In a nutshell? Fast and brutal. I mean ... seriously fast. Think of it as a Toyota Camry with a 5 liter V8 under the hood and a shotgun bolted to the dash, and you wouldn't miss it by much. Fuel economy is ... in the muscle car league. "Desktop replacement" more appropriate describes the Toshiba Satellite A70 and A75 laptops.
Birth marks: Midsized, Blue hat, silver shirt, black trousers and shoes. Sleek and rounded. Made by Compal Electronics (TWN).
The A70's and A75's are identical twins. These were sold in 2006 and feature P4's with HyperThreading, and mostly above 3.0Ghz. The HyperThreading adds 20% speed at the top end, and you'll feel it. Use DDR memory, 2.5" IDE hard drives, ATI chipset/video, Atheros wireless card, 15.4" widescreens (TruBrite or matte). About 8 lbs in weight - it's not meant to be carried around, unless you're into serious weight/endurance training. OS choices are XP Home or XP Pro, and max memory is 1.25G or 1.5G, depending on models.
In the year 2012? These things are still fast. Nothing quite beats that good-ole V8.
Pros (what works in your favor):
* A nice, solid chassis - about as good as the best out there;
* Speed, speed, and more speed;
* Wireless performance feels great;
* Both the high-gloss and matte widescreens are outstanding and grand-standing ("show-offs!");
* Reliability is outta this world good: in all my years, the only dead A70 or A75's that I've seen were due to spills;
* Serviceability is .... above average - not bad at all.
Cons (what works against you):
None, really. Bear in mind that an A70/A75 weighs 8 lbs, so it's meant for occasional mobility. It's got the dual turbo fans typical of most Hyperthreading machines - so you'll hear 'em. Battery life is 2 hours max with a new, Toshiba battery; much less with third-party batteries (I'd avoid third party batteries altogether).
The A70, A75 laptops are picky about WiFi cards - so use only the WiFi cards that were sold with these systems (Atheros), cause nothing else works.
These systems use dual turbo fans that draw outside air from their bottom vents and expel warm air out the rear. These fans act like ... powerful Hoover's, so ya gotta keep the bottom vents away from carpets, sofa's, pillows, blankets, dirty surfaces, ...etc. - at all costs - to avoid their vacuum effect. The most common complaint on these things is overheating, and without exception, an overheating A70/A75 laptop is one that's clogged with hair, lint, fiber, ... and what not, and suffocated. That is it. Clean out its fans and heat sink, and you'll be good to go, or, better yet, keep 'em clean and you'll be even better!
What does "shipping" have anything to do with a laptop guide? Well... DO NOT, I repeat: DO NOT, let anyone ship one of these to you in a Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box, unless it is super well packaged because well ... they'll arrived with damages to the case corners. I guarantee it. So if you're gonna buy one, it needs to be shipped in either a Large Flat Rate Box, or a real box, by UPS. There's no compromising on this, okay? When my customers send these to me in a Medium Flat Rate Box, I've had 100% case damages - not a single one was spared. You must let the seller know this, work out the shipping arrangement ahead of time, or don't bite on it at all.
if mobility is your gig, then this ain't for you. But if you can live with limited mobility and 1.5G of max RAM and some fan noise - then these are the best machines out there. Nothing else comes close.