Most helpful positive review
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Well Priced Laptop
on July 30, 2012
I have had many laptops and several Toshiba ones. In the past I have been very happy with the reliability and sound quality. I still use almost every day an almost five year old Qosmio F45 that originally had Vista. I have always thought the F45 was one of the best laptops I have ever owned. The 15.6" screen is a size I like. And hugely important is the keyboard is centered in the middle. This is key if you are actually going to use a laptop in your lap. To revitalize the old Qosmio I installed Linux about two months ago. It now runs like new again. Of course there are quite a few programs that will not work on Linux, but as this is a computer I almost always use personally and not for work that is not a problem.
I know this is a review on the P855-S5200 and not my old Qosmio, but I had a reason for talking about it first. The only reason I gave the P855 four stars and not five is that it is not a good lap laptop. Since I use it nearly always with a keyboard and mouse attached that does not matter much to me. But I have to tell you that if you plan to buy a laptop that you are going to use the built in keyboard and touch pad with, keep looking. The old Qosmio has a great centered keyboard with palm rests on either side of the touch pad. The new P855 has the numbers on the right so the letters are not in the center. Sure you can get used to it, but still a long was from ideal. And the P855 touch pad has so far been just so so. The old Qosmio was better. The new one reads multi signals like two finders, but the left and right buttons are not good at all as they are built in and are hard to use. You are supposed to be able to press down on the touch pad and left click like on Apples. This is a poor operating imitation.
Now to the good parts and there are many. This is a powerful fast working machine. I was planning to buy an Apple but just could not bring myself to pay double plus have a couple of legacy programs that would not work. This Toshiba was just out and priced very right considering it comes with a full I7 and not a 5 or a 3. It comes with the Windows 7 which is well sorted out now and works quite well. So far I have been able to restrain myself from installing and using bloatware. I also took some time to remove some programs that come preinstalled that I know will lead to slow downs in the future. Adobe pdf reader and Norton are two of the several. And I combed through the "start up" programs to make sure only what needs to start up automatically does. I did notice that when you download some programs these days you have to be VIGILANT to make SURE nothing is being installed on your computer you do not need or want. I guess that is the new game, to slide in some garbage that can track you. So if you want to use Mozilla stuff be sure to go directly to the Mozilla site and not a portal.
Toshiba really has a good selection of connections. 4 USB ports, hdmi, still has optical, VGA, ethernet, and card reader. This is a better set up than most Apples. I have been using the P855 for about 2 weeks now and can tell you it is a speedy performer in both boot up and running programmes. I hook up with an ethernet connection and it is very fast. I know the boot will get bigger and slower, but if it gets too slow I will just put Linux on this box. I still don't like the keyboard and touch pad. Very funky if you don't connect a standard keyboard and mouse. If my old Qosmio gives up for good and I need a good feeling lap laptop I may get an Apple air.
Update Aug 3 2012 - I have now become used to the keyboard and like it much better. It is still not centered. It still is slightly more difficult to use than my old Toshiba because of that. But it is good enough that I left my keyboard behind recently on a trip I took with the laptop. Also, this is a multifunction touch pad. I am beginning to learn how to use it. Plus the spring in the touch pad to left and right click is breaking in a little so it works better. And it would be nice if Toshiba made it easy to find how to use this touch pad. They don't. I have looked. In help they have how to use their tablet. Some applies to this computer and some not. Because of the modest price I would go 4 1/2 stars on this if I could. Amazon only has 4 and 5 stars. I have to say still that this thing starts up fast and is in general quite a fast machine.
Update Nov 1 2012 --- 1366 x 768 is the highest resolution on the built in laptop screen. My two year old Sony for a slightly wider screen is 1600 x 900. This does make a difference. You can fit lots more on my old Sony. Of course I just hate! using the Sony F series any more because the stupid cooling fan is so loud now that it bugs the heck out of me. It is so loud that when people call me on the phone I push the button to put the system into sleep so I don't have to listen to it. I have found no solution to the Sony problem and of course there will be no solution to the coarse screen either. Or the offset keyboard. I wish I had bought the Apple. I just did not have enough spare cash to splurge on the Apple. Twice the Toshiba price.
Here is something else I have learned on this computer. My son in law is right about getting Windows to run fast. He is a Windows software writer and he said, "only put on the programs you absolutely have to". And don't load it up with files. I still have a minimum of aps on this. Things like Itunes are still on the Sony. And the Toshiba still does run and boot up very fast.
For times when I do not use an external keyboard I almost always use my old Toshiba with the keyboard centered on the laptop. BTW Apple centers it's keyboards.