Think I have a laptop picked, but want opinions

I posted about a week ago on my needs for a new laptop, and got a few responses. Just to reiterate, I am a graduate student who needs a laptop for researching in archives and travelling. I have a dedicated desktop which I game on, so my laptop needs are basically word processing, Internet browsing, and media playing (mainly Netflix streaming), but not gaming. Price point is my biggest issue, as I don't have a load of cash to drop on a laptop, but my current HP is 9 YEARS OLD and badly needs replacing, so I am looking to stay under $600.

Based on a lot of reading, I think I am settled on this: the Toshiba Satellite T235-S1370.]

It has gotten good reviews from CNET, Laptop Reviews, and others. The only downside is no optical drive (which I really don't care about, I was not planning on using a lot of physical media anyway, and I have a portable drive to transfer media) and the processor speed is not fantastic. But this processor should be good enough for my needs right (I am more familiar with desktop processors)?

I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with this model, or with Toshibas in general. Would this purchase be the best bang-for-the-buck for my needs?
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More about think laptop picked opinions
  1. You can find a few reviews here: Toshiba Satellite T235

    It's rated a bit lower than the Thinkpad Edge 13 I linked for your earlier which was less expensive and looks to have better battery life too (according to the Computer Shopper review).

    Passmark CPU benchmark score:
    Tohsiba Intel Pentium U5400 @ 1.20GHz = 931
    Lenovo AMD Athlon Neo L325 @ 1.50GHz = 813
  2. A bit less expensive @ Amazon. Just be sure to check shipping and taxes to get the final cost.
    Toshiba Satellite T235-S1370
  3. PCWorld review: Toshiba Satellite T235

    Here is what you like to see. Head to head reviews by the same outfit.
    Computer Shopper reviews:
    Rated 8.4 Toshiba Satellite T235-S1350 (1350 model - not the 1370)
    Rated 8.5 Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13 (Intel CPU model - not the AMD CPU in the model I linked)
  4. WR2

    They both seem pretty good, though the Lenovo review seems to be for the pricier kit. Are the lower-priced versions of both comparable in your opinion? And would I be better suited to get the Intel or AMD version?
  5. I would expect the only differences between models in the same family to be in the internal components like size of HDD, amount of RAM and model of CPU. The build quality and ergonomics should be the same.
    When you change CPU brands, like going from Intel to AMD, you're also changing things like motherboard and video chip too.

    The CPU performance difference between Toshiba and Lenovo is too close to be significant.
    The 3GB Lenovo vs 4GB Toshiba RAM difference is also not a factor in performance between the two for what you intend. It no doubt contributes a bit to the price difference. As does the 250GB vs 320GB HDD.
    I noticed in the Computer Shopper reviews there was a differentiation between the keyboard experience.

    When things appear this close you can end up choosing one over the other based on how well you like the keyboard, or the appearance or the final price.

    Also @ Walmart: Toshiba Black 13.3" Satellite T235-S1370 $560
  6. WR2 -

    I really like the appearance of the Toshiba, the problem is I can't seem to find a store in my area that has them in stock so I can try the keyboard, which is shocking considering I live in Chicago, hardly a small market.

    I have read that the keyboard on the Toshiba is a nice size and has good action as well. I think at this point I am inclined to get it but would like to be able to get my hands on one to try out.
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