Specifications are where things get really interesting, as
the Satellite P750-115’s relatively unassuming exterior hides some serious
horsepower. Star of the show is one of Intel’s new Sandy Bridge
chips, specifically the quad-core Core i7-2630QM. With support for
hyper-threading enabling up to eight virtual cores and a maximum Turbo
Frequency of 2.9GHz over its standard running speed of 2GHz, it’s at the high
end of the mobile processor range and should give plenty of power for intensive
tasks like video trans/encoding.
(centre)Though Toshiba’s Satellite and the Samsung RF711 both use the same processor and the Satellite has double the
memory, the RF711 wins out due to its twin hard drives in RAID.(/centre)
This capable processor is backed by a whopping 8GB of DDR3
RAM, which is quickly becoming the standard on high-end PCs. For storage
there’s a generous 640GB hard drive, though it’s of the slower 5,400rpm
One of the nicest surprises is the graphics card, which is
an Nvidia GT540 with a whopping 2GB of its own memory. Unfortunately, the
amount of memory doesn’t have a significant impact if the chip itself isn’t up
to scratch, but thankfully, if you’re not planning to run demanding titles like
Crysis, the GT450 holds up fine.
In Stalker, it managed a smooth 41.1 frames per
second (fps) at maximum detail in DirectX 11 mode, and at our standard 720p
test resolution returned just over 47fps. As such, it’s fair to classify the Satellite
P750-115 as a ‘lite’ gaming laptop.
Together with its Blu-ray drive, the GT540 allows for 3D
movie playback and 2D upconversion – if you have the requisite screen and
glasses to enjoy the experience. Toshiba’s proprietary Resolution system will
make sure standard definition material is upscaled nicely.
Nvidia’s Optimus ensures you don’t pay a battery-life penalty
for the discrete graphics when they’re not needed, as in such cases the system
falls back on Intel’s weak but frugal integrated graphics.
When it comes to usability, the Satellite P750 comes out
reasonably well, but it’s not a clean win. Apart from its glossiness, the
isolation keyboard offers large keys that are well-spaced. Key travel is good, but
unfortunately feedback is too light, occasionally leaving you unsure if you’ve
actually pressed a key or not. You do get used to this lighter response, but we
would rather type on the HP Envy 14 Beats Edition.
A strip of touch-sensitive controls above the keyboard gives access to shortcuts as well as media, wireless and volume controls. These were responsive in our testing, and light up in white when activated, a nice visual touch.
The large, sensitive touchpad offers a pleasant matt surface and naturally supports multi-touch. However, while its buttons give a nice click, their action is slightly too stiff for comfort.