Toshiba T2130CS

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Toshiba (Satellite) T2130CS Overview


  • Intel Mobile 486 DX4 75MHz CPU
  • 8 MB FPM RAM (standard) up to 32 MB Max (24MB on Toshiba proprietary format RAM module)
  • 11.3-inch STN color LCD (640x480 resolution, 20:1 contrast ratio, 256 colours palette)
  • Chips&Technology CT65545 GPU (1MB VRAM, 16-bit colour capable, but only on external monitor)
  • No sound card
  • 520 MB HDD
  • 3.5 inch FDD (unreliable)


  • Mono speaker (PC beeper only)
  • 2xPCMCIA Slots
  • VGA Output
  • NimH rechargable battery
  • Single PS/2, Serial, Parallel ports
  • Built-in 110-240V power supply
  • Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 support

Toshiba T2130CS 14.1"

Best retro purpose

Early DOS gaming and Windows 3.1 use although capable of running Windows 95 as well, with a bigger, newer IDE hard-drive (manufactured earlier than 2000, not compatible with late large and fast disk drives) or Compact Flash card with 44pin adaptor. Not suitable for racing, action games or anything demanding except with external VGA monitor. The built screen does not offer great room with just 640x480 resolution.

Can run Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM well but Quake is unbearably slow. Best suited for slow-paced games (turn-based) such as Heroes 1&2 or puzzle/point and click adventure games, since the screen updates quite slow, has massive ghosting and artifacts in fast-paced scenes.



A mostly low-end, quite slim laptop, released in 1995, with a very poor LCD screen having 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 only 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 connectors and control being used.

It has a good performance CPU, with a quite fast video controller for a 486. The CPU does not release too much heat so active cooling is not necessary. 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 Acupoint 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 only slightly durable, far from 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, although capable of only the standard PC beeper output. No effort was made for integrating a sound card, quite odd for a laptop released in 1995, and especially so for a Japanese laptop.

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 disassembly 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. In Windows 95 you start to feel the sluggishness of the system as the video controller has insufficient acceleration and low screen scrolling performance and the CPU is quite slow for a reasonably loaded Windows 95 system. Although the video controller is faster than some Trident models and especially so in comparison with Paradise Western Digital chipsets of its time, the CPU is by far the slowest component.