The Good Fair performance. Full number pad.
The Bad Defaults to 32-bit Windows. Feels plastic and cheap.
The Bottom Line Toshiba’s shiny Core i5-enabled laptop is a fair performer, but there’s an odd set of differences between it and the model that sits just above it in Toshiba’s range.
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Opening up the L750 gave us a brief 1970s flashback moment. The silver pattern on the L750’s case has a slight disco ball effect, especially under bright lighting. This sort of thing is always a matter of taste; for every person who thinks it’s unnecessarily gaudy, there will be one who finds it gorgeous and appealing. Wherever you sit on that spectrum, there’s no denying that the L750 is eye catching.
There are two models of the L750 on the market; the model that CNET tested was the cheaper AU$899 Satellite L750/03C PSK1WA-03C00R. You’ll forgive us if we just call it the L750, we trust.
The L750 features an Intel Core i5 2410M 2.3GHz processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 15.6-inch 1366×768 16:9 LCD display screen. Storage comes from a 640GB internal hard drive. The optical drive is a DVD SuperMulti Dual Layer burner. Video output is via VGA only; if you want HDMI you’ll have to upgrade to the AU$999 Satellite L750/04K PSK2YA-04K010 model. That upgraded model also features USB 3.0, whereas the L750 we tested makes do with only USB 2.0 ports.
On the software side, Windows 7 Home Premium is preinstalled. When you first boot up the C660, it’ll ask you if you want 32-bit or 64-bit Windows installed. The default is 32-bit, and if you opt for 64-bit (and with 4GB onboard, you absolutely should), you’ll have to wait a couple of hours while it reformats the partition and reinstalls everything. “Everything”, in this case, includes ConfigFree, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter (60-day trial), Norton Internet Security 2011 (Trial Version), Norton Online Backup Utility, Toshiba Face Recognition, Toshiba Media Controller, Toshiba PC Health Monitor and Toshiba Recovery Media Creator.
In benchmark terms, the Core i5 processor in the L750 delivers decent but not world-beating results. It’s PCMark05 score of 7167 is quite good, and does suggest that it should be a decent workhorse of a machine. Intel’s HD graphics aren’t the best in the business (and again, it’s worth noting that the AU$999 version of the L750 uses a NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1GB instead), and its 3DMark06 score of 3666 is exactly what we’d expect out of a system of this type.
In practical usage, the one criticism of the L750 that we had was that despite its silver sheen, everything felt a bit too hollow and plastic for our liking. It was a relatively noisy machine to type on, and the flat touchpad meant that we often skidded off the edge without realising it.
Toshiba’s battery life claim for the L750 is a relatively modest “up to five hours”. Here, there’s a difference in the cheaper L750’s favour, as Toshiba reckons the pricier model can only handle four hours. We ran our standard battery test across the L750, running full-screen video on a loop with all battery-saving measures disabled, and screen brightness pumped up to full. That test should give a worst-case scenario for battery life, and the L750’s battery figure of three hours and 42 minutes suggests that the five-hour figure should be entirely achievable in more real-world usage. You’re not likely to last an entire day on this battery without some economical usage, but it’s a fair performer.