Thursday, August 11, 2011

Toshiba Satellite L745D-S4220 Review

The Toshiba Satellite L745D-S4220 is a simplified and affordable 14-inch notebook designed to limit the budget back to school. Equipped with a battery to use AMD dual-core processor and graphics, this laptop is Toshiba promises up. We take a closer look to see if this laptop for $ 500 can deliver more than its price suggests.

Specifications Toshiba Satellite L745D (L745D-S4220) :
  • 14.0-inch 720p (1366x768) display with LED backlighting
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • AMD E-350 with AMD Radeon HD 6310 Graphics (dual-core CPU at 1.6 GHz and dual DX-11 SIMDs at 500 MHz)
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM (1066MHz)
  • 500GB 5400RPM hard drive (Seagate Momentus)
  • 802.11b/g/n wireless
  • DVD SuperMulti (+/- Double Layer)
  • Warranty: 1-Yr Standard Limited Warranty (1-Yr on Battery)
  • 6-cell Li-ion battery (48Wh) and 45W power adapter
  • Weight: 5.09 lbs
  • Dimensions: 13.3 x 9.1 x 1.3-1.5 inches
  • MSRP: $499.99
Design and build
At first glance, the new satellite L740/L745 series is nearly identical to the other satellite phones at lower prices last year. The folding frame wrapped in a rounded mix of glossy and matte plastic is a mixture of brown and black metallic.

What makes the series L740/L745 "unique" in design perspective is that the same chassis used for multiple satellite laptops with a variety of internal configurations.

In short, this 14-inch plastic shell is designed to meet the needs of all laptops $ 500 for custom configurations costing more than $ 900. What's that old saying of "all-rounder?"

The top of the screen and the top panel surrounding the keyboard are made of thin plastic with a glossy brown "matrix" pattern. I am sure that the shiny plastic look good on display in stores, but all the surface gloss is inclined to collect fingerprints and other dirt stains stains that come in contact with the laptop.

The L745D all plastic construction means you end up with a chassis of both primary and screen lid flex under pressure and "squeak" when you press soft next to thinner areas of plastic.

The only parts of the laptop feels very durable is the screen hinge of this model closely enough and keep the screen in position when you move the laptop from one place to another.

I'm sure this laptop will survive fine as a desktop replacement, but I have no doubt that the thin plastic used in the L745D will survive everyday use and abuse of a student if he or she is in a backpack with books every day.

The bottom of the laptop is pretty simple, but it is quite easy, in terms of updates. There are two removable under the laptop, allowing you to access your hard drive, RAM, and a wireless network.

Most people buy $ 500 laptop is unlikely to install hardware upgrades, but you may be surprised at how snappy, this budget notebook comes with a faster hard disk (more on that later

Benchmarks and Performance
The Toshiba Satellite L740 and L745 Series is available in several configurations with Intel or AMD. The Satellite L745D-S4220 is the cheapest configuration of this family of 14-inch laptops. This notebook uses the AMD "Grass" E-350 Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), which combines a dual-core CPU running at a speed of 1.6 GHz with a Radeon graphics processing unit (GPU) in a serial processor unique.

The translation is that the lack L745D-S4220 technique uses a combination of small but powerful processors and graphics that has been designed to offer good performance and low power consumption at low cost. Unfortunately, this also means that the L745D-S4220 is the worst performer among the L740/L745 series.

E-350 and ATI Radeon HD 6310 graphics provide more than enough power for basic computing tasks, such as a school letterhead, web browsing, photo editing, or even watch HD movies on the Netflix website.

However, if you plan to edit a number of home HD video, or if you want to play games, you're probably better to spend $ 100 more to buy Toshiba Satellite L745D-S4230 AMD Dual-Core processor A6-3400m.

That said, even the slightly more expensive than the upgrade does not solve the biggest problem L745D performance: slow hard disk. Toshiba has decided to use one of the slowest (if not the slowest) hard drives we've seen in recent memory.

Seagate 5400rpm hard drive in our review process is so slow that it seemed to always open files in Windows startup. We know that it was a slow hard disk failure, because after we have done our performance benchmarks, we replaced the stock hard drive 5400RPM Western Digital hard drive, and not just the laptop boot faster, but both 3DMark and PCMark scores increased slightly.

Bottom line, the Satellite L745D-S4220 to produce a better performance than the typical netbook, but the hard drive is painfully slow.

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