WHAT’S HOT: This sedate-looking all-in-one unit packs a couple of unexpected extras: a convenient CD-RW/DVD combo drive, integrated wireless networking antennas built into the lid, and an 802.11b wireless LAN card for wireless networking. Unlike some wireless-ready notebooks, the 4600 also comes with standard communications options built in, including a V.90 modem and a network interface card. When you don’t need wireless reception, a small switch on the left side of the notebook turns it off to save battery life. Type A personalities fond of software shortcuts will like the Fn-esse utility, which lets you combine the Fn key with any numerical or command key to launch over a dozen different files or applications. A small on-screen keyboard acts as a handy assignment reference by displaying the names of the applications when you pass a cursor over their keys.
WHAT’S NOT: Two largely useless toolbars clutter the desktop. The Toshiba Active Menu holds shortcuts to various Toshiba Corp. online resources, the games that come bundled with Windows, and the user guide; the silly to-do list reminds you to try the Active Menu and read the user guide.
WHAT ELSE: This two-tone Satellite is thick–nearly 2 inches tall–and boxy, unlike most Toshiba notebooks. Both fixed drives, including the floppy drive, sit on the right side of the notebook, along with the audio ports and volume thumbwheel. The 4600 boasts good sound, comprehensive print and electronic manuals, and a composite-TV-out port for presenters. Eraserhead fans will find the keyboard, with its soft crescent-shaped mouse buttons, almost as easy to navigate as an IBM ThinkPad’s. Two extra buttons scroll documents and serve as a handy Internet Back button. The 4600 performed fine for its processor class, turning in a PC WorldBench 2000 score of 164–a hair faster than the average Pentium III-850/700.
BEST USE: With its 15-inch screen, combination CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, and wireless capability, the Satellite Pro 4600 offers a tidy all-in-one package for peripatetic business and creative folk who need to stay connected.
Toshiba Satellite Pro 4600
PC WorldBench 2000 score of 164, Pentium III-850/700 CPU, 128MB of SDRAM, 256KB L2 cache, Windows 2000 Professional, 15-inch active-matrix screen, Trident CyberBlade-XP graphics chip with 16MB of SDRAM, 20GB hard drive, 4X/4X/24XCD-RW/6XDVD-ROM combo drive, built-in network adapter, V.90 modem, eraserhead pointing device, 8.4-pound weight (with AC adapter and phone cord), one-year parts and labor warranty, free unlimited 24-hour tech support.