It's for $1300 at Best Buy after rebate. I think the rebate ends today, 1-29-2005.
I recently got the M45-S331 because I had extended warranty on a two year old laptop that Best Buy had to replace because it had been in for repairs 4 times. Rather than try to sell a brand new $1500 laptop at a loss, I decided to keep it.
I had a choice between an HP and the Toshiba. The HP had a 3GHz P4 w/ HT and bigger harddrive and on paper, seemd to have better specs. However, I already have a P35-S609 so I figured I'd get the M45 over the HP because it's 2lbs lighter at 6.2 lbs and I was hoping the battery life would be half decent. I'm sure everyone else would've gone for the HP (the salesman tried to talk me out of it) but I wanted something more mobile than what I already have, not more of the same.
I've only had the M45 for a little over a day. The M45 is much lighter than my P35 but that's not a fair comparison because the P35 has a 17" screen and is basically just a portable desktop. The DVD drive is slowwwww... even worse than the one in the P35. I ripped 3 DVDs and avg speed was 3X (I get 7-11X on my external FW DVD burner). DVD write speed is up to a measly 2X... it even failed to burn some 8X media I have (which is all I have). I had to use my external burner.
I had it unplugged with everything on and ripped 3 DVDs that took about 25-30 mins each using the internal DVD drive. I would say it lasted around 2 hours with heavy usage of the DVD drive and internal HD (at the same time). I think it's rated for 3 hours so under typical usage, that seems about right.
The fan on my P35 kicks on often... I haven't heard the M45 yet. AFAICT, the M45 runs pretty cool.
This is my first Centrino so I don't know what to expect performance wise. I don't really do any computationally intensive stuff... mainly just I/O intensive.
PS. the reason I have two laptops is that I originally was going to sell my old laptop so I bought the P35. Before I was going to sell it, I put my old laptop in the shop to get a speaker fixed that wasn't correctly fixed the first time it was in the shop. They never could fix it properly so I ended up with the M45. Extended warranty is worth it if not for the yearly battery replacement I always make sure I get. I have it on the P35 but didn't get it for the M45 because I didn't want to spend any more money on a computer I technically paid for two years ago.