Thursday, June 16, 2011

Toshiba Satellite A665-S5176

Toshiba recently released a refresh of the popular Satellite A665 notebook with the latest Intel Sandy Bridge processors and graphics. Is the new A665 a worthwhile upgrade to last year's laptop? Keep reading to find out.

Toshiba Satellite A665 (A665-S5176) Specifications:

* 15.6-inch 720p (1366x768) display with LED backlighting
* Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
* Intel Core i3-2310M (2.1GHz, 3MB cache)
* Intel HD Graphics
* 4GB DDR3 RAM (1066MHz)
* 500GB 5400RPM hard drive (Toshiba MK5065GSX)
* 802.11b/g/n wireless
* Blu-ray/DVD SuperMulti (+/- Double Layer)
* Warranty: 1-Yr Parts and Labor, 1-Year Battery
* 6-cell Li-ion battery (48Wh) and 90W power adapter
* Weight: 5.9 lbs
* Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 1.2-1.5 inches
* Price as configured: $799.99

Build and Design
I have something of a mixed opinion about the design of the new Satellite A660/A665 notebook. Since it's a "refresh" of the existing Satellite A660/A665 series the new A665-S5176 looks virtually identical to the A665 model we reviewed last year. The only significant changes worth mentioning are the use of a new Intel "Sandy Bridge" processor with improved Intel integrated graphics and a few subtle changes to the ports on the side of the notebook. The design of the A665 remains quite traditional with sculpted edges, a mixture of smooth and textured glossy plastics, and some attractive LED accent lighting. Although the design isn't particularly exciting, keeping essentially the same design makes production easier and cheaper for Toshiba ... meaning Toshiba can pass those cost savings to you.

The exterior of the A665 is covered in what Toshiba calls the "Fusion X2 Finish in Charcoal." As I said it my review of last year's A665, the finish is basically just black glossy plastic with a textured "chain" pattern imprinted in the surface to help hide fingerprints and dirt. Despite the silly marketing name for the finish, the texture is much better than a smooth glossy lid. The textured chain pattern gives you the modern look of the glossy plastics but doesn't look like a horrible magnet for smudges, dirt, or whatever a family member spills on the laptop.
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