Toshiba Satellite Pro A200HD-1U4 Notebook PC - Review

Toshiba Satellite Pro A200HD-1U4 Notebook PC - Review

Pros: Decent all-round specification. Good connections and media support

Cons: Screen performance and HD playback could be better. Lack of customisable keys on keyboard

Bottomline: Despite the A200’s average screen performance it’s a decent all-rounder and is well suited to digital music and video fans.

Price: £856 - £1,020

Design of the Toshiba Satellite Pro A200HD-1U4 Laptop

Weighing in at under 3kg it's nicely designed and is light enough to lug around. We liked the black finish but the inside is bland with few customisable function keys, although the keyboard is nicely responsive keyboard. The open lid folds back over the rear panel so all of the sockets are on the front and sides.

Features of the Toshiba Satellite Pro A200HD-1U4 Laptop

The Toshiba A200 notebook offers an impressive array of features, notably an HD DVD drive for watching high-definition (HD) movies.

In addition to watching films on the 15.4in screen it also includes a socket for connection to a high-definition television.

The computer uses Intel’s Core2 Duo T7500 processor and has 2GB of memory, making it a fairly powerful notebook. It also has a separate graphics card, an ATI Mobility Radeon HD2600.

A 200GB hard disk should be enough to store lots of music and video, and a memory card reader, internal webcam and s-video output ensure it’s nicely up to speed in terms of handling media. Bluetooth and wireless network access are built in, although there’s no support for the latest 802.11n wireless technology.

Performance of the Toshiba Satellite Pro A200HD-1U4 Laptop

In general tasks the A200's performance was impressive, and it is powerful enough to play some recent games, albeit at reduced quality. After trying out a few HD movies we had mixed feelings about its capabilities. Such films can't be viewed using Windows Media Player - you need Toshiba’s software (supplied) to watch. The program is fairly light on features but it's capable enough for playing films. The notebook comes with Windows Vista Business, which although it might sound daunting, is much the same as Vista Home Premium.

The screen did a reasonable job of showing off high-resolution films without truly impressing us: pictures were sharp and detailed but the colours were muted and there seemed to be a faint grey hue over the image. Sending the content through the HDMI output to a suitable television is very easy, and the image was picked up straight away on our television.

We were initially very impressed by the vibrancy of the Windows desktop, and the appearance of games and other PC software on the larger screen didn't disappoint. HD video didn't fare as well, though, and suffered from the same issues as on the notebook's screen. If you are after a high-performance alternative to a standalone player, you shouldn't expect to see the same results here.


The Toshiba A200 certainly scores points as a good all-rounder, being able to handle all sorts of typical day-to-day tasks, gives decent games performance and does offer the option of HD video. At just over £850 it’s not badly priced either, but if you’re primarily attracted by the HD DVD drive, don't expect to be able to use it as a true alternative to a dedicated player.