CNET First Look
Toshiba Satellite L745D-S4220WHBudget shoppers had best look elsewhere than the 14-inch Toshiba Satellite L745D-S4220: a low-end processor and middling speed aren't worth the $499 asking price, and we've seen many laptops in the same range that offer more.
Hi, I'm Scott Stein, senior editor at cnet.com. I consider this as a service announcement. If you're shopping for a budget laptop this holiday season, do not get one that's large like this and that has an AMD E-350 processor or something that's usually seen in an 11-inch notebook. Let me explain. This is the Toshiba Satellite L745DS4220. Now, technically, there's nothing wrong with the AMD E-350. It's what we've seen in 11-inch laptops like I said like the HP Pavilion dm1z which is a great 11-incher that's under $500. That's got a great combination of performance and battery life and all of that and nice little compact frame. This is a big 14-inch laptop with the same processor, the processor that we talked about back in January. Now, when you say AMD E-350, that's sounds like you're gonna find labeled on the outside of the laptop. AMD has a series of Vision processors that have built-in graphics capabilities. But, the labels can be a little bit confusing. This one says AMD Vision E2 on it. Now, you're gonna see a lot of Vision labels on a lot of different laptops but there are differences. This is an E-350 and you'll find that at some of the small print on the side of the box. Others may have A4 or A6 or A8 processors. Those are a lot better on what you're gonna be getting in this one. Now, this laptop in its suggested retail price is $499. You maybe able to get it for less elsewhere but that's a lot of money. $500 can buy you a laptop with a really nice processor via Intel Core i3 at least and a good size hard drive and RAM. So, it's no bargain to get something at $499 and the performance that this L745D had with the E-350 was very disappointing. Now, it's capable of streaming videos, sure, and you're able to write and use the web and use Google docs but the keyboard and the design are also a bit disappointing too. This is an L Series, not a higher-end Toshiba Satellite and so it's a little more chancy feeling and the speakers are very weak. They're not the Harman Kardon's that you're maybe used too in some of the fancier-- fancy shmancy satellites that we've look at. I like the Satellite P which is a nice line of laptops. Plus, the battery life is about three hours which really isn't that great considering you're giving up so much performance. The bottom line, look for laptop that can offer you more for the price. I'm Scott Stein and this is a look at the Toshiba Satellite L745DS4220