53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2011
I bought this Laptop when it was the Amazon Deal of the Day for $599. I couldn't be happier with this purchase, especially at that ridiculously low price point. Instead of going over all the specs, I'll highlight some pros and cons of this laptop for potential buyers.
- Construction/Look: The chassis and chiclet keyboard (spill-resistant) feel real sturdy and of high-quality. The construction of this laptop doesn't have a cheap "plastic" feeling like some laptops out on the market.
- Battery Life: The battery life on this 6-cell battery is unbelievable, especially for a 14' laptop. For the first few charge cycles, I've been able to consistently get over 7 hours of battery life surfing the web and playing music with headphones. The ecoUtility app really helps with prolonging battery life.
- Intel WiDi capable: I really wanted a laptop with this capability so that I can wirelessly stream to my TV while working on my laptop. Note that you need to buy a WiDi adapter to connect to your TV/display (~$100).
- Performance: The i5 processor coupled with 6GB of memory gives this laptop plenty of juice for 99% of computing activities.
- SIZE of hard drive: 640GB of space is more than you'll probably even use.
- Weight: 4.2 pounds and just about 1 inch thick makes this laptop pretty portable.
- Optical Drive: This may not factor much for some people, but as more and more companies opt to remove optical drives from their laptops, it was nice to see Toshiba put in a full DVD burner/drive on this machine.
- Connectivity: 1 USB 3.0 port AND capability for USB Sleep-and-Charge (charge stuff while laptop is off) AND an e-SATA/USB combo port AND an HDMI input is awesome!
- Value: For the 600-800 price range for a 14 inch laptop, you'd struggle to find a laptop with this much under the hood.
- No Bluetooth: a tiny external USB dongle runs for about 10 bucks, but I wish Toshiba would have built-in a bluetooth receiver.
- Screen: 1366 x 768 resolution (720p). Not bad by any means, but for a 14', It would have been nice to see a higher resolution offered.
- Speakers: Sound can be a bit tinny at loud volumes. Noticably better than Portege R835 speakers though.
- SPEED of hard drive: the 640GB hard drive only runs at 5400 rpm. I would have liked to see that be at 7200rpm or even a SSD drive, but all things considered, I can't complain much...just a nagging annoyance.
- Bloatware/Volume of Apps: Toshiba seemed to have cut down on the total amount of bloatware they put on this machine but they have too many apps pre-installed on this machine for my liking so I ended up manually uninstalling some that I knew I would never use.
I would DEFINITELY recommend this laptop to anyone considering it at the $600-800 price point, as you'd be hard pressed to find significantly better deals. As another reviewer said, this is basically the 14 inch version of the Portege R835-P81 laptop (also sold on Amazon). That's just a smaller version (13.3' 3.2 lbs), but overall there are a LOT of similarities, even with the look. If you're in the market for a laptop with comparable specs but want something smaller, check that out. I hope this helps potential buyers out!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
Fast i5 processor
6 gigs of RAM, a spacious HDD
Long battery life (at least 4.5 hours on full blast; up to 7.5 hours if not used aggressively)
USB 3.0 (w/ sleep and charge)
HDD protection gizmo - allegedly protects the hard drive from minor accidents
Squishy keyboard - beware if you're a regular touch typist!
The wireless antenna works only on the 2.4 GHz band - even my 3-year old HP Pavilion can connect to the 5 GHz band! However, this laptop has far better reception, so it's not such a big deal. Just a tad disappointing.
Everything seems cheap - the hinges creak, the plastic looks cheesy. When I lug it around closed, I'm afraid it will crack open.
A really silly choice of dedicated shortcut buttons (there are only two; one is for turning on the Eco mode - why would I need to do this in a hurry? why? - the other one switches on the WiDi; IMHO a mute + wifi antenna buttons would have made much more sense)
Despite all the negative remarks, the laptop gets the job done without breaking a sweat, and if it weren't for the horrid keyboard I'd have given it 4 stars.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2012
I payed a little extra for this computer thinking faster speed etc. compared to my 2 year old 15.6 inch toshiba we bought on sale from Best buy for $350. I was wrong. So far, there is absolutely no advantage compared to the lesser version from two years ago. It's not just the Core i5 processor either, as I bought my brother-in-law the HP equivalent (same processor, memory, speed etc)and that computer performs much better than this one. Something is just off with the design or this specific model as previously I have been happy with Toshiba products (why I kept this one and gave the HP as a gift). Battery life promised 10 hrs but I get 8 hours at best (when relatively inactive and only on the Eco mode where it shuts down every 30 seconds and the screen is dimmed to point where you can barely read). I get 3 hours of battery at most when online.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2012
With an SSD Upgrade (I'd recommend Crucial 128 GB for around $160), this baby just flies.
Windows boot-up time is around 14 seconds, programs open almost instantly, and even programs that take up a few gigabytes install in seconds. By far the best laptop I've owned, comes to around $800 with the SSD upgrade. Besides you'll have a free 640 GB external slim hard drive for all your storage (movies, music, photos) purposes. (Don't forget to order an HDD enclosure for around $5-10)
The power usage while browsing with wireless on and brightness at half averages around 7 Watts, so I'd expect to get a good 8.5-9 hours of usage with the 66 Wh battery. (SSDs consume less power than HDDs)
Compared to various higher-end ultrabooks costing around $1200, the R845-S85 has a slightly better CPU, same Graphics (Intel HD 3000), better battery, and more ports (3xUSB, HDMI, VGA, ethernet). Besides the Crucial SSD also outperforms other brands in benchmark tests. OK, it's a pound heavier, quarter of an inch thicker, and doesn't have the "looks", but it's hundreds of dollars cheaper despite the higher performance&quality components and the build quality of Toshiba. (owned an Asus before buying this, which fell apart because of the cheap plastic case, poor DC Jack and bad build quality overall)
The only downside is that the GPU (Intel HD 3000), which won't allow new games with high settings. But then again, sub 14-inch notebooks almost never have dedicated graphics cards.
If you are looking for a portable and inexpensive powerhouse, this is the one to go with. Highly recommended.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2011
I was looking for a 14" screen laptop, core i5 with an optical drive that weighs 4.5 lbs or less with good battery life. I spent about two weeks researching. Once I found this Toshiba, I could not find a single other laptop that could beat it's stats and price. I looked at all the brands. I did find one laptop that was comparable but that laptop cost about $1200, so it was not worth it.
The laptop is great, it is the lightest full function laptop you can get under $1200. the battery life is amazing. in Eco mode, I got up to 9.5 our of usage. the laptop is very quiet. The key board is great, very soft, quiet and spacey. the web cam and mic are great. I got lucky, it was on sale when I found it. But I would bought it even at full price.
I made a video review of this laptop so you can get a more realistic view of it then the one form the manufacturer.
copy and paste this link in you web browser [...]
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2011
I bought this laptop for $649, + a free 50 dollars coupon from Amazon. +points.
Delivery was expected to arrive on the 23rd of December, but I got it on the 22nd. +points.
After the second day, Google Chrome and Adobe Reader exhibit the "Not Responding" symptoms, 3 times. I had to exit and restart the programs. The temperature of the laptop was fine, around 31-32 degrees. I try to shut the laptop down, however it got stuck at the "shutting down" screen. I came back approximately 2 hours and the screen is still stuck. I had to force the shut down through the power button and let it rest.
The next day. I ran update on Windows, drivers, and full system scan. No critical updates found, drivers were all updated, and the system scan from Norton is free of virus. I had no idea what happened that caused the laptop to be unstable. It's only 3 days old.
For now, I am doing more testing on this laptop. I will update this post in several weeks and let you guys know if any problem occurs. This laptop for 599 is a real bargain, and I would like to keep it. However, my early problems have made me skeptical about the situation. Hope everything goes well.
Jan 06, 2012
Battery Life(the advertised 10 hours life) - the reason I bought it.
The battery life on this laptop is disappointing. I have 30% battery life which is equivalent to 50 Minutes. Just browsing, Youtube, and adobe reader at performance setting. Assuming I get a full charge on this laptop, I can get 3 hours of uninterrupted use.
Jan 13, 2012
My first blue screen of death. "has to shut down to prevent further damage to your computer. IRQL is not less or equal." I think this is a bad seed.
Battery life is better than most laptop out there. Keyboard is nice. Useful pre-installed programs. Overall a decent laptop. If you can get it for 600 or less, than I'll recommend it. However, if you buy it from Amazon at the moment for 749, then "NO". You can buy better laptops with that price.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2012
I placed the order thinking I ordered a Toshiba Portege (just a bigger screen model). It's not until I opened the package and installed all my programs that I realized that the computer is a Satellite. Needless to say, I was bummed. You know that feeling when your mind is set on something and it isn't what you expect? Well, that was me. I almost returned the laptop because of that. But I was under the impression that that will be a refiling charge. So, I started using it and I found that it is FANTASTIC! I reminded myself that I actually bought it for the specs. The only reason I didn't know what model it was was because I only looked at the specs and the pictures. Once I got over that block, I started to enjoy using the computer.
I love how this computer looks! It has a simple design that appeals to me. I've got several comments on it already. It's a bit heavier than the Portege and it looks thicker from the side but it's still very light (4lb for a 14in laptop)
The feeling of the keys are just amazing. I love typing on this just to type on it. I was actually playing a typing game online just so I can feel how nice it feels. Some ppl has commented that the keyboards are loud, I didn't think so. I like it just the way it is. A back light would have been very nice but even the 3lb portege doesn't have it. Only the ultrabooks have those.
The computer is quick (2.4ghz) and the internal hard drive is big (640gb). Good for what I want to do--med school videos. I have not noticed any big change in start up time but the wake up time from hibernation is super fast. The programs seem to start up quicker, even with more than half of the hard drive already full.
I really like it once I got my "hardhead" around the fact that it's a Satellite. For $599, all the specs, and a reliable machine (my other toshiba satellite is still running fast...only the wiring b/w the body and the screen is damaged so it's stuck to my 21in display--basically a desktop), I don't think there is another device in the market that can beat it!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2011
I got this laptop on the recent lightning deal for $599 with $50 Amazon gift card. At this price, this laptop can't be beat: you get a great combination of slim and light, good battery life, and power. After using it for a while, here are the relevant pros that I think make this laptop superior to the others in its class and the cons that you can mull over before you throw down your money.
* Lightweight: this laptop is lighter than the others in its class like the Samsung Series 3, HP, and ASUS. It's just over 4 lbs, while the others are significantly over 4 lbs. I've held those other laptops and the weight factor really makes a difference in terms of portability and overall bulkiness.
* Battery life: for the same specs (if not better) and overall lighter package, you also get a better battery life than other laptops in its class. I was able to get over 7 hours on eco mode. I'd highly recommend using eco mode when you're on battery power.
* WiDi: this laptop performs beautifully with WiDi. While I haven't played with the other laptops in its class in terms of WiDi, this one worked right out of the box with the Netgear WiDi adapter that I bought. 1080P video and 5.1 channel audio wirelessly to my TV. This particular laptop even has a dedicated button near the screen for WiDi which is convenient.
* No backlit keyboard: This is a feature I find convenient when in a dark room or at night.
* No bluetooth: Honestly, I don't use the bluetooth feature on my laptops, but I know some people need that functionality, so I'd still list it as a con.
UPDATE: no more creaky hinges. Laptop runs great!(Previously in review: * Creaky Hinges?: It might just be because it's still new, but the plastic that makes up the hinge for the laptop gives this light creaking noise when the screen moves. I'm guessing this will go away soon. Not a huge deal, though. Overall solid build quality on this laptop.)
That's it. I'll update if need be. I tried to mention pros and cons beyond the obvious ones and the ones others have already mentioned.
Thanks. I hope this helps.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2011
I'm not one for the most in-depth reviews (see the few others I've bothered to write). With that said, I thought it merited coming back and writing a quick review here... if nothing else just to add my rating.
We bought this laptop on the deal of the day special for $599. At that price, it was pretty much a no-brainer. At a higher price, I still think it's a good deal.
We've been very satisfied with performance so far. The only things I don't like are that the charger input is on the side, which makes it awkward to sit on my lap at times (I fear I will damage it with a poorly-timed bump), and the absence of dedicated volume buttons. The keyboard feels nice, mouse keypad buttons also click suitably for my tastes, and performance has been remarkably unremarkable (no issues). It's a bit smaller than my typical laptop, but I knew that going in. The small size and light weight have been about as nice as the missing size has been bad, so if you haven't had a smaller laptop before - you may enjoy it. Style-wise it is attractive, if that matters.
Oh yeah, I wish there were more USB inputs as well, but that is easily remedied if I plan ahead and I don't often need more than it comes with anyway.
For the price and performance to date... I'm going 5 stars. In fact, if I hadn't been quite so satisfied, I would have bothered to review it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2012
This laptop is worked well for a few weeks and then nothing but problems. First, a vertical line appeared on the screen when turned on, which wouldn't disappear. And then whenever the computer was on sleep mode and reactivated or turned on, the screen would go black and then go into startup repair mode for about 10 minutes. Then startup repair would say that repair was unsuccessful....thus would have to press the power button for a few seconds, which would then finally turn on and finally boot up windows. This vicious cycle would have to be repeated on a frequent basis. Called Toshiba and their suggestions did not correct the problem. Obvious defect. Would not recommend this computer.