Decent power and graphics, and HD films too
Computers that can play films from Blu-ray disc are getting cheaper and cheaper.
Take the Toshiba Satellite L755-144, for example, a laptop with a 15.6in widescreen display and a Blu-ray disc drive.
We've seen better screens on laptops but this one, while a little low in resolution, was perfectly useable. The higher the resolution, the sharper the pictures and text on screen, so the slightly low resolution here of 1366x768 pixels meant everything was the tiniest bit blocky when we looked closely, but largely it was fine. Certainly, high-definition video looked fine on it.
It lacks the design flair of its business-minded more expensive brother the Tecra R840 but it shares one nice touch with that laptop, a physical button mounted between the keyboard and the touchpad that allows the touchpad to be disabled. If you are using a plug-in mouse, this prevents the pointer moving around if your fingers accidentally brush the touchpad while you're typing.
The keyboard was too shallow for our liking – the keys didn't travel far enough when pressed but they were large and nicely spaced, and there's enough room in the laptop's 38cm width for a full number keypad to the right of the keyboard. As on many laptops, the space bar was a little small, but it was useable.
It comes with two small speakers that sit above the keyboard, which looked good but produced only so-so sound. Quality was fine, but volume didn't go particularly high and it was lacking in bass, despite coming with the ‘Toshiba Bass Enhanced Sound System'.
Plenty of computing power is available. The processor is an Intel Core i5-2410M model and it has 6GB of memory. Internet and office tasks posed no problems, and it completed our DVD copying test in a quick-for-a-laptop 33 minutes. It has an Nvidia Geforce GT 525M graphics card with 1GB of its own memory, which helped it to reasonable performance for games. Newer games will need to be played with the detail levels turned down but for under £700 this laptop's games performance was not bad at all.
The 64-bit edition of the Windows 7 operating system is installed along with a few Toshiba programs, some of which were more useful than others. Toshiba Reeltime is a pointless file manager, while the hardware setup tool was much more helpful. It does include some useful Nero software for using discs and backing up, and Office 2010 Starter which contains cut-down spreadsheet and word processor programs.
It's 3D compatible, but only to a point – if you have 3D Blu-ray discs you can watch them using the L755, but not on its own screen. You have to plug in an HDMI cable to a 3D TV or projector. It doesn't include 3D glasses either.
Network support is good, as it will connect to the fastest version of both wired and wireless networks and Bluetooth devices. It also has headphone and microphone sockets, a VGA socket for monitor connection. There are two USB sockets on one side, a single fast USB 3 socket on the other and an SD memory card reader under the front handrest.
Battery life was fair at around four hours in light use, though this will decrease when, say, watching a Blu-ray disc. In all, this is a good laptop for both working and home and entertainment, but it's a shame the 3D didn't live up to its billing.
Read more reviews
An impressive laptop for home work and entertainment
Includes Blu-ray; lots of computing power; portable and comfortable
Not so good for games; 3D-capable, but needs a 3D screen plugged in
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