260 of 272 people found the following review helpful
I just received this laptop and here are my initial impressions:
The laptop is super thin. It is pretty close to MacBook Pro territory in terms of thinness. One inch is the sweet spot for laptop thinness in my point of view.
I was comparing this laptop to similarly priced Chromebooks and a similarly priced Dell Inspiron. The advantage over Chromebooks is obvious when you look at the specs. With this laptop you get two USB2 ports and 1 USB3 port. You get a larger screen at 15.6 inches. You get a full size hard drive at 500GB and a full size keyboard. The bottom line is that you get a full computer. I own a Samsung Chromebook and this laptop is better in every regard, except perhaps size and weight.
The advantage of this over the Dell Inspiron is the location of the speaker grills, USB 3.0, and the inclusion of a VGA port and an ethernet jack. As a part-time instructor, the inclusion of a VGA port is very important since I need to plug into a projector that uses VGA.
I purchased a Toshiba Satellite about 8 years ago for my wife. Over time, the power adapter port broke inside the laptop. The power adapter port inside that laptop was a barrel. The power cable and the barrel inside the laptop plug into each other. Somehow the barrel inside her old Toshiba broke off its mount points inside the laptop. Perhaps it was stress on the cable, since it sticks out quite far from the laptop when plugged in. It still works, but it is dangling inside, making the process of plugging it in more difficult. Additionally, the left mouse button broke on her old Toshiba.
Why do I mention this? I mention this because this laptop has the same barrel-style plug. The mouse buttons also feel very similar to her old Toshiba. They even have the same hollow clicking sound as her old laptop. I am afraid this laptop may exhibit the same issues over time. I recommend taking good care of this laptop to hopefully avoid these issues.
The keyboard of this laptop is super low profile. It looks great, but there is practically no movement of the keys. While this is an exaggeration, there is some truth to it too, because these keys are amazingly flat and short. I get the impression that these keys can't take a beating. I am used to Lenovo Thinkpad keyboards at the office and a Thinkpad SL510 at home, just so you know what I am comparing this laptop's keyboard to.
It feels well-built and solid, despite my past history with my wife's Toshiba as described above. Only time will tell if the power plug, keyboard, and mouse buttons hold up to use.
The design style of this laptop is nice. I like the textured look and the black color. The sculpted lines of the sides of this laptop are attractive as well.
I have been using Windows 8 since the beta test, and I still find it awkward. This laptop did not come with a restore CD, so I suspect there is a restore partition, like most PCs.
The Celeron inside is not fast at all, but is good enough. I suspect the additional software bloat, like the included 30 day antivirus package is weighing its performance down. I will probably uninstall the software and just use the Microsoft antivirus that is built into Windows 8.
On Geekbench, this laptop scored 991 single core and 1701 multicore on the 64-bit benchmarks. On the 32-bit benchmarks, it scored 870 single core and 1367 multicore. These scores are lower than my Thinkpad SL510 with a Core2Duo chip inside from a couple of years ago (64-bit: 1184/1939 and 32-bit: 1094/1846). Then again, I paid three times as much for that laptop.
This laptop is good for its price. I'd say that price is its leading feature. For its price, you get a full size, fully capable PC laptop that can handle day to day tasks. I'd recommend this over a Chromebook for sure.
If I had to sum this up in one sentence, it is amazing how much computing power is included for the price.
As I use this more I will provide further updates.
109 of 122 people found the following review helpful
1. Price. At $250 dollars it offers great value.
2. Full Windows 8.1 included.
3. Good performance on basic tasks.
4. Good amount of ports, including USB and HDMI
5. A lot of hard drive storage.
1. Somewhat heavy.
2. Very generic design.
3. Not useful for graphic intensive programs and games.
For the last week I have been using this budget friendly laptop as my main driver. The laptop for the most part has performed admirably and has been able to supplant my desktop for pretty much everything. I will elaborate a little bit on the pros and cons and explain a little more on my experience so far.
HARDWARE AND DESIGN
Probably the first thing that you will notice about this computer is the generic design. The computer is very plain looking. There are not many accents or flashy materials. The overall appearance is bland. The exterior of the laptop is made primarily of plastic.
Now, with all the said, the computer is relatively thin. It is not ultrabook size but it is not one of those old bricks from 4-5 years ago. Unfortunately, the computer is not exactly light. At almost 5 pounds, you will feel this in your bag. Right now I am using the computer on my lap to type this review. It feels a bit dense but not uncomfortable.
As far as the display is concerned, at 15.6 inches it is bigger than the average ultrabook. The resolution is good. I have no problem reading text and browsing the web. I don’t like the colors in the display though. They look washed out. Keep in mind the display is not touch screen.
One thing I love about the computer is the amount of ports. It has three USB ports and one of them is a USB 3.0. I tried the USB 3.0 port with my Sandisk 64 GB USB and it copied a 3 GB movie file in a couple of minutes. I have connected a wireless mouse that is taking one of the ports and the other one usually has a USB to copy movies. I love having the flexibility of having a few ports to choose from. The computer also has an HDMI port that can be used to connect to a bigger monitor and extend the display if you desire. I tried it with a 42 inch TV and after 20 frustrating minutes I managed to get the display to fit properly on the TV. I kept getting a black line on one of the sides. I had to tinker with the resolution to get it to fit properly.
The computer is missing the DVD/CD RW drive. That means you cannot play any CD or DVD. Is that the end of the world? Not really. Unless you have a huge collection of DVD/CD it should not be that big of a deal. If you need to install a particular program you can choose to download it directly from the website. Most of the main Window programs have digital copies available. If you still feel the need for a DVD/CD drive you can purchase an external one for around $40 dollars.
The computer comes with 500 GB of storage. There is more than enough space to pack plenty of pictures, videos as well programs. The hard drive is HDD as opposed to SDD. Don’t expect fast boot up times. Having installed 12 programs and having 8 running at startup it took about 5 minutes from the time I press the power button to the time everything was running adequately without lagging.
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE
The computer comes with full Windows 8.1 out of the box. When I first saw the price I thought the computer was running Windows RT. Fortunately that was not the case. Windows 8.1 takes a bit to get used to at the beginning but it is not as bad as some people make it out to be. It is a shame the display is not touch screen though. This version of Windows is much better with touch screens.
As far as actual performance is concerned, I have had mixed results. For the most part the computer has performed well. My primary use over the last week has been for web browsing and typing documents. I have Avast anti-virus and Malwarebytes running in the background at all times. They don’t seem to be causing much slow down. I tried playing Battlefield 4 to no avail. The frames kept dropping and lagging to the point of crashing. Can’t say I was surprised though. This is a computer for light tasks not for games or heavy programs like AutoCad or Photoshop.
The computer has an average battery life by today’s standards. I have the brightness of the display set at a quarter brightness (pretty dim indoor, unreadable outdoor) and I can get around 4 hours while browsing the web. You might be able to get a bit more if you set the brightness lower. Fortunately, the battery can be removed in case the battery life starts degrading over time. So far, I have not experienced any problem with the battery. I am crossing my fingers though because I really don’t feel like dealing with Toshiba’s customer service.
Would I recommend this laptop? It depends on what you want it for. I think this is a great computer for elementary-high school students. It is not the most powerful, but it is more than capable to handle the main programs that students use. I have tried Microsoft Office 2013 and it works great. The web browsing and the java performance was smooth for the most part. If you are looking for a computer to run games or graphic intensive programs you can forget about it. The experience is going to be slow and frustrating.
I bought this computer with low expectation and for the most part it has surpassed them. For $250 dollars, I honestly cannot ask for more. It is a fantastic deal. Is it perfect? No. Is it usable? Without a doubt. Will you like it? That will depend on how high you set your expectations.
80 of 95 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2014
This laptop was bought for under $300 dollars.
The purpose was for mainly word editing and web browsing and it does that perfectly. The responsiveness of the device is more than adequate despite the slower processor. The battery is excellent running between 4 - 5 hours on a single charge.
67 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2014
Just bought two of these computer's recived them 07/27/14 and I loaded Auto cad 2014 witch is a computer memory hog program, I did not notice any lag, I am very impressed with this computer. Called Toshiba and a DVD drive can be easily added to the laptop. Not that I would need it since you can download most newer software online, Since i bought two laptops I decided to just get one external DVD drive. The built in bluetooth is a plus that I did not know that it came with for a wireless mouse. I will definitely recommend this laptop.
117 of 148 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2014
People complaining about how it doesn't have a good battery is a plain out lie, or didnt even buy this, dont go and say " oo I bought this from best buy and they totally ripped me off" . Its very annoying and you have no say here.. So this laptop is very Awesome! Its fast. Cheap. And doesn't have that useless cd drive I never use. I love the overall look and feel of it, others say it feels cheap I dont think they know what cheap plastic feels like to say that.
It has 8.1 which gives you the ability to have the start menu again kinda. You'll love it for the price of $250, if you're looking for a $500 computer that has superior power and graphics and everything.. Go buy A $500 Computer! This is a lite pc for lite to medium work.
Since im a graphic designer I use Sai and PS quite a bit and it handles both quite fine, just dont run them at the same time, it'll lag a bit, the ram is high enough to prevent lag but is still upgradeable which is nice and easy unlike some others which requires you to "Disassemble" everything just to change anything or add a cd drive.
I own one from Amazon, Not best buy, target or Wal-Mart, thats what reviews on Amazon are for..things you bought from Amazon.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2014
Cheap laptop for ordinary use, good price. No DVD drive included, Runs smoothly. It is very thin, light weight compared to my old Toshiba laptop of 15.6-inch.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2014
For the price, this computer is a great buy. I've been able to use this a lot, with nearly no lag at all.
I'm a web programmer, and running an IDE along with a few pages on, Pandora, and a few other minor programs have worked great on this computer. The computer stays cool to the touch while running all of these while attached to a second monitor.
The material feels decent, not too cheap for the price, and I'm slowly falling in love with Windows 8.1. Also, it's quite difficult to find a computer at this price range with 3 USB ports, one of them being 3.0. There is no cd drive, but that's rarely necessary now-a-days and you can really go without it (it also cuts down on weight). The battery life is pretty good. I've gotten 4 or so hours with pretty stressful activity on it (and even more when on airplane mode). I don't have too much experience with long battery life, so you can decide if that's really decent or not.
The configuration of the keyboard is a bit difficult to get used to. Because it contains a number pad, the keyboard is off to the left, meaning so is the mouse pad. This is a little difficult to get used to, but it's manageable.
The mouse pad can be annoying at times. The scrolling option takes a while to load, so you'll spend a few seconds trying to scroll with two fingers on the mouse pad, but will get no response. I've tried to play with the settings to fix this, but have been unable to do so.
The wifi antenna is terrible. I haven't played around with the settings too much but, while on battery (and even when plugged in), if you are 10+ feet away from the router with more than 2 walls between you, the connection will go horrible or drop. I've set the laptop right next to an old one from 2005, and the later works fine, while this one can't even find the network.
To sum up, the laptop is great for the price. It's snappy, the screen is great, the weight is pretty good along with a decent battery life. I wouldn't expect to run too many games on it. I've played Kerbal Space Program on it (a great and sometimes heavy game due to many forces) and it did pretty well, with only some lag when too many shaders/textures were being used. Since I purchased this for my father, I'm pretty happy with it. I'm just extremely disappointed at the wifi antenna strength, which is really making me wish I had tried the other laptops at this price range. Unfortunately, without that experience, I'm unable to fully define how well this one stacks up next to the others.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2014
I'm 4 days into having this laptop, for the price, I have zero complaints! Runs fairly smooth, and for all I use it for (web surf, streaming videos) it's perfect! Love the fact it has a USB 3.0 port, as I have 2 devices capable of 3.0 (external hard drive, and smartphone) and it's super quick file transfers! Battery life seems to be quite good, I ran 5, close to 6 hours on first full charge.
Initially from reading specs, it said this had no Bluetooth antenna which I was a bit bummed about, then after receiving the laptop and getting into it, well...it DOES have bluetooth. So yeah, let's hope this guy holds up! My previous laptop was an HP and the fan crapped out after 6 or so months, lets hope this doesnt happen! Nice quality and worth the money! Don't waste your money on a Chromebook (had one for 2 days, returned it) get this instead!!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2014
I custom build desktops as a hobby, for my friends and myself, so I'm used to substantial power with little compensation. That being said I purchased this as a simple mobile computer to use on the road, at meetings, and for whenever I happened to want to use a computer in a room I hadn't shoved a desktop in. It's surprisingly fast, and even on heavy use days I've never had to worry about running out of power. RAM is low, however the system preferences shows there's 2 DDR3 slots and only one is in use, so I'll upgrade to 8 gigs soon. Blue tooth is an added bonus I wasnt expecting when I purchased it, as was SD reader. I never really use either but it's nice to have them. I purchased mine through amazon, but not from amazon, so perhaps I just got lucky, but mine DID include the optical drive. Screen is clear despite lower resolution. All in all, it's a brilliant machine for the price, I don't have any regrets about my purchase.
Works well, good battery, mine had blue tooth and optical drive, best laptop out there for the price.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2014
I got this for use in the office to replace an old Lenovo T60 that was showing its age and the fan on the old laptop started making noise. I hate noise from computers. So, I got this one as a replacement which I use as a second computer for personal emails, Skype, and the occasional movie when things are slow.
It took me about 10 minutes to set everything up to how I like things - screen brightness, pointer speed, when the computer goes to sleep, and hooked up my email account. First thing I noticed was the track pad on the laptop leaves a very slight amount of grit on my index finger when I trace across it. I found myself rubbing my thumb and index finger together to remove the miniscule amount of debris. I'm assuming the 'grit' is from the manufacturing process and the material that's on the surface of the track pad.
Secondly, this laptop is slightly slower than the Asus laptop I use at home. I suppose it's not a big deal but the slight delay is noticeable to me when performing normal operations like opening a browser, switching folders in Explorer, and launching programs. Surprisingly, my Lenovo T60 reacts faster to these tasks but it's running Windows 7 whereas the Toshiba is running on Windows 8.1.
Thirdly, the noise level. I can hear a discernible hum when the laptop is powered on which I'm assuming is the fan and the hard drive is noticeably audible when it grinds data. This is disappointing since I prefer computers that are quiet but the noise level isn't a dealbreaker.
Now for the positives: Nice big screen and the sound quality is acceptable. I read some reviews complaining about the audio quality but it's decent considering the price of the laptop. The keyboard is tactile enough and the keypad on the right side is a nice touch. The track-pad is responsive and the soft-touch buttons don't require a lot of exertion to press with my thumb.
All in all, for $250, this is a great deal considering I spent over $1,000 for the Lenovo T60 a few years ago. Given the choice, I would purchase this again as a second or third laptop for casual usage.