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Toshiba Satellite L775 review: Toshiba Satellite L775

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Toshiba is the BMW of the laptop world. Its machines tend to be rather large and bulky, but they're solidly made and generally fun to use. The Satellite L775 is a good example. It's a pretty hefty machine, with a 17.3-inch screen, but it's not lacking in performance, thanks to its beefy Intel Core i5 processor.

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8.3

Toshiba Satellite L775

Pricing Not Available

The Good

Fast processor; impressive screen; good keyboard; solid build quality.

The Bad

Screen doesn't have a 1080p resolution; gaming performance isn't great.

The Bottom Line

Gaming isn't the forte of our version of the Toshiba Satellite L775, the L775-119. In most other areas, though, this is a fine 17.3-inch laptop, offering a great screen, comfortable keyboard and speedy performance.

Our model, the L775-119, will set you back around £580.

Spine crusher

Measuring 414 by 38 by 270mm, and weighing a not insubstantial 2.8kg, the L775 certainly isn't a laptop you'll want to carry around everywhere.

It does look pretty slick, though. We love the diamond pattern on the glossy lid and keyboard surround. The pattern is complemented pleasantly by the carbon-fibre-style effect used above the keyboard, framing the speakers and power button. The elongated speaker grilles look ace too.

Sensibly, although the trackpad sits flush with the keyboard surround, Toshiba has added a roughened texture to it to make it more tactile. This approach works a treat.

The keys on the L775's keyboard are flat and wide but packed tightly together. The keyboard works extremely well -- it feels solid, comfortable and fast to type on.

The best feature of this laptop is undoubtedly its screen. At 17.3 inches, it's very large, but it's also incredibly bright, and the glossy coating helps colours to really grab your attention. Black levels are also deep and inky, so movies look very cinematic.

The wide, flat keys are comfortable to type on.

Although the screen's resolution is high, at 1,600x900 pixels, it's not quite a Full HD 1080p resolution -- something offered on some of the L775's rivals. Nevertheless, this model only has a standard DVD writer, rather than the Blu-ray drive found on higher-end models in the L775 range, so the screen's resolution isn't a massive issue, as you're unlikely to stream all that many 1080p trailers from the Web.

There are fewer ports than you might expect on such a large laptop. The L775 has two standard USB ports, plus an extra one that doubles up as an eSATA port and also supports 'sleep and charge', so you can charge mobile phones and other portable devices even when the laptop is turned off.

You also get both VGA and HDMI ports, along with an SD card reader. There's no FireWire port or ExpressCard slot, though, and the laptop also lacks Bluetooth support, although Wi-Fi and Ethernet are supported. At least the hard drive is pretty roomy, offering 640GB of storage space.

Core blimey

The L775-119 runs on a dual-core, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M processor that can overclock automatically to 2.9GHz when the going gets tough. Backed up by 4GB of RAM, the chip scored 6,797 in the PCMark05 benchmark test. That's a pretty meaty score and shows that this machine will handle anything from spreadsheets to high-definition videos.

Gaming isn't really the L775-119's forte, though. The i5-2410M is a Sandy Bridge CPU that features Intel's new and faster integrated HD 3000 graphics. This helped it post a score of 3,961 in 3DMark06. That's not good enough to run the latest first-person shooters at a decent frame rate, although older games are likely to play decently.

The large screen and power-hungry processor have a negative effect on battery life. The L775-119 only managed to keep chugging away for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the Battery Eater Classic test. This is a very punishing test, as it runs the processor at full whack to simulate the worst-case-scenario battery life. Nevertheless, many other entertainment laptops have managed to last longer than this.

Conclusion

The Toshiba Satellite L775-119 is a very likeable laptop. It has a great screen and keyboard, and its performance is generally good for the price. Its graphics performance is disappointing, though.

Edited by Charles Kloet