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Toshiba Satellite L550-113 review

Alan Lu
13 Oct 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
700
inc VAT

An impressive laptop with a high-resolution screen, comfortable keyboard and good 3D performance, but battery life isn't great.

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Specifications

17.3 in 1,600x900 display, 3.0kg, 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

Toshiba's Satellite L550-113 has a huge 17.3in screen, making it appeal to anyone that wants a desktop-replacement computer to use at home.

The screen has a high resolution of 1,600x900, which gives plenty of room for the Windows desktop and applications.

With its bright colours and wide viewing angles it's a great screen to look at, whether you're watching films, editing photos or working on a spreadsheet. It's also capable of running 3D games, as the onboard 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon 4570 graphics card managed almost 20fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. Turn off anti-aliasing or drop the resolution and smooth frame rates are possible.

Performance in applications is good, too. The 4GB of RAM and 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo T6500 processor helped it to a respectable overall score of 63 in our benchmarks.

We were greatly impressed with the Satellite's large, comfortable and responsive keyboard, which makes typing accurate. The numeric keypad is also big and great for data entry. The accurate touchpad is a little small in contrast to the huge buttons, which give just the right amount of feedback.

Unlike many previous Satellite laptops, this model doesn't come with integrated Harman Kardon speakers. The installed speakers sound notably worse, with little bass, a muddy midrange and a harsh treble.

At 3kg, the L550 isn't likely to travel far from a power socket, and if it does its battery isn't likely to last long. It managed only two hours and 42 minutes in our light-usage test. This is fine for use around the home, though.

Surprisingly for such a large laptop, there's no ExpressCard slot for adding peripherals such as a TV tuner, although there are three USB ports and one eSATA port. The hard disk is generously large at 500GB.

The L550-113 is an excellent desktop replacement, with good 3D performance and a comfortable keyboard. It's a little expensive, though, and Dell's 15.6in Studio 15 is a better choice if you don't need such a large screen.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo T6500
Processor clock speed2.1GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size43x417x270mm
Weight3.0kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby2W
Power consumption idle19W
Power consumption active39W

Display

Viewable size17.3 in
Native resolution1,600x900
Graphics ProcessorATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory512MB

Storage

Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive modelPioneer DVRTD09A
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothno
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11a/n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD
Other ports1x eSATA

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionWindows disc
Software includedMicrosoft Works 9, Toshiba DVD Player 3.1,Toshiba Disc Creator
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£700
Detailshttp://uk.computers.toshiba-europe.com/
Supplierhttp://www.comet.co.uk

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