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Inexpensive laptops have, historically speaking, come in black. Sure, the vast majority of notebooks have been dark-hued critters, but if you want fancy things, you normally pay extra, and design notes have usually not been a high point for lower-priced notebook options.
To ever so slightly buck this trend, Toshiba's Satellite L730 is decked out in white plastic. Toshiba technically calls it "Luxe White", if you're the sort of person who obsesses over paint chips. It's a fairly bright white with a subtly inlaid dot pattern that's not too tough on the eyes. The only real issue from a design standpoint with the Satellite L730 is that the plastic feels quite hollow when in actual use, which rather accentuates its lower build quality. In other words, it looks nice and shiny from a distance, but, once you're up close, the savings made in construction become apparent. Which isn't to say that it's badly built; it's just not a premium machine.
At 2.1kg and 329x221x36.9mm, the Satellite L730 has a fair amount of heft to it. If you're after a totally portable 13-inch notebook option, this probably isn't it.
Underneath all of that white plastic sits an Intel Core i5 2410M 2.3Ghz processor, 4GB of RAM and a 640GB 5400RPM hard drive. Toshiba supplies a DVD SuperMulti Dual Layer optical drive, as well as three USB 2.0 ports and an SD card slot for media expansion. VGA and HDMI outputs supply video options. The marketing copy refers to a high-definition screen, but the unit itself only ships with a 1366x768-pixel display; perhaps this is a version of "high definition" that we've not previously been aware of. Then again, this isn't a premium-priced notebook, so a slightly lower definition isn't too much of a shock. On the networking side, gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi is supported.
On the software side, Toshiba ships the Satellite L730 with Windows 7 Home Premium. One nice set-up touch that we noted when unpacking the Satellite L730 is that it offers the option to utilise either 32-bit or 64-bit versions of the operating system, although if you do opt for the 64-bit version — and you should — you'll have a slow wait, as it rebuilds the entire operating system before you. Aside from the operating system, Toshiba also pre-installs ConfigFree, Eco Utility, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter (60-day trial), Norton Internet Security 2011 (Trial Version), Norton Online Backup Utility, Toshiba Media Controller, Toshiba PC Health Monitor, Toshiba Recovery Media Creator and Toshiba Resolution+ utilities. On the crapware scale, that's not too heavy a burden to bear. In terms of what Toshiba hypes the Satellite L730 around, Resolution+ allows for up-scaling of video played back through Windows Media Player, while Media Controller allows for media streaming to compatible devices.