When a manufacturer picks AMD or Intel chips for a particular model, it's often a bit of an exclusive marriage. Toshiba, however, is going Big Love for its new 11.6-inch T115 and 13.3-inch T135 ultraportables, which can both run AMD Neo, AMD Turion or Intel Pentium SU4100 processors. Nothing absolutely blazing, but at the $450 starting point (for AMD) you're hardly past a netbook cost for something considerably peppier. The laptops, which measure less than an inch thick and weigh 3.5 and 3.9 pounds, respectively, offer up 9 hours of battery on Intel and 6 hours on AMD, with the ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics in the latter providing some decent low-power video decoding (including Blu-ray, if you have an external drive). Prices scale up to $700, with a 320GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM at the high end.
We played around with both models, and while there's nothing specific to gripe about, we can't say we're super impressed by Toshiba's heavy handed, ultra-gloss approach. It feels a little last gen and cheap, particularly in comparison to the refined mini NB305 -- whose chiclet keyboard is almost preferable to the slightly mushy keys on display here. The price point and feature set makes these certainly worth a further look, but we wish Toshiba would get over its plastic fetish and make something a bit more desirable.