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Toshiba Satellite L550-113 review: Toshiba Satellite L550-113

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The Good Very fast processor; large, high-resolution screen.

The Bad Keyboard could be better.

The Bottom Line The Toshiba Satellite L550-113 is far from the best-looking desktop-replacement laptop around, but it packs a surprising amount of brawn. Its storming performance is let down slightly by its middling graphics chip, but that doesn't really detract from a very capable laptop that represents great value for money

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8.3 Overall

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The L550-113 isn't the most expensive model in Toshiba's new range of Satellite desktop-replacement laptops, nor does it have the highest specification. It is, however, the largest and its 17.3-inch screen also offers the highest resolution in the line-up.

Dull design
The last big Toshiba Satellite we reviewed, the 17-inch Satellite L350-17P, didn't really rouse us with its dreary design, but we let that slide on account of its low price tag of around £430. At about £700, the L550-113 needs to make a bigger impression.

Alas, Toshiba has pushed the boat out only slightly further -- the L550-113 is still pretty ordinary-looking by current standards. Along with a big, silver Toshiba logo, the charcoal-coloured lid has a pleasant, light grey pinstripe. This colour scheme is reversed on the inside, although the screen is framed with a dark grey bezel. Rounded edges help diminish the apparent bulk, but, at 3kg, this isn't a laptop you'll want to haul around in a bag for long.

Disappointing keyboard
A full-size keyboard is always part of the appeal of any desktop-replacement laptop and the L550-113 doesn't disappoint in this regard. The keys are the traditional raised type and have a pleasantly tactile feel, but the keyboard seems rather hollow and there's more flex that we'd expect at this price.

The L550-113 looks boring, but this behemoth offers great performance

The keyboard is at least well spaced out, with full-size keys, and the separate numeric keypad and cursor cluster are suitably separated. The wide plastic surrounds around the top row of function keys look rather odd, though. It's almost as if Toshiba has lifted the small keys from a different laptop and padded them out to fit in the oversize chassis.

There's no separate trackpad as such. The touch-sensitive area sits in the shiny wrist rest itself. Fortunately, Toshiba has applied a textured surface to this area to reduce friction under a fingertip, so there are none of the sticky finger issues that plague other similarly equipped laptops.

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