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Toshiba Satellite A215

I bought my laptop at Best Buy in November 2007. It came with a 1.9 GHz AMD Turion 64x2 Processor and 1 GB RAM, which I upgraded to 2.5 GB myself. Of course, it included Windows Vista Home Premium, 32-bit.

I chose a Toshiba because that's the only brand Best Buy carries that comes with a boot disk; all the others you have to pay their GeekSquad a ridiculous amount to create for you.

I haven't had too many issues with this laptop. The biggest one has been a power issue. I cannot use it on battery for more than 45 minutes to an hour, even on low power settings.

This isn't a huge problem for me, because I'm rarely in a setting where I can't plug it in. It also tends to "blank out", by which I mean it will just shut down the entire OS and have a black (but on) screen. The only solution to that problem is to force a reboot by holding the power button.

However, I have found that not allowing the computer to go into sleep mode greatly minimizes the problem; it tends to occur either when I use the computer post-Sleep (maybe 10 minutes after, maybe 2 hours), or when I've not rebooted for several days. So with minimal maintenance, it's not too difficult to overcome these problems.

The keyboard is fine, and even after 2+ years of being gently abused and eaten over, doesn't have any problems, no sticking keys or anything.

The touchpad is OK, though sometimes it will do something unexpected like minimize the entire window when I'm sliding my finger down the right edge of the touchpad to scroll. It is nice to be able to click with either the touchpad buttons or by tapping the touchpad, and I save time with the scrolling feature. Most of the time, I use a separate wireless mouse anyway.

It does tend to overheat a bit, a problem that has gotten worse as the laptop ages, but I have a raised cooling mat with a fan (the kind that lifts the laptop mostly off the surface and blows air to cool it, not just absorbs the heat), and that seems to work pretty well.

I won't deny that I'm rather lax about cleaning the fan, which I should probably go do now while I'm thinking about it...

I am overall rather pleased with my purchase, and the next time I'm ready to buy a laptop, I'll likely look at Toshiba models first.

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