Burning discs is done with the help of appropriate buttons on the front panel of the dock station. There’s a special lever that locks these buttons to avoid accidental presses.
I consider the lack of S-Video or RCA connectors as a drawback of this notebook. One video output is available, but it is non-standard and you have to use the enclosed adapter for the ordinary D-Sub output (another accessory you may want to take with you on your trips).
The two-mode cooling system deserves my praises, however. The centrifugal blower is halted at low loads. When there’s high load on the computer (which seldom occurs at everyday office work), the noise is audible, but not very discomforting. The exhaust opening is located on the left, so as I said above, the hot air won’t be blowing at your hand if you attach a right-handed mouse to the notebook.
The Libretto U100-S213 is configured no worse than larger devices: a Pentium M 753 processor (Ultra Low Voltage, 1.2GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 400MHz FSB), an 855GME chipset, 512MB DDR333 SDRAM, and a 60GB 4200rpm hard drive. Like all mobile processors from Intel, the 753 model can dynamically adjust its own frequency depending on the load. Work at a lower frequency means a longer battery life time and less noise from the cooling system. The memory module is removable, so you can replace it with a higher-capacity one. The external optical drive has good characteristics, too. It has the following maximum speeds:
- CD-ROM (24x read)
- CD-R (24x write)
- CD-RW (10x write)
- DVD-ROM (8x read)
- DVD-R (2x write)
- DVD-RW (2x write)
- DVD+R (2.4x write)
- DVD+RW (2.4x write)
- DVD-RAM (2x write)
Intel’s Extreme Graphics 2 core integrated into the chipset cannot deliver a high performance in modern 3D shooters, but it is sufficiently powerful to reproduce video and to run not very demanding games (for example, strategies). Using the Unified Memory Architecture technology, you can allot from 16 to 64 megabytes of system memory for the graphics core’s needs.
The audio subsystem of this notebook consists of Analog Devices’ AD1981B codec and built-in stereo speakers. The exclusive SRS TruSurround XT technology is employed here to add the third dimension to the sound. I won’t talk about the audio quality since the speakers of that size cannot physically sound like even an average speaker system. You will probably want to use good headphones to watch movies and listen to music.
Wireless interfaces have become an important feature of today’s mobile devices. The Libretto U100-S213 is equipped with two: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g (an Atheros chip supporting SuperG technology) and Bluetooth 2.0 Extended Data Range. This will allow the user to connect to various gadgets like PDAs and cell phones and to access wireless networks. Traditional wired networks are not forgotten, either. The notebook has an Intel PRO/100 VE 10/100 Base-TX Ethernet adapter and an integrated V.92 modem.
This model comes with a lot of programs (of varying usefulness) already installed. The preinstalled operating system is Microsoft Windows XP Professional.
Exclusive utilities from Toshiba:
- Toshiba ConfigFree with ConfigFree Summit feature
- Toshiba Power Saver utility
- Toshiba Hotkey Utilities
- Toshiba Zooming Utility (a software magnifying glass)
- One-touch Resolution Change
- Toshiba PC Diagnostics Tool
- Toshiba Management Console
And third-party software:
- Microsoft Works
- Microsoft Office OneNote
- Software Decoder: Intervideo (WinDVD 5)
- Sonic Solutions Drive Letter Access (DLA)
- Sonic Solutions RecordNow! Basic
- OmniPass Finger Print Software Version 3.50
- McAfee VirusScan (30 days trial)
- AOL Internet Service15 (3 months trial)
- AT&T Worldnet Service16 (30 days trial)
A technology for protecting the notebook against shock and vibration should also be mentioned. The system includes an accelerometer that reports to a monitoring utility which then can halt the hard drive or park its heads. This feature should be most helpful, but you can disable it, if you have doubts about its efficiency.
The temperature condition is typical for devices of that class. The notebook has no special protection against water and moisture. The permissible shock levels are quite high, indicating a high quality of assembly (see the non-operating shock value) and an efficient protection system (not all notebooks can boast an operating shock of 7G). The special requirements to the temperature difference are set to prevent water to condense inside the computer. That’s why you shouldn’t take the notebook out of your pocket/bag right after you have come into a warm room from a winter street.