Not everyone needs a super-thin laptop that's lightweight enough to carry all over the place. If you only plan to travel from your desk to your sofa, you can happily sacrifice portability for power.
The Toshiba Satellite P855 10G is such a machine. Its 15-inch frame is hardly wieldy but it packs an Intel Core-i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 640M GPU for gaming. It also has a Full HD resolution screen and a Blu-ray drive for movie fanatics.
It's available now to buy for £1,200
Design and build
If you were asked to draw a picture of a laptop that you thought embodied everything you knew about Toshiba, odds are you'd come up with the P855. It's a pretty chunky chappy, wrapped in some sort of grey metal/plastic alloy.
It's not the most exciting design but it at least has a textured finish to stop it from being so dull it sends you to sleep at your desk every time you see it. The same material finds its way around the keyboard and onto the wrist rest so if you're not a fan of plain grey, you might want to buy a different laptop. Or a can of spray paint.
It's not exactly ugly, but nor does it offer any style -- like all of Toshiba's laptops in recent years. Things don't get any better around the screen, where you can spy an enormous shiny plastic bezel that looks extremely cheap -- it can be easily bent if you get a fingernail under it. I've griped about Toshiba's bezels before -- with a better bezel, it would be a smarter machine.
The P855 is certainly a chunky beast, measuring 385mm wide, 252mm deep and 30mm thick. You could slip it into a bag and haul its 2.94kg weight around town but you'd be much better off keeping it on your table at home, or most ambitiously, on your lap on the sofa.
There's quite a lot of flex in the lid but it seems generally well made enough to put up with a few knocks -- although I can't say the same for that horrific bezel. Seriously, how did nobody question that before it went on sale?
The speakers are loud and punchy and will certainly do the job for watching YouTube clips and TV shows, but if you want to hear every bullet fired in Battlefield 3 in sparkling definition, I suggest grabbing a decent pair of closed-back cans or a speaker set with a sub-woofer.
Around the edge you'll find a VGA port, HDMI-out, four USB 3.0 sockets, an Ethernet port, headphone and microphone jacks, a Blu-ray drive and an SD card slot tucked away under the front ridge.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard is another Toshiba standard that's been lifted straight out of the stockpile. That's not necessarily a good thing as the keys are a little rattly and it's far from attractive.
Still, it's reasonably comfortable to type on once you get used to it and it's well spaced across the body of the laptop. There's also a dedicated numeric keypad on the right-hand side.