With the advent of Intel's new Sandy Bridge Core i processors, most manufacturers have updated their desktop PC and laptop ranges with new models, and Toshiba is no exception. Today we're looking at the first of these, the entertainment-oriented, 15.6in Satellite P750-115. Sporting a new textured finish, high-end quad-core Core i7 processor, a whopping 8GB of RAM backed by a 640GB hard drive and Nvidia GeForce graphics with 2GB of dedicated RAM as well as a Blu-ray drive, this is clearly a serious contender. The best bit is that it costs under £1,000, so is it worth its asking price?
First let's take a look at the design, which has altered radically from previous Satellite incarnations. Though Toshiba had already moved away from all-gloss fingerprint magnets such as its Satellite L650 with the lightly textured Satellite A660, this time around the imprint is far more defined. It's a bamboo-like pattern that adorns most of the lid and inside, leaving just a glossy black lip at the front.
While it's not the most attractive pattern we've seen and isn't a patch on the organic swirls we last encountered on the HP tm2, it's still far preferable to a plain glossy lid that shows off dust and fingerprints like nobody's business.
Unfortunately, on the laptop's inside that glossy lip is positioned so that it's impossible to avoid palm-prints, and the keyboard's glossy finish and touchpad's chromed buttons will also require regular wiping. However, the Satellite P750 does look quite attractive overall, and the Satellite's chromed, white-backlit power button is a nice touch. White status LEDs are visible at the laptop's front even when the machine is closed.
Build quality is good overall, though there's a little more flex than we would ideally like above the keyboard. Though it's reasonably quiet in light use, when under load the P750-115 does produce an audible hum, though that's not too surprising considering its high-end (and therefore hot) internals.
Connectivity is about what you would expect for a high-end laptop these days. Along the left there are HDMI and VGA for video, a Gigabit Ethernet port for wired networking, and 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.
On the front we have an SDXC/MMC/xD/MS Pro card reader, while to the right you'll find a further two USB 2.0 ports, the tray-loading Blu-ray drive and headphone/digital-audio-out plus microphone jacks. The mic output supports Toshiba's unique Sleep & Music functionality, which we first came across on the NB520. This allows you to use the laptop's speakers with an external source (like an MP3 player) connected through a 3.5mm jack while the laptop is powered down – for more details, check out page three of our NB520 review.
Finally, the laptop's wireless connections are comprehensively covered by Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth 3.0. Our only quibble is that we would really have liked to have seen two USB 3.0 ports rather than just one, as this would allow fast data copying between two speedy external drives or memory sticks.