Toshiba Satellite P755D-S5172 - 15.6 - A series A8-3520M - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - 6 GB RAM - 640 GB HDD review:

Toshiba Satellite P755D-S5172 - 15.6 - A series A8-3520M - Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - 6 GB RAM - 640 GB HDD

This fixed-configuration laptop includes a decent-size 640GB 5,400rpm hard drive, 6GB of RAM, and an AMD Quad-Core A8-3520M processor. But Toshiba makes several other P755 variations -- we counted 30 on Toshiba's Web site, with both Intel and AMD CPUs. This is the least expensive, while there's also an Intel Core i7 model that costs $1,199.

For a $699 laptop, the performance here is acceptable, but considering AMD's A8 processor should be better than its A6 and A4 versions, it's underwhelming. Far from being competitive with Intel's midrange Core i5 processors, the benchmark scores were closer to an Intel Core i3. For basic websurfing, video viewing, and social networking, it's more than adequate, and while using the laptop, I ran into only occasional minor slowdown.

AMD does offer a decent graphics card bundled into its overall A8 package. Together both are called an APU (a term invented by AMD), but the GPU in question is the Radeon HD 6620G. It's much better than the basic graphics you get with an Intel CPU, known as HD 3000, and the AMD version ran Street Fighter IV at 1,366x768 pixels at 29.8 frames per second. That makes it good for mainstream gaming if you keep the performance options set to medium or low levels. Keep in mind, however, that Intel's upcoming new integrated GPU, the HD 4000, has so far offered similar performance in our initial tests.

Juice box
Toshiba Satellite P755D-S5172 Average watts per hour
Off (60 percent) 0.54
Sleep (10 percent) 0.97
Idle (25 percent) 7.55
Load (5 percent) 41.72
Raw kWh 38.50
Annual energy cost $4.37

It's not exactly burning up the charts performance-wise, so a good place for the P755 to shine would be in battery life. Unfortunately, that was not to be. In our video playback battery drain test, the system ran for 2 hours and 50 minutes, a bit below the three-hour cutoff for acceptable battery life in a 15-inch laptop.

Toshiba includes an industry-standard one-year parts-and-labor warranty with the system. Support is accessible through a 24-7 toll-free phone line, and a customized support search page can direct you to online documents and driver downloads for this specific model.

In conclusion, out of the 30-odd preconfigured versions of the Satellite P755 offered by Toshiba, the P755D-S5172 offers a decent but not exciting design, pretty good graphics performance, and a Blu-ray player for $699 -- but AMD's A-series CPU platform simply can't compete with even entry-level Intel CPUs in most tests, making this midpriced laptop feel more like a budget system.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Annual power consumption cost
Toshiba Satellite P755D-S5172

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