• Toshiba Dynabook CX/48H battery with charger

    Toshiba offers no fewer than four different 15.6-inch notebook varieties, Toshiba Dynabook SS M52 253E/3W charger each targeted at a slightly different market. At the bottom of the ladder, there's the C Series, which provides only the essentials and is meant for those who are mostly concerned with price. Next comes the L Series, which steps up into mid-range performance with Intel Core i5 and AMD A8 APUs and integrated graphics. Toshiba Dynabook SS M52 220C/3W charger

    At the top end is the P series, which is crafted out of etched aluminum and features Intel Core i7 CPUs with either integrated or discrete graphics. And, finally, the S series—which is what we're covering today with the S855D—is designed especially for those seeking a high-performance, entertainment-grade PC, but who wouldn't mind compromising in just a few key areas in exchange for a lower cost. Toshiba Dynabook CX/48H battery with charger

    Our S855D review unit includes an AMD A10-4600M quad-core APU with integrated Radeon HD 7660G graphics. Similarly-equipped models are available directly from Toshiba for around $700. As always, we subjected the notebook to a flurry of intensive tests, benchmarks, inspections, and comparisons. Grab a snack and let's evaluate the S855D from top to bottom. Toshiba Dynabook CX/48G charger

    Immediately obvious is the primary point of compromise chosen by Toshiba in its design of the S-series: the casing and construction. It isn't bad, but it is almost entirely comprised of plastic, implementing metal only where aesthetics benefit most from its application. Toshiba Dynabook CX/48F charger

    The entire core of the notebook is built from hard plastic. The underbody, sides, and trim are all plastic as well. Toshiba Dynabook CX/47J charger These parts of the notebook can be flexed under moderate pressure and don't provide much reassurance that the machine could withstand any sort of rough treatment or a minor drop. The area underneath the optical drive and any of the underside vents feel like they could potentially crack if even just squeezed a bit too much. Toshiba Dynabook CX/47H charger

    The only metal to be found is on the palm rest (a decision which undeniably provides a classy illusion of sturdy construction) and the back of the display lid. Like that of the palm rest, the thin metal coating on the display lid also looks very nice, but it lacks the rigidity necessary to truly provide any substantial degree of protection against LCD stress and breakage. In short, the S855D comes off as a pretty fragile machine. Toshiba Dynabook CX/47G battery with charger

    Fortunately, the display hinges seem very capable, supporting the screen well with very little wobbling. And elsewhere, the positive side of this approach to construction is a lighter overall weight than many all-metal notebooks. Besides, sturdiness isn't necessarily the goal of this notebook; rather, it is the compromise between construction and performance which Toshiba hopes will add up to an irresistible price tag. Toshiba Dynabook CX/47F charger

    Although there isn't much room for upgrades (more on that in a bit), Toshiba Dynabook CX/45H battery with charger thankfully, the S855D also provides easy access to the most important replaceable components. The bottom of the notebook features a single panel cutout covering both hard drive and memory, secured by just a single screw and some fairly cooperative plastic clips. The LCD screen, meanwhile, is relatively easy to access and remove in the event of breakage. Like most notebooks, following the removal of four concealed screws, the bezel snaps off from around the perimeter of the panel. Toshiba Dynabook CX/45J charger

    The S855D offers a merely average selection of expansion ports for a 15-inch machine. You'll find just three total USB ports, two of which are USB 3.0 and one of which is USB 2.0 with sleep and charge. Apart from that, there are the usual two video output options (HDMI and VGA), and the bare minimum elsewhere. It's enough to get the job done, but certainly nothing generous. Toshiba Dynabook CX/45G charger

    Plus, in spite of the decidedly small number of ports overall, Toshiba Dynabook CX/45F battery with charger the vast majority of them are all crammed along the right-hand side of the notebook with very little room in between. It's a strange design seeing as the opposite (left) side of the notebook has quite a lot of empty real estate available. Fortunately, one of the lone ports on the left side is the USB 2.0 port, meaning that any larger-than-usual USB devices can be banished to it, leaving room for the more reasonably-sized connectors on the right side. TOSHIBA Portege Z830 charger

    Our Saltellite S855D review notebook includes a single-band Realtek RTL8723AE 802.11n wireless network adapter supporting up to 150 Mbps in a 1x1 antenna configuration. There's also a built-in Bluetooth 4.0 adapter which comes standard using the Realtek chipset. It's disabled by default, but is easily activated using the wireless function key (F12) on the keyboard. TOSHIBA Portege Z835 battery with charger

    The initial wireless driver for the Realtek 802.11n adapter (dated 1/10/12) exhibited problems connecting to some Wireless-N networks at full speed. TOSHIBA Portege Z935 charger For instance, our 300Mbps MIMO Wireless-N network was only yielding speeds of 54 Mbps to the S855D when first connected. However, a driver update to the latest version of the wireless driver on Toshiba's website (dated 8/6/12) corrected this problem. Post-update, the adapter now correctly connects to Wireless-N networks at its maximum possible speed of 150 Mbps. TOSHIBA Portege Z930 charger

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    It's worth mentioning that there are no PCI-e mini slots available on the S855D. That means that if you're hoping to connect to a WWAN network, you'll need to invest in an external USB adapter compatible with the carrier of your choice. TOSHIBA C800 charger

    Provided with the notebook is a small 65W AC adapter, and that's it. TOSHIBA C800D charger Apart from the larger charger options, not much else is offered to expand the functionality of the S-series notebooks. One isolated exception is the Toshiba dynadock Universal Docking Station (of which there is a standard and USB 3.0 variety), but these have been poorly-received by customers due to complaints about inconsistent and unreliable operation. The bottom line is that if you're hoping for a suitable docking station option, you'll either want to invest in a business-grade laptop with a dedicated docking station port on the bottom or look elsewhere. TOSHIBA L800 charger

    The standard warranty included with every S855D is one year, parts and labor (including the charger). Optional warranty upgrades are available to be purchased separately, including extended warranties, on-site warranty service packages, and accidental damage protection. TOSHIBA L800D battery with charger

    The chiclet-style keyboard included on the S855D features well-spaced keys that are, TOSHIBA S800 charger for the most part, intuitively laid out. However, the performance of the keyboard is a different subject. Keypresses provide very little travel and exhibit a subtle feedback which provokes a sort of subconscious cliffhanger as to whether or not the input actually registered. In some cases, they actually didn't, probably because fast-moving fingers can easily tap the rather large (and flat) trenches between each key without it feeling much different from an actual keypress. TOSHIBA S800D battery with charger

    This presents a pretty serious issue for quick typists, as they're likely to be thinking too much about the actual act of typing to be focused on whatever it is they're working on. Compared to, say, a ThinkPad keyboard (whether classic or AccuType) or a Dell Latitude keyboard, wefound the S855D's considerably harder to adjust to. Over time, however, users are likely to grow used to the idiosyncrasies of the design, and the challenges are likely to diminish somewhat. Toshiba P800 charger

    There is a full-sized number pad to the right of the keyboard to please those predisposed to data entry work. Tiny arrow keys inhabit a single-key-height space just to the left of it (below the right Shift key), and they're just as hard to operate as it looks, compounding the issue with a terribly muted feedback and soft press. Finally, there's a bit of flex to the keyboard as well, though it's difficult to notice in general use because the keyboard encourages softer typing with its design. Toshiba Qosmio X875 charger

    On the bright side, the excellent Synaptics touchpad is comfortably large and accurate. Toshiba U845W charger It's soft, matte finish facilitates an easy glide of the finger across its surface, and the two buttons below it are quiet but decisive in their operation, offering a definite click and feeling tight and well-affixed. The affiliated Synaptics touchpad software includes the usual swath of available options and customizations ranging from multi-finger gestures to multiple scrolling methods, and full control of nearly every associated parameter. Toshiba U845 charger

    The S855D features a brighter-than-average standard HD (1366x768) glossy display panel with subjectively attractive color reproduction. The level of saturation appeared comfortable but not overbearing. In spite of the disappointing black value and contrast ratio and the as-expected narrow viewing angles, the only real complaint we found with the display was the high-gloss finish, which limits its use in many brighter environments. Toshiba P755 charger

    In terms of raw numbers, the panel's average luminosity of 238 nits is only slightly betrayed by its brightness distribution of 82%; Toshiba L735 charger the center of the display is the brightest point (at 262 nits), and you have to really squint to notice much of a difference even in the darkest regions. It's bright enough that even moderate brightness levels will likely please most users—average brightness is achieved at around level 6. Meanwhile, the black value of 1.86 is quite high, leading to a disappointing contrast ratio of just 141:1. Toshiba tecra r940 battery with charger

    The color spectrum coverage of the panel just about makes up for it, though, scoring a fairly decent 78% coverage of sRGB. While still a ways off from complete coverage of the spectrum, this is better than many low-budget TN panels, and the results are palpable in daily use. Our earlier impressions of the "attractive" color reproduction have this to thank. Compared to, for instance, the Dell Inspiron 14R-N4110, it's easy to see the difference (as illustrated by the graph below). Toshiba tecra r840 charger

    As you might expect, in spite of the better-than-average brightness, outdoor use is only really practical in shaded areas. The glossy finish is highly reflective and produces notable obstructions any place where bright light is facing the screen—including indoors in front of windows and bright lights. However, in the shade, the notebook's screen is perfectly tolerable. Toshiba tecra r950 charger

    Perhaps as expected, the merely average TN panel included in the S855D possesses the all-too-familiar narrow viewing angles. Moving anywhere close to the 45 degree mark in any direction produces notable color distortion and makes reading anything on the screen quite a challenge. Toshiba tecra r850 battery with charger

    Although the S855 series of notebooks is available with both AMD and Intel offerings, our particular review unit included an AMD chipset. Toshiba S855 charger The AMD choices are the least expensive of the bunch, but it's possible to select a processor as powerful as the Intel Core i7-3610QM if your budget allows. Each variation is denoted by a different suffix; our review model (specifically, the S855D-S5256) features a pseudo-quad-core (more on this in a moment) AMD A10-4600M APU, which leverages the latest platform from the chip maker, codenamed Trinity. Trinity introduces Turbo Core 3.0, which (like Intel's Turbo Boost) provides an automatic overclock of the processor in situations where additional performance is warranted, provided there is thermal headroom available to accommodate it. toshiba c650-15z battery with charger

    The A10-4600M has a base clock rate of 2.3 GHz and can automatically overclock all the way to 3.2 GHz when called for. toshiba c650-17n charger With a TDP of 35W, the power consumption is also pretty reasonable. Earlier we mentioned that it is a "pseudo-quad-core" processor; what we mean by that is that it actually only includes two modules with four integer-cores and two floating-point cores. Moreover, the Turbo Core 3.0 functionality isn't as effective as Intel's Turbo Boost, though single-threaded performance is considerably better than the Llano precursors. toshiba c650-19j charger

    Arguably more interesting than CPU performance is the on-die Trinity GPU, toshiba c650d-112 charger which is considerably faster than any other integrated graphics solution. Each Trinity processor includes a different GPU—with the A10-4600M we received packing a Radeon HD 7660G. Again similar to Intel's approach, this GPU scales its core speed based on the application, in this case with clock rates ranging from 497 to 686 MHz. The performance is comparable in most cases to that of a Radeon 6630M discrete graphics card—which is impressive. For more specific information on the performance of this processor in dozens of games and other benchmarks, don't miss our special Trinity in Review: AMD A10-4600M APU article. toshiba c655-s5056 charger

    The 6 GB of DDR3 RAM in our system was reached by combining a Kingston 2 GB and a Samsung 4 GB SODIMM, both 1600 MHz (PC3-12800) speed. Up to 8 GB DDR3-1600 RAM is supported, which should be plenty for just about any application. toshiba l630-06s battery with charger

    As always, we tested the system using DPC Latency Checker to assess its ability to stream audio and video without dropouts or stutters. Even with all wireless radios (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) enabled, the DPC latency never rose far above 500 µs, which is excellent. toshiba l635-s3012rd charger

    While it may not be of paramount importance to the average entertainment/gaming PC user, the A10-4600M's actual CPU performance truly isn't very good. It's slower in most cases than even an Intel Core i3-2310M (Sandy Bridge, last generation), and much slower than equivalent Ivy Bridge processors. toshiba l635-s3020wh battery with charger If single-core/older benchmarks are excluded, its performance appears more favorable, coming closer to the midrange Intel Core i5 Sandy Bridge CPUs. However, nothing rivals the newer Ivy Bridge offerings—especially those at the top of the ladder. Still, it would be silly to classify the CPU as sluggish, as it still zips through everyday tasks without any hesitation, and the powerful integrated GPU makes for a sometimes better combo than a comparable Intel chipset. It's just that Intel's CPU offerings are so much faster. toshiba l645d-s4029 charger

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