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Toshiba Satellite P750-115 - AV, Battery life, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

6

Based on past experience with the Harman Kardon speakers in Toshiba machines (laptops such as the Satellite A660 and even netbooks like the NB550), it's a pretty safe assumption that the audio quality on this Satellite P750 will be decent - and as it turns out, that is indeed the case. While it's certainly not the best-sounding laptop we've heard from the company, its stereo speakers produce plenty of volume, clarity and depth, accompanied by more bass than many rivals. As portable audio experiences go this Satellite is pretty good, and headphones are not required.

Unfortunately we can't predict good things about the 15.6in, 1,366 x 768 screen, so let's see how it holds up. First off, there's a major positive, in that Toshiba has resisted applying any kind of glossy coating. This makes the display a pleasure to work with even in bright environments, with nary a reflection on the horizon (or the screen).

However, upon assessing the quality of the actual panel, we were sorely disappointed. Naturally we weren't expecting anything on a level with the Lenovo X1's beautiful IPS screen, but the Samsung Series 9 has shown how good TN-based laptop panels can be. Unfortunately, the performance of this Satellite is actually below average.

First there are the viewing angles, which are abysmal vertically but also don't hold up too well horizontally, with some contrast and colour shift creeping in. Contrast is likewise poor, and this is the first laptop screen we've seen in quite some time that fails to differentiate between three of the darkest greyshades, meaning you'll potentially lose out on significant dark detailing in movies and games. Even at the lowest brightness settings, blacks are never truly black, lending things a somewhat washed-out look. Nor does this bring any benefit to lighter shades, which are even less distinguishable. There's some significant banding over darker shades, too.

Back to positives, backlighting is even and there's no visible bleed, while sharpness is excellent. In fact, the screen would be fine if this were a business machine intended for productivity. As an entertainment laptop, however, its screen's characteristics are far from ideal.

Toshiba Satellite P750-115 Battery

Last but not least, how long will this Toshiba last you away from a socket? Battery life from the 48Wh unit supplied with the laptop was actually very decent considering the power-hungry quad-core CPU, with it managing three hours and 22 minutes in our non-intensive Productivity test, with screen brightness set to 40 percent.

Unfortunately, the laptop's sub-par screen puts a bit of a dent in the P750-115's value proposition compared to similarly priced competitors. Getting a fast Core i7 quad-core CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 640GB hard drive, Nvidia GT540M graphics and a Blu-ray drive for under £1,000 is otherwise a decent deal, especially since it's all built into a fairly sturdy chassis with good ergonomics and great speakers.

However, for just £10 more you can get a Sandy Bridge version of the Dell XPS 15, which offers exactly the same specifications but includes a brushed aluminium lid, better connectivity, runs quieter, is more configurable and – above all – has a better screen.

If you're looking for something a little easier on the wallet, don't mind a machine that's less portable and don't need all that RAM, the Samsung RF711 is also a strong contender. Specifications are similar though the system and graphics memory are halved, but you do get a faster, larger RAID hard drive array with a capacity of 1TB, as well as a larger, better, higher-resolution 17.3in screen, all for £180 less.

Verdict

A well-built multimedia and gaming laptop with good specifications, comfortable ergonomics and impressive speakers, Toshiba's Satellite P750-115 is really let down by its poor screen. Because of this there are better options available at its price point, though for those mainly using external displays it's still well worth considering.

Overall Score

6

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 7
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Value 7

p4rry

June 3, 2011, 11:34 am

How does this get a 6/10 when each of the individual components of the review reach a minimum of 7/10? Surely this cant be solely cos of the screen, as that would be included under features?

Jan Andersen

June 5, 2011, 4:18 pm

Not realy a usefull review - unfortunately.

Why do you not mention the matt screen under positive ? Few notebooks have today matt screen , most with glossy very refelctive screen, almost impossible to use in daylight !

Secondly, review of noise and temperature is absent ( I couldnt find any ), two very important decision points for many buyers. There is a tiny hint when comparing with the Dell before the verdict.

The rest we can read in the specs - no need for a review listing the feature list, or where this and this connector is placed - we can see that on the pictures ! We can also see the color, the speakers etc on the pictures.

TechVegan

June 8, 2011, 3:40 pm

@p4rry:
Yes, it is because of the screen, which is not reflected in the features score.

@Jan Andersen:
Sorry that you find that to be the case.

I do mention it extensively in the review, but will add it to the quick-glance positives.

As to the rest being readable in the specs, plase show me where in the specs it details the keyboard and touchpad feedback, mentions the build quality, what the sound from the speakers is like, how the screen holds up, how its CPU performs, the gaming potential of its video card and the laptop's battery life - you didn't find any of that useful then?

DrDread

July 2, 2011, 12:52 am

good review, but its going a bit far to hype about it being under 1 grand, with an asking price of £999.99. It also has 4 usb ports, not 2 (one of which is USB 3.0).

TechVegan

November 10, 2011, 4:30 pm

@DrDread:
Thanks for your comment and glad you liked the review, but I wish people would acutally READ the review before leaving criticisms. I mention all four USB ports, their type and locations:

"Along the left there are [...] two USB ports, of the 3.0 and 2.0 varieties, with the former supporting Sleep & Charge to power or charge devices while the laptop is turned off [...] while to the right you'll find a further two USB 2.0 ports"

thedude

January 24, 2013, 10:19 am

as a user of this laptop I find myself a little dismayed at this review, i believe that it go up at least one star here. The screen issue you mentioned has never ever bothered , and i have never noticed even your comments about it has not helped me to notice it, and no I am not blind. Other than that I think you did very well on this review, but to nitpick the screen quality is slightly ridiculous no it isn't the best, but to most it is not noticeable. thanks for your time.

berty

March 26, 2013, 2:07 pm

I have had a toshiba satellite -115 15.6" for 13 1/2 mouths hard drive stopped working toshiba did not want to know. Have now being told that mother board has gone as well and it will most likey be a write off. WOULD NOT TOUCH TOSHIBA AGAIN.......

Altaf Patel

July 28, 2015, 2:48 pm

My experience after 4-5 months is disappointing. Hinges are worst on the earth. TouchPad is placed slightly on left instead of center, which always causes mis-touch when typing, also touchpad is ragged, frustrating. Click button became very hard, don't know why ! Function keys stopped working, installed drivers from website, and still no result. WebCam shows blue-green pictures, and hence had to purchase external webcam. The most serious thing is, when using it, sometimes get warning message telling that CPU fan has stopped, immediately shutdown laptop and contact nearest service center. Body of laptop looks very cheap. Earlier I had Acer and was looking gorgeous, and without any such issues. No Toshiba again. My rating 3/10.

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