The U300-111 is equipped with an 86-key silvery keyboard. It has a nonstandard design. In fact, the size of the case is wide enough to accommodate the traditional vertical column of buttons including Home, Page Up, Page Down and End, but Toshiba’s designers preferred to keep the full size of the main keyboard’s keys at the expense of that column. As a result, Page Up and Page Down are squeezed in next to the Arrow keys and are almost half their regular size.
The keyboard buttons are rather stiff but you can get used to that easily. They do not rattle. The Caps Lock indicator is located on the namesake button. The Enter button is shaped classically like the letter L. The movement keys are placed below the keyboard’s baseline, so there’s lower risk of your pressing them accidentally. The bottom left corner is occupied by a Control, which is convenient for people who are used to shortcuts like Ctrl+C or Ctrl+V. Numeric buttons and two Windows keys are available: the Context Menu key is placed to the right of the spacebar; the Windows Logo key is to the left of the spacebar. The functional keys are separated from the main keyboard with a gray insert and are divided into three groups: ESC, F1-F12, and five additional buttons (Print Screen, Home, End, Insert and Delete). The letters and the functional keys are all marked in black.
Two stereo speakers are placed above the keyboard.
Centered below the screen is a multimedia block together with Power and Internet buttons (from left to right):
- Power button
- Internet button (starts your web-browser)
- CD/DVD (starts your multimedia player)
- Previous Track
- Next Track
The notebook is equipped with Toshiba’s typical touchpad. It is silvery like the surrounding surface and is sunken in it to prevent your finger from leaving the touch-sensitive area. The touchpad is highly responsive. There is no scrolling zone or a dedicated scrolling joystick. The touchpad is accompanied with two buttons.
To avoid touching the touchpad while using an external mouse, you can block it by pressing Fn+F9.
The notebook’s left panel contains the following components (from left to right):
- 15-pin D-Sub for an external monitor
- Two USB 2.0 ports
- Microphone connector
- Headphones output
- Sound volume control
The notebook’s right panel carries the following:
- 26-pin ExpressCard/54
- Optical drive with activity indicator, eject button and emergency eject hole
- USB 2.0 port
- LAN port (RJ-45)
- Modem port (RJ-11)
- Kensington security slot
The notebook’s back panel shows a power connector and the back of the battery module.
On the bottom panel there are covers of HDD, memory and WLAN compartments, a battery module with two locks, and stickers with model information and the OS serial number.
The memory compartment contains two slots, each of which is occupied by a 1024MB module. This is half the maximum memory amount supported by the notebook. So, if you want to upgrade the memory subsystem to 4 gigabytes, you’ll have to replace these modules with 2048MB ones.
The notebook exhausts the hot air to the left, but there are vent holes in the bottom panel which are going to be blocked if you put the notebook down on your laps. This is not a big problem, though, as the notebook is not too hot.
The Satellite U300-111 comes with a standard 6-cell 4000mAh battery.