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Toshiba L355D-S7825 review: Toshiba L355D-S7825

Toshiba L355D-S7825

5 min read

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Editors' note: This review is part of our Holiday 2008 Retail Laptop Roundup, covering specific new configurations of popular laptops that can be found in retail stores.

5.5

Toshiba L355D-S7825

The Good

Low price; attractive case; beautiful display; broad, comfortable keyboard with 10-key number pad.

The Bad

Poor performance compared with similarly priced systems; lousy speakers; brief battery life.

The Bottom Line

The Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7825 delivers a broad, 17.1-inch display at a low price, but at the cost of performance and battery life.

By virtue of its broad, 17.1-inch display, the $699 Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7825 stands out among budget laptops (most of which feature 15.4-inch displays). And it is one of the cheapest 17-inch models around. But that feature is pretty much the only way the Satellite L355D-S7825 distinguishes itself; the rest of its feature set is merely adequate, its battery life below average, and (thanks to the inclusion of an AMD processor) its performance was consistently at the bottom of our benchmarks. If you want a basic 17.1-inch laptop at a low price, the Satellite L355D-S7825 will meet your needs. However, if you don't absolutely require the larger screen, we recommend you invest a little extra money to buy a 15.4-inch laptop with significantly better performance and battery life, such as the $749 Satellite A305-S6872 or the $799 HP Pavilion dv4-1125nr.

Price $699
Processor 2.0GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-60
Memory 3GB of 667MHz
Hard drive 250GB at 5,400rpm
Chipset ATI RS690M
Graphics ATI Radeon X1250 (integrated)
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Dimensions (wide x deep x thick) 15.7 x 11.5 x 1.7 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 17.1 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 7.1 / 8 pounds
Category mainstream

Bypassing Toshiba's pin-striped Satellite case design, the Satellite L355D-S7825's lid is a glossy, solid indigo color (Toshiba calls it "onyx blue") and its interior is glossy black. The overall effect is subdued, but elegant--the laptop looks far more expensive than its $699 price. Both the lid and the base feature rounded corners that help the laptop appear smaller than it is; though its 7.1-pound weight places it in the mainstream category, the Satellite L355D-S7825 has a larger footprint than other mainstream laptops.

In exchange for taking up more space on your desk, the Satellite L355D-S7825 offers a broad, 17.1-inch wide-screen display. With a 1,440x900-pixel native resolution, the screen is great for Web browsing and watching movies; however, its glossy coating results in some distracting reflections when working in brightly lit environments.

We like the keyboard on the Satellite L355D-S7825; it's roomy and provides a comfortable typing experience. The laptop's broad case also provides space for a 10-key number pad, which can be useful for entering data or playing games. The touch pad is flush with the wrist rest but not so sensitive that you'll accidentally graze the pad while typing. Otherwise, the Satellite L355D-S7825's keyboard deck is an exercise in minimalism: there's no fingerprint reader or application-launch buttons, just a row of buttons across the top that control media playback and mute the sound. (Volume is adjusted with a handy wheel on the laptop's front edge.)

  Toshiba Satellite L355-S7825 Average for mainstream category
Video VGA-out VGA-out, S-Video
Audio Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks
Data Three USB 2.0, multiformat memory card reader Four USB 2.0, mini-FireWire, multiformat memory card reader
Expansion ExpressCard PC Card
Networking modem, Ethernet, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi modem, Ethernet, 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi, optional Bluetooth
Optical drive DVD burner with Labelflash DVD burner

The Satellite L355D-S7825 offers a rather basic feature set that's acceptable for a budget system. Toshiba does omit the mini FireWire and S-Video connectors we'd expect to see on a laptop of this size, but neither omission is glaring. However, we were disappointed in the laptop's stereo speakers, which emit just muddled sound; headphones are pretty much required for enjoying music or movies on this system.

A fixed configuration available only on retail shelves, the $699 Satellite L355D-S7825 incorporates a generous 3GB of RAM and a previous-generation 2.0GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-60 processor. On CNET Labs' benchmarks, the Satellite L355D-S7825 came in dead last on every performance test, trailing all the other systems in our group of budget retail systems for the holidays. The Satellite is the least expensive of the group, but if you're going to use your laptop for anything more than the most basic e-mailing and Web surfing, we suggest investing an extra $50 to $100 for a system based on Intel's Core 2 Duo processor, such as the Satellite A305-S6872 or the HP Pavilion dv4-1125nr.

The Satellite L355D-S7825's poky performance didn't even help preserve battery life; the laptop ran for just 1 hour, 51 minutes on our video playback drain test. That's a bit less than average for a midsize system, even for one with a 17-inch screen. Our video playback test is particularly taxing, so you can expect a bit more battery life during typical productivity work; just be sure to bring the power cord if you want to make it through a Hollywood movie.

Toshiba includes an industry-standard one-year parts-and-labor warranty with the Satellite L355D. It's a mail-in warranty, but the company has a deal where you can just drop your system off for service at any UPS Store, and they'll pack it up and deliver it to the repair depot. Support is accessible through a 24-7 toll-free phone line, an online knowledge base and driver downloads.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv4-1125nr
974 
Toshiba Satellite A305-S6872
998 
Sony Vaio VGN-NS140E/W
1,003 
HP G60-125NR
1,501 
Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7825
1,561 

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP Pavilion dv4-1125nr
175 
Sony Vaio VGN-NS140E/W
219 
Toshiba Satellite A305-S6872
232 
HP G60-125NR
277 
Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7825
288 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite A305-S6872
202 
Sony Vaio VGN-NS140E/W
214 
HP Pavilion dv4-1125nr
216 
HP G60-125NR
224 
Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7825
231 

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite A305-S6872
243 
Sony Vaio VGN-NS140E/W
217 
HP Pavilion dv4-1125nr
134 
HP G60-125NR
118 
Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7825
111 

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:
Toshiba Satellite L355D-S7825
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.0GHz AMD Turion Dual-Core TL-60; 3,072MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB ATI Radeon X1250; 250GB Fujitsu 5,400rpm.

Toshiba Satellite A305-S6872
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5800; 3,072MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 4500MHD; 250GB Fujitsu 5,400rpm.

Sony Vaio VGN-NS140E/W
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5800; 3,072MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 4500MHD; 250GB Seagate 5,400rpm.

HP G60-125NR
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.0GHz AMD Turion Dual-Core RM-70; 3,072MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 8200M G; 250GB Western Digital 5,400rpm.

HP Pavilion dv4-1125nr
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5800; 4,096MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 965GM; 250GB Western Digital 5,400rpm.

5.5

Toshiba L355D-S7825

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 6Performance 4Battery 4Support 6