Penryn Inside: Toshiba Satellite X205-SLi4 Mini Review

Toshiba’s Satellite X205-SLi4 ($2,499) may look like your grandfather’s red marbleized bowling ball on the outside, but inside it packs some serious gaming muscle. It’s one of the first notebooks to offer Intel’s Penryn processor, the Core 2 Duo T8100. In comparison to the four other Penryn processors currently on the market, the T8100 falls at the bottom of the barrel—even clocked at 2.1GHz with an 800MHz front side bus speed. But this system also boasts Nvidia SLI GeForce 8600M GT graphics with 512MB of dedicated video RAM. Let’s take a look at how this baby handled our first round of gaming tests. Display Off the bat, we’re a big fan of the 17-inch glossy screen, which has a native resolution of 1680 x 1050. It's not quite a full 1080p screen for HD viewing, but there’s plenty of eye candy here for the latest games.

Spacious Keyboard, Plentiful Ports As we set it up, we added our prized little gaming mouse to one of the six USB ports that are spaced comfortably on both sides of the laptop: two on the left, and four on the right. The keys on the keyboard are spaced appropriately for easy WSAD navigation without feeling too cramped, which is helpful for any gaming laptop that tries to squeeze in a full number pad. Performance of the Satellite X205-SLi4 The X205-SLi4 dished out a good average of 44 frames per second in F.E.A.R when set to the maximum resolution settings. The system averaged 24 fps when we played Call of Duty 4 with the resolution set to 1280 x 1024 and the graphics set to high. It was an enjoyable experience, but we saw some small slowdowns and jittering. While we imagine this system will struggle a bit with Crysis, it will probably play decently on medium settings. The Satellite X205-SLi4 scored 3,120 in PCMark Vantage, which is above average for desktop replacements but well below the 4,045 score the Gateway P-171XL turned in. Then again, that system packs a 2.8GHz Core 2 Extreme X7900 processor and costs $500 more. Stay tuned for our full review, but the X205-SLi4 looks like it’s a solid gaming rig for the price.