Toshiba promotes the Satellite A660 — or more specifically, the A660/07R PSAW3A-07R00R, as there are many models of A660 — as the "ultimate all-round high performance entertainment machine, featuring true 3D for a totally immersive gaming and movie viewing experience". It's silly in the extreme to call any product "ultimate" — where do you go to from there, exactly? — but still the design of the A660 leaves little doubt that this is a high-gloss, "in your face"-style entertainment notebook.
The large backlit keyboard includes a number pad and a row of touch-sensitive buttons, although curiously the space bar is comparatively tetchy. The finish is undeniably plastic but exceptionally shiny, and one of those matters of personal taste. Some will love its in-your-face aesthetic; we found it a little tiring after a while.
The other accessory that leaps out of the box at you is a pair of Nvidia's 3D glasses along with a USB transmitter in a big green shiny box. You only get a single pair, but then the 3D chops of this system are much more focused around 3D gaming than social 3D movie watching in any case.
The A660 we tested was kitted out with a little bit of everything, and then a few bits more. Specifically, it runs on an Intel Core i7 processor 740QM 1.73GHz processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 640GB (5400rpm) SATA hard drive and Nvidia GeForce GTS350M 1GB graphics chip. The optical drive is a Blu-ray RW/DVD SuperMulti double/dual-layer drive, with further entertainment options handled by an in-built Hybrid Digital/Analog TV Tuner. Four USB ports are present, with one being a shared eSATA/USB port that's also powered up even when the laptop is off for the purposes of charging other USB gadgetry. Other ports include VGA, HDMI, PCI Express, SD and gigabit Ethernet. Bluetooth 2.1 and 802.11n Wi-Fi is supported.
On the software side, the default operating system install is Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit, but on first boot you're given the option to use a recovery partition for Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Trial versions of Microsoft Office 2007 (60 days) and Norton Internet Security are also pre-installed.