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Toshiba Satellite 100CT Overview


  • Intel Mobile Pentium 90Mhz CPU (soldered to the mainboard, not replaceable)
  • 11.3-inch TFT color LCD (800x600 resolution, 100:1 contrast ratio)
  • Cirrus Logic GD-7543 video controller (1MB VRAM, 16bit colour capable on external SVGA screen)
  • ESS1688 Audio Card, SoundBlaster 2.0/Adlib capable emulation
  • 8 MB EDO RAM (standard) up to 40 MB Max (32MB on Toshiba proprietary format RAM module)
  • 810 MB Toshiba HDD
  • 3.5 inch FDD (unreliable, belt driven platter rotation system) placed in a removable bay


  • CD-ROM Drive (optional, can replace the FDD in the removable bay)


  • Mono speaker with analogue volume knob
  • Integrated microphone
  • Audio input and headphone output on jack
  • 2xPCMCIA Slots
  • VGA Output
  • Proprietary Docking port and docking station
  • NimH rechargable battery
  • Single PS/2, Serial, Parallel ports
  • Built-in 110-240V power supply
  • Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 support, MS-DOS Sound Blaster Pro emulation

COMPAQ LTE 5200 11.3"

Best retro purpose

Despite the laptop's potentially good platform, performance is relegated to a poorer 486 laptop. The RAM interface and video chipset seriously limits top performance, making the laptop better suited only for early MS-DOS games. Running Windows 95 requires a lot of patience. With some slight exceptions, just about any other laptop seems to be better than these COMPAQ LTE models, as the Toshiba or IBM of the day offers better performance and lower noise, a better keyboard, screen or weight, or a combination of these features. Repairs are cumbersome, meaning the laptop is quite unattractive.


Durability and Repair-ability

The plastic quality seems good, meaning that cracks are less common than on other laptops. Disassembly and assembly operations are simple but somewhat unpleasant as the laptop uses untypical screw heads, although a simple straight screwdriver can be used. Complex board layering makes servicing less straightforward and the laptop is known to have various power supply and stability issues. Access to RAM and harddrive is straightforward and the fact that drives are mounted on removable trays makes replacement very easy. The laptop generally runs quite hot so the active cooling system can be quite annoying, especially as it uses a very small fan. The removable floppy drive has a belt driven system that is very prone to failure. The floppy drive does not seem to be compatible with other models, making a better replacement quite unlikely.

Greatest features & flaws

Features Flaws
Good Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS gaming Obsolete RAM, video chipset hardware, unavoidable plastic case and keyboard yellowing
Classic LCD with glass top layer Poor audio quality, poor LCD contrast, uncomfortable keyboard
Good keyboard and trackpoint Pentium laptop with 486 performance due to poor design decisions, complex model lineup
Removable bay for floppy and CD-ROM drive Very heavy laptop, poor reliability floppy drive


A mid-range laptop, features wise, with a good LCD screen. The display has only two brightness levels, being somewhat inadequate in use. Response time is allright, making the laptop suited for office use as well as vintage games.

The laptop feels quite fast due to the specified CPU, with a reasonably fast video controller. The CPU does get warm and the cooling system is not that great, with a small and noisy single-speed fan, but the laptop handles constant heat quite well with no fan spin. The keyboard has reasonable tactile feedback but it is far from being the best, with quite a long key travel and a mushy feel. The Accupoint cursor system (mouse compatible) is reasonably accurate but the cap disintegrates and the click buttons rubbery face fails similarly, in time, becoming sticky. The laptop's plastic case is quite durable but not the best.

The FDD drive was a very poor choice, since the belt driven disk rotation fails after many years, compatible belts being harder to find unreliable. The removable disk bay is very good for a laptop of its generation and the rechargeable battery can be easily removed or replaced. There were many Toshiba laptops that used the same battery and working with a removed battery does not affect stability or aesthetics. There are two more internal rechargeable NimH batteries inside the laptop that may leak and are somewhat harder to replace (not the typical, compact CR2032 3V button cell). They are used for Bios settings and memory suspension features.

The integrated speaker is quite good, even if it is mono. The front placement and size make it sound reasonable well, much better than speakers placed below the top side of the chassis but far from late Pentium era Toshiba laptops. Actually, the sound output is one strong point of Toshiba Satellite laptop throughout many generations. The microphone quality and positioning is mediocre, with chassis noise (hard-drive) being picked up easily as in most laptops of this era.

The standard HDDs supplied by Toshiba have a known tendency to have their heads stick to the parking position limiter when old, making the drive fail to start. Careful internal dissassembly is required to unstick the heads from the parking position. Use care and touch only the drive arm near the center pin to slowly unstick it. Overall, the hard-drive offers medium performance while having quite a pleasant sound in operation.

Software support is great in DOS and Windows 3.1, making the system feel snappy. DOS sound capability is great, with good Adlib compatibility and Sound Blaster Pro emulation. It does not require any TSR or configuration to enable DOS support. In Windows 95 you start to feel the sluggishness of the system as the video controller has insufficient acceleration and low screen scrolling performance. Basically Toshiba used roughly the same platform on 486 and Pentium laptops which kept RAM and Video performance from being as high as it could. Although the video controller is faster than some Trident models, it is far from late Pentium 1 era Neomagic 128 chipsets.