Senin, 01 September 2014

Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1DV Reviews

When we first reviewed one of Toshiba’s L50 laptops last year, we suggested the company should “cut the price by £100 and it’d be a good budget offering”. The price cut on this year’s model is closer to £130, which means that it now ought to make a very decent budget laptop. This year’s model is slimmer and lighter, as it no longer includes an internal DVD drive. The 15in display chassis has slimmed down from 29- to 23.5mm thick, while the weight has dropped 300g to 2.2kg.

Slim and light

It’s one of the slimmest and lightest 15in laptops we’ve seen recently, and far more portable than most budget Windows laptops. Its build quality is unexceptional, as the casing – which is available in a variety of colours – has a distinctly plasticky feel to it. It seems reasonably sturdy and we wouldn’t worry about it taking the occasional bump in a backpack.

There’s fl ex in the keyboard panel, but the keys themselves feel firm and responsive and we felt comfortable enough typing up some notes on the Toshiba L50 during our test period. We were also happy to see a gigabit ethernet port on the left-hand edge for wired networks. But while the external design has been updated the main components inside the L50 haven’t changed much since last year.

Prices for the Toshiba L50 range start as low as £319 for the model with an old Intel Pentium processor, or £399 with a newer Haswell-generation Intel Core i3. We tested one of the mid-range models that costs £519 with a Core i5 running at 1.6GHz with a healthy 8GB of memory and 1TB hard drive.

There’s also an Intel Core i7 version for £619, while £649 will get you an AMD Radeon R7 M260 graphics card thrown in as well. The specification of our review unit was essentially unchanged from last year, and the 15.6in screen has the same 1366x768 resolution. That’s more forgivable at this new lower price, and while the viewing angles are still limited – around 120 degrees vertically and horizontally – the image is bright and colourful enough for web browsing and streaming video.

The speakers are described as ‘Skullcandy certified’. We found them quite loud and with a reasonably solid bass sound, although higher frequencies still have a tinny timbre to them.

Slower than before Given the similarity in the basic specification we were a little surprised to find that the measured lab performance of this model wasn’t quite as impressive as that of its predecessor.

The updated L50 managed only 2500 points in the general-purpose PCMark 7 benchtests, compared to 2850 points for the model we tested last year – and that’s despite both having the exact same CPU, memory quota and hard disk capacity. The Home and Work suites in PCMark 8 were equally modest at 2150 and 2370 points respectively.

We suspect the hard drive is the culprit here, acting as a severe bottleneck in our benchmark tests. You certainly notice the sluggish hard drive when turning the laptop on. Even when using the Windows 8 fast-start option the L50 takes a good 35 seconds to boot into the Start screen, followed by about 15 seconds of cursor-spinning before it’s ready to launch applications and get down to work.

Even so, those performance scores are still above average for a laptop in this price range, and once it’s caught its breath the L50 is perfectly capable of handling web browsing and routine tasks like running Microsoft Office. The 8GB of memory is also good for a budget laptop, and means that the L50 can handle the occasional intensive session of photo- or video-editing when required.

Gaming is probably out, though, as even at 1280x720 resolution the Toshiba L50 could only manage 23fps in our casual gaming test with Stalker: Call Of Pripyat. Battery life was also disappointing. Last year’s touchscreen model gave us just over 5 hours of streaming video from BBC iPlayer, but this new model surprised us by shutting itself down after just four hours, 15 minutes. And that’s with a battery that’s swelled from 42 to 52Wh capacity, and no battery-draining touchscreen. What’s going on?


It certainly has its flaws, but a healthy price cut means that the L50 looks better value for money. It’s not particularly fast, but it can handle basic computing work perfectly well, and the slimmer, lighter design of this new model means that the Toshiba L50 is a bit more portable than most of its low-cost rivals. Its larger battery doesn’t help its runtime, and in benchmark tests it’s slower than last year’s model – despite having largely the same components.


0 Komentar:

Posting Komentar

Berlangganan Posting Komentar [Atom]

<< Beranda