Review: Toshiba Satellite P755

It’s kind of amazing what $880 will get you these days: 15.6 inches of laptop, with a Core i5 CPU, 6GB of RAM, a 750 GB hard drive and high-end Nvidia GeForce GT 540M graphics. Laptop buyers looking for all the basics and beyond couldn’t go wrong with specs like this, and Toshiba aims to give it to them with the new Satellite P755.

Performance is decidedly mixed. While you may spend years filling that monstrous hard drive, the P755 is on the sluggish side when it comes to general application capabilities. It’s good enough for its price class but it pales in comparison to other machines that come equipped with this round of Intel Core CPUs. The exception, however, lies in the P755’s graphics capabilities. While some of its gaming scores were just average (Far Cry 2, Call of Juarez), on one older game (Doom 3) it turned in the all-time highest framerates we’ve seen to date.

Those high-end components and gaming performance, alas, come at a troubling price. Not one of coinage but of quality. Plastic from top to bottom, to call the P755 flimsy would be charitable. The rickety chassis feels like it would shatter into oblivion were it to fall off the desk, a worry uncountered by the iffy fit and finish of things like the power socket, within which the AC adapter’s plug wobbles around like straw in a Coke bottle. The keyboard is also mushy and cheap. Typing on it is about as pleasurable as punching in your PIN at the ATM.

Other hardware issues cropped up in my testing, too. While I love all the lights on the device — the bar of backlight above the trackpad and in the array of touch-sensitive buttons along the top of the keyboard — it’s unclear why the keyboard isn’t backlit as well. Those buttons themselves are a little muddy, too. There’s no indication whether the audio is muted or the Wi-Fi is on; the buttons are always lit up in the same color either way.

Finally there’s a larger complaint to consider. The battery life of 1 hour, 44 minutes is paltry. But when it died, the P755 indicated it had over an hour of running time left. That adds up to a lot of troubling stuff to think about when it comes time to decide whether to invest in this laptop. My hunch is that its issues won’t extend to every Satellite, which means that $880 amounts to a big roll of the dice.

Photo:y Jim Merithew/

See Also:

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  • Fetish: Toshiba Netbook Ditches Keyboard for Second Touchscreen
  • Price Is Right for Toshiba’s Bare-Bones Netbook
  • Toshiba’s Portable USB Monitor Cheap Enough to Be Useful
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