Ah, another day, another laptop trying to subvert the TV for pride of place in front of the sofa. When someone makes a laptop with a 27″ screen then maybe I’ll consider it, but for now lets just admit that using laptops to watch movies is best reserved for public transport and boardroom meetings. This time we have the Toshiba Satellite M40 containing a Intel Pentium M Centrino processor (1.7Ghz standard), 512MB RAM standard, 60GB HDD, DVD burner and a snazzy Mobility Radeon X300 (64MB DDR) PCI-Express card powering the 15.4″ LCD display. The Instant-On function allows you to play DVDs or CDs without needing to boot up the machine properly and thus conserve power, although this will result in some loss of quality. However, the TrueBrite display reportedly offers some fantastic image quality and view angles if operated normally.
This is a budget notebook computer and so there are some limitations like the battery life, that is only capable of a meagre two hours but what with power sockets invading everything but the London Underground (someday it will come) that shouldn’t pose a huge limitation. The DVD burner is capable of writing to most
media formats with the exception of Dual Layer DVD-R, which isn’t a great loss.
Connectivity is handled by Ethernet, Wireless 802.11 b/g, 3xUSB sockets,
FireWire and an internal 56k modem.
Toshiba’s Satellite M40 is available now from an economical £799 but doesn’t look set to be replacing any TVs or DVD players just yet and instead seems like it would be more at home in an office setting where the chance to sneakily watch DVDs seems much more appropriate.