The Toshiba Satellite Pro A210, the first model in the company's recently reintroduced line of budget business laptops, bears a striking resemblance to the consumer-oriented . In fact, the only real difference between the two is that the former lacks the glossy lid and multimedia controls found on the latter.
The laptops' similarities extend to performance; the Satellite Pro A210's multitasking scores indicate that it's best suited for only basic business tasks. But that's about all you can ask from a , and the Toshiba's relatively sleek design and attractive display will definitely appeal to small-business buyers on a tight budget.
Like laptops in Toshiba's consumer Satellite line, the Satellite Pro A210 features a large Toshiba logo emblazoned in 19mm silver letters across the lid. But the Pro version's exterior is more subdued than its consumer-oriented siblings.
Its matte-black lid seems better suited to an office than the glossy blue-black finish on the consumer side. The Satellite Pro also lacks the bright blue glowing Satellite logo in the lower left-hand corner, which we were happy to see go. Otherwise, the Satellite Pro A210's case is very similar to that of the consumer-oriented . Though made of plastic, the Satellite Pro A210's case feels rather sturdy.
The Toshiba Satellite Pro A210 includes a 15.4-inch display that looks remarkably broad, thanks to the thin black bezel. Its fairly typical 1,280x800-pixel resolution cut a nice balance between sharpness and readability of text. The screen's glossy, reflection-prone finish, while standard among consumer laptops, is a rarity for a business system.
It's a curious choice, considering the gloss finish gives sharper colour and contrast, usually for watching movies. We weren't distracted by the reflections, but because Toshiba offers no matte screen option, those who work in bright environments may want to invest in a screen protector. We like the single long hinge that runs almost the entire length of the display, which feels sturdier than the typical two-hinge setup on most laptops.
We were surprised that Toshiba left such a large frame around the keyboard of the Satellite Pro A210. Perhaps it seems larger than usual because of the absence of the media controls we're accustomed to seeing on consumer-oriented Satellites -- or the application-launch keys and fingerprint reader we're accustomed to seeing on business systems.
However, the interior of the laptop does have a very clean and minimalist look. The keyboard itself is full size, and the keys are comfortably soft and quiet. The touchpad and mouse buttons are likewise sufficiently large, but we wish the buttons weren't so close to the laptop's front edge.
As it is, there's little support for your hand and wrist when you're navigating with the pad. We do like that the touchpad is slightly recessed, which kept us from accidentally grazing it while typing.