Toshiba Satellite S50D-A-10G review
15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.4kg, 2.1GHz AMD A10-5745M, 8.00GB RAM, 1,000GB disk, Windows 8.1
With so many budget Intel laptops available, it’s easy to forget that AMD-powered systems such as the Toshiba Satellite S50D-A-10G can be just as good value when choosing a good general purpose laptop.
The S50D-A-10G uses one of AMD’s latest Richland-based A-series processors, a quad-core A10-5745M APU, which can increase its clock speed from 2.1GHz to 2.9GHz when there’s enough thermal headroom. Paired with 8GB of RAM, it scored 36 overall in our multimedia benchmarks, which is roughly equivalent to the processors found in a Core i3 Ultrabook. This is more than enough speed for everyday office tasks and browsing the web, but it may struggle slightly if you have several applications open at once.
Graphics are provided by the processor’s integrated AMD Radeon HD 8610G chip and a 1GB Radeon HD 8550M Dual Graphics chip. This makes the S50D-A-10G a surprisingly capable gaming laptop for those on a budget, as it completed our Dirt Showdown test with a perfectly smooth frame rate of 30.6fps on High quality at a 1,280x720 resolution. Lowering the detail and disabling the anti-aliasing will raise this further, but you should be able to play most 3D games at a reasonable speed. Just don’t expect it to play ultra-demanding titles, such as Crysis 3.
This gives the S50D-A-10G a huge advantage over other similarly priced laptops, and it’s well built, too. Measuring just 24mm thick when closed, we found barely any flex in its glossy plastic chassis and its brushed aluminium palm rest gives it a little more style than your typical general-purpose laptop.
There’s a wide range of ports as well. You’ll find three USB ports, two of which are USB3, VGA and HDMI video outputs for connecting the laptop to an external display, a multi-format card reader, a DVD rewriter, a Fast Ethernet port and separate headphone and microphone jacks. It also has a large 1TB hard disk for storing your files and one of the USB3 ports also supports Sleep and Charge, so you can charge external devices even when the laptop is turned off or in sleep mode.
The S50D-A-10G’s backlit keyboard was great for typing. The keys are positioned quite far up the laptop compared to other general-purpose laptops, but its spacious palm rest gave us ample room to rest our hands while typing. Its well-spaced keys were a little flat, but they still gave a good level of tactile feedback and we were typing at full speed in no time at all. Toshiba has also included a numeric keypad on the right hand side.
More space below the keyboard means there’s also more room for the touchpad. Its large all-in-one surface was very responsive when navigating our desktop and the cursor remained stationary when clicking on files and icons. Windows 8 gestures also worked perfectly and we were able to execute multi-touch gestures such as two-finger scrolling and pinch-zooming without a hitch.