Toshiba M55-S325 Processor: 1. 7 GHz Intel Pentium M RAM: 512 MB memory Hard drive: 100 GB Weight: 5. 4 lbs. (6. 3 lbs. with power adapter adapter...

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Processor: 1.7 GHz Intel Pentium M


RAM: 512 MB memory


Hard drive: 100 GB


Weight: 5.4 lbs. (6.3 lbs. with power adapter)


Display: 14-inch widescreen LCD


The M55’s best feature is its most visible one: Its 14-inch screen sparkles. Images look brighter and clearer, even from the side, thanks to the anti-reflective coating Toshiba’s marketing folks have dubbed “TruBrite,” which is available on most of the company’s laptops.


This machine’s metallic-blue cover (tested model: $1,399) gives it some stylish appeal, notwithstanding its flimsy-feeling plastic construction. Two Harman/Kardon speakers reside behind a silver mesh but deliver merely adequate output.


If you only want to watch a DVD or play an audio CD, you can boot the M55 into its “Express Media Player” program instead of starting Windows.


Toshiba generally makes good laptop keyboards, but the touchpad here falls short of that quality. It’s too small and located puzzlingly left of center.


Those compact dimensions make it too easy to accidentally swipe the top portion that comes programmed to interpret taps as “forward” and “back” commands in Internet Explorer.


— Anthony Zurcher


Special to The Washington Post