Toshiba Satellite 110CS

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Toshiba Satellite 110CS Overview


  • Intel Mobile Pentium 90Mhz CPU (soldered to the mainboard, not replaceable)
  • 11.3-inch DSTN color LCD (800x600 resolution, 30:1 contrast ratio, 256 colours palette)
  • Chips&Tech CT65548 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

Toshiba Satellite 110CS 11.3"

Best retro purpose

Early Windows 95 era gaming released before 1997 or as office computer. While the video chipset is reasonably fast, the highlight of this laptop is the ESS 688 audio chip, a model with a very good SoundBlaster emulation capability along with good MIDI capability. All these features are available out of the box, with no configuration. The video chipset is well compatible with MS-DOS and Windows 95 games, offering well rounded performance. The only slight drawback is due to the CPU speed, making the laptop suited for most classic DOS games, including Quake, avoiding any resolution that is higher than 400x300 resolutions if 3D acceleration is required. 2D games run perfect in 640x480 resolutions.

This laptop has most capabilities as the 110CT model with the only drawback of a much worse internal LCD screen.


Results are similar to Toshiba Satellite 110CT model as only the screen is different and this does not affect performance.

Durability and Repair-ability

The durability of this laptop is average. The chassis plastic can crack sometimes, although the laptop is well built and also has reasonably durable internal circuitry. Typical shortcomings are on the Accupoint system cap that degrades and disintegrates with age, as well as the trackpoint buttons rubberized coating. Fortunately, the rubberized coating can be completely removed by scrubbing with iso-propyl alcohol leaving the buttons quite comfortable eve in this state.

The laptop's screen is easy to service, meaning that LCD backlight lamp removal and replacement is quite easy. This is possible due to the generous and forgiving lamp mounting space which means that repairs are quite easy to carry out with moderate patience and care. This is actually one of the easiest repairs of this type that can be done for beginner users, keeping in mind the usual care of dismounting and unclipping. Thus, replacing an old or damaged LCD fluorescent lamp is quite simple as it requires only disassembly of the display's case and removal of some screws and a top plate.

Overall, despite the poor reliability of Toshiba harddrives, the configuration itself seems very well designed, meaning that laptops have quite a long life and the system itself survives quite well due to low internal heat dissipation in a roomy case.

Greatest features & flaws

Features Flaws
Great Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS gaming, good Windows 95 support Poor CPU cooling system, hot running, very poor LCD screen
Great SoundBlaster compatible support Mono speaker, proprietary RAM modules
Good keyboard and trackpoint, ergonomic case design Soldered CPU, somewhat fragile case plastics
Removable bay for floppy and CD-ROM drive, integrated power supply Poor reliability harddrive and floppy drive


A mid-range laptop, features wise, with a poor LCD screen with very low contrast even for its time. The display has only two brightness levels, standard and energy saving, and a contrast knob that has to adjusted from time to time, for darker or lighter screens. Response time is very high, with lots of ghosting, making the laptop best suited for office use. Overall, the screen is the biggest drawback. Unfortunately, it cannot be easily replaced with a similar era TFT one due to the different video chipset conectors being used.

It is 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. 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.