Heat, Weight, Connectivity and Battery Life
Most of the Toshiba T235’s chassis seems to stay the same temperature no matter what load is placed on the laptop. The exception is the lower front side of the laptop, which is warm at idle and heats up under load. This heat can be felt both on the palmrest and on the bottom of the laptop. The heat is never excessive, but it may make your left palm a little sweaty.
This heat was reflected by the laptop’s internal sensors, which reported a CPU temperature of around 45 degrees Celsius at idle and around 53 degrees Celsius at load. This isn’t particularly good or bad. The conservatively tuned fan rarely spun up and was quiet when operating.
The T235 is a lightweight, squeezing under 4 pounds without the adapter. The power adapter is also small and light, making the entire package easy to lug around town.
Connectivity is typical. The right side of the T235 offers a microphone and headphone jack, two USB ports, VGA-out, Ethernet and a lock port. The left side offers a card reader, a combo eSATA/USB port and HDMI out. The power jack is located on the left side at the rear of the chassis.
The Toshiba T235 comes with a six-cell battery that protrudes somewhat from the bottom of the chassis, acting as a sort of stand. Although it appears large, a battery of this size is fairly typical among ultraportables seeking to achieve good battery life.
Indeed, the battery life issue is one of the most important facing the Toshiba T235 and AMD’s Nile platform. Older AMD ultraportables often fell flat because they could only achieve around four hours of battery life rather than the six or more hours that Intel ultraportables could manage. The MSI Wind U230 we tested earlier this year was a perfect example – although it also had a six cell battery it didn’t achieve over four hours of battery life on any battery test.
The Toshiba T235, I’m happy to report, is much improved, as the chart above suggests. In real-world usage it isn’t at all difficult to achieve five hours of battery life with the WiFi on and the screen a few ticks away from maximum brightness. Taking measures to improve battery life, like kicking the screen brightness down a few notches, makes six hours obtainable. This is still not as good as what many Intel based competitors can achieve, but it does enter what I call the “So-What? Zone.” Five to six hours of battery life is well in excess of what most users need and gives the T235 the endurance required to keep you busy during a long flight.