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Toshiba Satellite L450D-11V / AMD Athlon QL-65 2.10GHz / 3GB / 250GB / DVD-SM / 15.6 inch / Windows 7 Home Premium / Laptop / Notebook

Manufacturer: Toshiba

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  Budget machine? Not so sure.....

| | See all MrPritchard's reviews (6)

In this age of shiny black laptops, this silver and black Toshiba will win no beauty contests. But why would you want it to? It's a laptop. And it does the job of being a laptop very well indeed. Cosmetic concerns have to come second.

Let's admit it, it is a budget machine, but it is specced out like not too many other budget machines....little things like the HDMI port and webcam are what opened my eyes. The 3GB installed memory is expandable to 8GB, and you won't find an 8GB capable motherboard in too many other budget laptops. That coupled with the fact that it comes with the 64bit version of Windows 7 Premium installed, this so called 'budget' machine is well set for the present and foreseeable future. The processor is a dual core AMD Athlon X2 clocked at a very respectable 2.1ghz, and Toshiba have also provided Radeon 3200 HD on-board graphics (not 3100 as is listed on Play.com)...and while not making it a gaming PC by any stretch of the imagination, it will play a number of slightly older games very well indeed. It even manages Sims 3 and Quake 4. Of course the real meat on the bones of this 3200 HD chip will be providing great video playback/acceleration and powering the HDMI out.

The 15.6" Trubrite screen is very nice when you're sat with it angled to your preferred position. From above it fades, and from below it darkens...but this is a drawback of LCD technology. When you have it in the correct position, it is more than decent. It is bright, the colours are true and text looks excellent. For connectability there are 3 USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, a VGA port, an Ethernet port, a 4-in-1 card reader/media slot, headphone/mic ports and a volume control wheel. The DVD/CD re-writer works with all what you'd expect it to, including DVD RAM. Oh, and the 2.5 hour battery actually made it to 2 hours 20 minutes last night....which is amazing as they never usually go any way near the advertised spec.

I notice Toshiba are also kind enough to provide you with the 32bit version of Windows 7 Premium on a DVD, in case you run into problems such as your old 32-bit applications/games not working on the 64bit architecture. Note that before you downgrade from 64bit to the 32bit version of Windows, Toshiba tell you to back up the recovery partition onto DVD, in case you want to go back to the 64bit version in the future. As far as I can tell from the few weeks of researching laptops before I bought this, Toshiba are the only company to give you the choice of 64bit/32bit....most laptops now come with 64bit whether you like it or not. Well done Toshiba.

The laptop itself is very solidly built. This is one of the reasons I went with Toshiba. I hear their customer service isn't too great, but you have to weigh that up with the fact they're built to last. Still, I suggest you extend your warranty to at least 2 years (do this on the Toshiba website). Over all, I say if you want a good laptop at a decent price, and you don't want to play the latest games, you can't go wrong with this.

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