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The Online Mom CHOICE Award – Toshiba Satellite® U505

At The Online Mom, we are often asked to recommend a laptop. Some of the time, it's a family looking for a mobile option to replace an aging desktop; at other times, it's a mom or dad looking for that first computer for their high school senior or soon-to-be college freshman.

When it comes to laptops, the wish-list rarely varies: stylish but robust; big, bright screen and good speakers; easy-to-use keyboard and touch pad; portable but lots of memory, storage and processing power. And, of course, a bargain price!

Up until now, that's been a tall order, particularly when it comes to matching style and affordability. But more recently, a number of powerful, fully-equipped, great looking laptops have found their way onto the market at a price that won't break the bank.

At the very top of that list is Toshiba's outstanding Satellite U505 series, which deservedly receives The Online Mom 2010 CHOICE Award.

First introduced last year, the Toshiba Satellite U505 laptops feature 13-inch screens, the latest Intel Dual Core processors, and a range of customizable options that would impress even the most demanding college student. Since then, Toshiba has gone on to expand the series, improving the looks and style without giving anything away in durability and performance.

We recently tested the U505-S2005, which comes with a MSRP of $799.00. The U505-S2005 features a stylish textured finish and is available in Luxe Brown, Red, White or Pink. (We tested the pink version. It was a huge hit with my 16-year-old daughter!)

At 4.75 pounds, the U505-S2005 will never be confused with an ultraportable, but it's light enough to comfortably carry in a backpack and sturdy enough to absorb the inevitable campus knocks. The keyboard is well-cushioned and quiet, and conveniently backlit for those late night cramming sessions. The touchpad is small but smooth and sensitive.

In terms of speeds and feeds, the U505-S2005 features an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, enough for even the most avid video gamer and movie fan. The 13.3-inch widescreen display offers TruBrite technology and 1280x800 resolution for great image clarity. The U505-S2005 comes pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Premium edition.

The U505-S2005 also features a built-in webcam and microphone; a memory card reader for transferring files from a digital camera, camcorder, MP3 player or smartphone; a USB sleep-and-charge port; an HDMI port; and Dolby 5.1 surround sound.

In our tests, the U505-S2005 was fast, easy-to-use and provided an excellent all round computing experience. We loaded up with games, movies and music and barely put a dent in the massive 500GB storage capacity.

The Toshiba name has always represented quality and reliability in what has become one of the most competitive areas in consumer electronics – mid- to upper-end laptops. Now starting at $689.99, the Satellite U505 series has also added affordability.

Comment by Eric Castrella, posted 4/9/2010, 8:55 AM:

My son has a T-135 but wants to upgrade as he says the graphics are not good enough for gaming. Can you tell me whether the 505s can handle high-level gaming?
Comment by Katrina Morris, posted 4/9/2010, 8:50 AM:

We've had a great experience with Toshiba's over the years. I'm that mom that has to buy a new laptop for my daughter this Spring, so I'll check out the U505 series. Thanks for the tips!
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