- and 1.2-GHz Pentium III-M notebooks. You might expect a performance boost from the extra 500 MHz, but historically, Pentium 4-based desktops and now laptops haven't shown their muscle on standard business apps, such as those in PC WorldBench 4. However, this laptop offers the promise of better performance in certain types of applications, such as graphics and video editing, as well as music encoding.

The Satellite Pro 6100 Series exhibited a noticeable performance drop when we tested it under battery power: The SpeedStep technology, which lowers the processor speed to 1.2 GHz to conserve the battery, led the unit to a second PC WorldBench 4 score of 89. (AMD mobile chips with PowerNow also slow under battery power.) The battery lasted a fair 2 hours, 3 minutes in our test; if you're on the road a lot, remember to pack a spare.

The 7.8-pound Satellite Pro is really geared for desktop replacement duties, however, as its list of components might indicate. Its brilliant 15-inch screen is powered by an NVidia GeForce4 420 Go graphics chip and 16MB of RAM and can handle resolutions up to 1200 by 1600 pixels at 32-bit color. Additionally, you get 256MB of DDR SDRAM; a 40GB drive; an 8X DVD-ROM and 8X/8X/24X CD-RW combination drive in the modular bay; a built-in modem, ethernet, and wireless 802.11b capability; one video-out and two USB ports; a MiniPCI slot, two PC Card slots, and a Secure Digital slot; and Windows XP Professional.

All in all, the Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100 Series offers you plenty of features for your money and gives you enough processing power to get the job done.

From the May 2002 issue of PC World magazine

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