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Toshiba Satellite P200-17C review: Toshiba Satellite P200-17C

The Toshiba Satellite P200-17C is the perfect laptop if you're looking for some gaming fun. Its 2D and 3D performance is impressive, while six USB ports are scattered around the machine. The speakers are excellent and there's room for a numeric keypad to accompany the Qwerty keyboard

Will Head
2 min read

The Toshiba Satellite P200-17C is certainly built with entertainment in mind -- from its large 17-inch widescreen display to booming Harman Kardon speakers. It'll reluctantly turn its hand to work, too and with a price tag of £700 it's not overpriced for a laptop of this calibre.

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7.5

Toshiba Satellite P200-17C

The Good

Both 2D and 3D performance; HDMI; high resolution display.

The Bad

Poor battery life; tacky-looking keyboard; bright lights on front.

The Bottom Line

If you're after a fun-filled machine, then the Toshiba Satellite P200-17C is itching to entertain you with its impressive performance and gaming capabilities, provided you're happy to stay put as it's too bulky to take on the road and won't last long away from a mains power

Strengths
Under the hood, the P200 sports a 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 processor and a generous 2GB of DDR II RAM. Running it through the PCMark05 benchmark it managed to pull in a high score of 3,730, which is impressive for a portable machine.

It's no slouch when it comes to gaming either and its ATI Mobility Radeon HD2400 chip managed to pull in a four figure score of 1,491 when running the 3DMark06 benchmark. Providing you haven't got all the detail levels turned up to 11, it should prove a decent gaming machine.

In terms of expansion, you're spoilt for choice with an overly generous six USB ports scattered around its body for plugging things in.

Its display stretches to a higher than average resolution of 1,440x900 pixels, which looks great on the vibrant glossy 17-inch display, provided you can put up with the increased reflectivity that such displays exhibit. If you'd rather hook it up to an external display, then you've got plenty of options with HDMI, VGA and S-video on offer, making it very flexible.

The built-in Harman Kardon speakers are pretty good by laptop standards, so you can pump up the volume a fair way without distortion.

The keyboard is large and pleasant to type on and Toshiba has sensibly made use of the additional space available by including a numeric keypad to the left of the Qwerty layout.

Weaknesses
While the P200 is happy enough to entertain you within the home, it's not going to be much of a travel companion, given its size and weight. It's also not brilliant when it comes to battery life, only managing to stay alive for 1 hour 9 minutes running the Battery Eater intensive test. It proved better when faced with the more leisurely reader test, managing to keep going for 2 hours 50 minutes before the battery was exhausted.

Although the overall look of the unit is quite stylish, Toshiba has perhaps gone too far when it comes to the keyboard -- from a distance it looks like the metal keyboard seen on Apple's Macbook Pro laptops, but up close it just looks like a cheap plastic rip off.

In theory the P200 would be a great machine for playing back movies on, but unfortunately there's an array of bright blue indicators on the front that could be overly distracting in low light conditions.

Conclusion
The P200, available for around £700, is a laptop born to entertain and it's well equipped for that purpose, with impressive 2D and 3D benchmark scores. However, it's not exactly built for travelling and is rather weak when it comes to battery life.

Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire

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