Toshiba Drops Price of Satellite Pro S300 Notebooks

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Toshiba America has dropped the price of its Toshiba Satellite Pro S300 notebooks -- a line targeted at small and medium-size businesses and sold through Toshiba's 5,500 channel partners. Resellers say the new entry-level price of $529 is expected to be popular with customers. All but the entry-level model of the Satellite Pro S300 comes with downgrade rights to Windows XP Pro.

Toshiba has dropped the price of its Satellite Pro S300 laptop notebook systems—a product line introduced last year to appeal to small commercial accounts. The entry-level price for the Satellite S300 laptop is now $529.

It's a move the market has been asking for, particularly as PC makers prepare for 2009—a year of budget cuts and uncertainty that has OEMs looking to pick up business in the SMB (small and midsize business) space as enterprise customers put off purchases for yet another year.

"Prices of notebook computers continue to go down," says Jerry Lumpkin
vice president of Business Channel Sales at Toshiba America Information Systems. "We've seen a dramatic shift to the number of notebooks sold in the sub-$999 range."

But there's more to the SMB segment than just price. Customers are looking for low-maintenance laptops that just do what they are supposed to do.

"Instead of us just taking a notebook that is in retail and offering it to commercial customers, we completely redesigned the system," says Cindy Zwerling, B2B product marketing manager at Toshiba America.

Toshiba has targeted its Toshiba Satellite Pro S300 to SMB customers with features such "Easy Guard" protections that include shock absorption to protect the hard drive and a spill-proof keyboard, among other benefits.

"Most laptops that are sub-$1,000 are not built to be very durable, but these Satellite Pros have shock absorption," says Michael Mele of CSS Laptop Services, a reseller and Toshiba Authorized Repair Center. Mele says he's heard from customers about how their sales have fallen, but CSS Laptop Services sales have remained strong, particularly for the low-price-point laptops.

"The sub-$600 Satellite Pros are going out the doors fast," he says.

The Toshiba Satellite Pro S300 also is free of preloaded applications that burden many consumer PCs.

"Instead of having a system that has all different pop-ups and bloatware, we have designed a very clean load for the Toshiba Satellite Pro S300," says Zwerling. And the Satellite Pro S300 also offers a feature that's very popular with small-business customers.  All but the entry-level system offers XP downgrade rights, says Zwerling.

"A lot of business users still want Microsoft Windows XP Pro," she says. "They are not ready for Microsoft Windows Vista. Most of our volume is for XP Pro. If we could just load XP on it, we would."

The Satellite Pro S300 series also comes with a two-year warranty, one year beyond the industry standard.  Plus, users can purchase an additional year of warranty if they are looking to stretch the lives of their systems.

"Several of our resellers have told us that the warranty has been one of the determining factors when the notebook is chosen," says Zwerling.

Toshiba sells the Satellite Pro through its 5,500 U.S. resellers, through direct market resellers such as CDW and direct from the Toshiba online store. Toshiba's Preferred Partner program offers three tiers—Platinum, Gold and Silver—and rebates of 1 to 3 percent, as well as allowing resellers to purchase products for up to a 40 percent rebate.

The Satellite Pro specs are as follows:

  • The entry-level system, the Toshiba Satellite Pro S300-EZ1511 at $529, features an Intel Pentium Processor T3400, 1GB DDR SD RAM memory, 120GB 5,400-rpm SATA hard drive, a fixed optical disc drive DVD SuperMulti, a 15.4-inch TruBrite widescreen WXGA display, a Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M and Atheros 802.11b/g wireless LAN.
  • The Satellite Pro S300-EZ1512 at $579 features Windows Vista Business with XP Pro downgrade rights, an Intel Pentium Processor T3400, plus all the features of the entry-level model.
  • The Satellite Pro S300-EZ1513 at $649 features Windows Vista Business with XP Pro downgrade rights, Intel Core2 Duo Processor T6400, a 160GB 5,400-rpm SATA hard drive, plus all the features of the entry-level model.
  • The Satellite Pro s300-EZ1514 at $699 offers Windows Vista Business with XP Pro downgrade rights, an Intel Core2 Duo Processor T6570, 2GB DDR SDRAM memory, a 160GB 5,400-rpm SATA hard drive, an Intel WiFi Link 5100AGN (802.11a/g/n) and a built-in Webcam.


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com