149 of 152 people found the following review helpful
Great entertainment laptop!,
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This review is from: Toshiba Satellite A665D-S6051 LED TruBrite 16-Inch Laptop (Black) (Personal Computers)Edit- Be sure to read edit at bottom for updated review...
This laptop is really the perfect laptop for entertainment purposes. It has a ATI Radeon HD 4250 and the m880G chipset working with the processor for a decent GPU, but it would be certainly not ideal for any serious gaming or intensive 3d rendering.
As an entertainment laptop though, this computer has just about everything right about it. The 16" screen is beautiful; the 1.6ghz quad core Phenom II is a wonderful multi-tasker and great for media. The speakers are absolutely unbelievable for being internal laptop speakers; They actually sound good, at loud volumes! Unheard of in my experience with laptop speakers. The bass is amplified surprisingly well given the constraints, as are the tones in general. There is a very important program on the computer that allow you to control the audio your computer is putting out: It is called "Realtek HD Audio Manager", and can be found in your control panel. It will allow you to utilize an equalizer and Dolby enhancement.
Also great are the many ports that are found on this computer. There are 4 USB, one being a hybrid USB/eSATA. There is (importantly for entertainment purposes) an HDMI output, as well as a VGA output, just in case, I guess. The keyboard is back lit, as is the screen, so typing in low-lit conditions is a breeze. The keyboard and the touch pad that are on this computer are of truly excellent quality; I have had other Toshibas recently that had much worse touch pads and keyboards and so I feel really happy that I do not have this issue. This computer is not that heavy, but it is 16", so understand that it is not ultra portable.
The type of battery that is in this computer is very efficient with energy consumption and can last for well over 3 hours (nearly 4, actually) without really other than a little screen brightness sacrificed (pressing the "eco" utility button is all it takes to get close to 4 hours without really sacrificing much. This is a great balance for me, because most other laptops of this type have much more power-hungry processors in them that eat up the battery in closer to two hours, as opposed to the 3 to 4 I get with this computer. This is much easier to work with the approximately over 2 hours with most other computers of this type. Also helpful in this area of energy saving is the technology that allows you to listen to music, charge devices, or do pretty much anything you want through the computer's ports while the computer itself is in sleep mode.
As for the cons of this computer, they are really limited. It is a great computer, especially for the mid $600s, but I do wish that the hard drive speed was 7,200 RPM. I'm not sure if the 5,400 RPM hard drive will create a bottleneck with the computing ability of this laptop, but in my initial tests on this computer, there has been only slight lag versus what I would expect on a 7,200 RPM computer. I may try to put in a cool, power sipping 7,200 RPM internal SATA drive at the end of my 1 year warranty, as I could just take the SATA drive in here already and put into a casing and hook up through the eSATA port as a backup drive. Two benefits from one move! A related hardware gripe is that the M880G chipset/ ATI Radeon 4250 is a decent GPU for everyday applications, but it could stand to have been beefed up a bit...
Another con with this computer is that the USB ports are awkwardly placed near the outsides of the wrists when the fingers are on the home row keys, and plugging the USB mouse into a port located in this location makes you have move the mouse around the piece jutting out of the USB port. This is really only a problem when working with limited space, and since the touch pad is a great one, this isn't too big of a problem, really.
The last con would be the bloatware. There is really quite a bit of software loaded onto this computer, and with some of the programs, you will probably decide to uninstall, as I did. There are useful programs and there are useless ones; be prepared to remove some stuff that you don't need, though.
Bottom line, this computer is an awesome entertainment machine. The processor is a great choice for multi-tasking and energy efficiency. It is really a good processor for this computer. The other features like harman/kardon speakers are excellent, especially if you are going to use your computer primarily for media ass I am.
Edit- The price on this computer has fluctuated quite a bit recently. I want to note that this computer, despite having a quad-core processor, is certainly not worth as much as an i5 or similar processor. I love AMD, and believe that their new line of Turion II X2 processors seem to be the sweet spot with them and laptops. 2.3ghz, two cores, modern processor technologies... These Turions don't have the four cores like the P920 in this laptop, but since these cores can't be utilized completely in today's usage, I have found that the higher clock rate and only two cores seems to work better for most any application that I have tried. This laptop is not bad, with it's four cores and very low power consumption. However, compared to the Turion II X2 P520, a processor with higher clock speed, equal power consumption, and two fewer cores, I think it will show that the two, faster cores work better for most processes. It should be noted that both of these processors have 2mb L2 cache, but the four cores spreads it to 512k per core while it is 1mb per core on the dual-core.
Long review now with this edit... Whew. Well, I hope it helps some people!
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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 26, 2010 11:27:39 AM PDT
Okay, J Shariat, I've decided that I'd like to take you home with me. (= Well, after looking at your other reviews, appreciating the detail in this one, knowing what shoes and socks you wear - I'd say I half-way know you already, by golly! LOL
Now, no arguing, you are, by far, one of the best reviewers on here. But, having that "peek" into your buying preferences/history (not to worry, I shan't be "review-stalking" you) you absolutely have us (me?) wondering: why so many laptop purchases in such a short time? It's none of my business, of course. But you are quite knowledgeable, write very well... so, ya got my curiosity. Do you review elsewhere and need these in order to do that?
With my limited experience and knowledge of electronics, I would indeed like to take you home with me for a few tutorials! (= Thanks for a great review.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2010 4:58:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2010 5:05:02 PM PDT
Hehe, I actually just buy laptops for people I know and use and set them up for them.
I have had a lot of recent experience with recent AMD Turion II and Phenom II based systems, as you have obviously seen from my review history. I know that these AMD-based laptops in this price range are the best buy for your money at this point in time, and since I have the opportunity to just research and buy laptop after laptop, I really get to experience and enjoy being a critic of the laptops that seem like the best value. I actually am typing this on a new laptop, an Acer Aspire 5551G-4280 , that I'll be reviewing soon! This laptop seems to be actually the best value of anything I have tried yet, and mainly because of the CPU and GPU. Keep an eye out for that review, as I feel an intense one coming! ;)
I've grown to like the dual-core, higher clock rate processors like the Turion II X2 P520 more than the quad-core Phenom II's such as the one I reviewed here a few months ago (it was a Phenom II P920, 1.6ghz, inside the Toshiba laptop we are in the discussion forum for, -S6051). The performance in the P920 1.6ghz quad core lags in certain straightforward processes, and for this reason, I have started recommending the new, "Champlain" line of dual core Turion II X2's (main version is P520 in 14"-15" laptops). This P520 is what is in this Acer I am typing on now, and I am very impressed with it. I honestly would rather have this AMD setup than many i3 or Core 2 based systems.
Something else I have grown to appreciate the true value of is the GPU, even for tasks short of intense 3D modeling. If the laptop is to be used even rarely for playing movies or videos, a dedicated video card is really helpful. If for whatever reason the laptop purchased is not going to contain at least an entry-level graphics card, at the bare minimum I would say make sure the onboard graphics are AMD/ ATI (like an AMD/ Radeon 4250 setup). This will be much better than many Intel system with onboard graphics, and for a better price as well.
I'm just rambling now... If you have any specific questions you'd like help with, I'd be happy to help. I certainly appreciate your recognition of my posting here on Amazon, as I do pour out a good bit of heart typing these posts! ;)
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2010 10:43:58 AM PDT
Dear J.S. Thanks for the review. I'm going to buy the 665. But I'm really stupid so can you suggest what extras--soft ware, cords, etc--I need for a basic user.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2010 1:48:38 PM PDT
^You really don't need much! A lap desk is good if you're going to use the computer in your lap, and a mouse is helpful if you don't like trackpads. Anything else besides the computer is really optional though; any software you need will be already installed or easily downloadable off the internet!
Posted on Nov 25, 2010 6:26:14 AM PST
Thank you, JS, for a detailed, user-eye view of a computing device. I like your pros and cons approach--makes it easier to compare-shop the hundreds of products.
I'm going to check out your Acer Aspire 5551G-4280 review.
I need an everyday laptop, and value is where I'm at. Thanks for the service you provide to the Amazon community.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2010 2:37:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 25, 2010 2:39:01 PM PST
My review of the laptop you mention doesn't actually appear on Amazon as Amazon doesn't offer it (I got it from a site about a "new egg"). There are a few models now of AMD Turion II X2 processors paired with a GPU like an ATI Radeon 5470 or better for around $500 - $600, and these are definitely the best bang for your buck in this range laptop IMHO.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2010 10:19:36 PM PST
Thanks JS. I'm shopping now and there's so many choices and such little time. I like your reviews because you provide such useful information. Thanks.
Posted on Dec 13, 2010 6:43:29 PM PST
Aaron in NorCal says:
JS - you mentioned that the price on this computer has fluctuated quite a bit - I actually just ordered one for my brother a couple days ago for $599, then I checked the price again today, because I'm thinking of getting one for my daughter, and the price is down to $586... What did you pay when you bought this model, and would you say the price might drop further (so I should wait to buy) or might it go up again soon? Do you know if Amazon honors any sort of price guarantee on their own pricing (like if the product you bought from Amazon drops in price in the next 30 days or so, they will refund the difference)?
Posted on Dec 16, 2010 5:54:30 PM PST
Having read many customer reviews in lots of categories and written a few myself, I found this one to be the best! Thank you, j. Shariat for sharing your expertise in perfect English.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2010 6:27:54 AM PST
Do you get any feedback about the durability and the long term use of the laptops you review? It would be helpful to know not just how the computer operates on day 1, but whether it is still working as well one year later.