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Toshiba Satellite A660-17T review

Tom Morgan
20 Oct 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
650
inc VAT

A competent desktop replacement, but it's more expensive than similarly specified rivals.

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Specifications

16 in 1,366x768 display, 2.6kg, 2.27GHz Intel Core i3 350M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Toshiba has managed to squeeze a large 16in widescreen display into its Satellite A660 laptop. Combined with a surprisingly good set of speakers, this makes the A660 a well-balanced desktop replacement, perfect for media playback.

While the screen on the A660 is larger than most laptops in this price range, the resolution is a bog-standard 1,366x768. Colours were vibrant and there was only minor light bleed from the LED backlight on darker images. Great horizontal viewing angles allow several people to view the screen at once which is handy if you want to watch a TV show or movie with friends.

Vertical viewing angles were less impressive, although the screen has plenty of tilt to find the perfect position. Both VGA and HDMI outputs will display higher resolutions on an external monitor for HD content. The speakers are positioned above the keyboard, and provide clear audio. Like most laptops it can’t reproduce bass notes particularly well, but both the mid-tones and treble were crisp, even at high volume.

Toshiba Satellite A660-17T

The A660 has a sleek, all-black chassis that is solidly built. The bright white power button and status LEDs create a stylish contrast, as does the touchpad indicator. Thankfully these can be deactivated with one of the touch-sensitive hotkeys below the screen. A number pad is a welcome addition to the main keyboard. The majority of keys are also full size, with only the cursor and function keys slimmed down in order to make room. The Chiclet-style individual keys and touchpad buttons are glossy, but our fingers didn’t slip at all when typing. The large touchpad can be disabled with a button press for extended typing sessions, and also supports multitouch gestures.

The A660 has a number of useful ports for extra connectivity. An eSATA port doubles as a fourth USB socket, which will also charge your portable devices even if the laptop is turned off. An ExpressCard/34 could be handy for adding extra features such as USB3 further down the line, while a 5-in-1 memory card reader that supports SDHC as well as XD and Memory Stick Pro is placed in front of the touchpad for easy access.

With its 2.27GHz Core i3 350M processor, we expected the A660 to perform well. A score of 77 in our benchmark tests is right on the mark for a Core i3 laptop, making the A660 well suited to everyday tasks. The onboard Intel HD graphics chip is more suited to watching video than gaming, as the 10.9fps score in our Call of Duty 4 test indicates. High definition video playback will still be possible, however. The 64-bit version of Windows 7 installed on the machine is well matched to 4GB of RAM and the 500GB hard disk should provide ample storage. Even with a large screen and powerful processor, the A660 lasted a respectable 3 hours 52 minutes in our battery test. Given that it weighs 2.6kg, it's more suitable for sitting around the house rather than being on the road.

The Satellite A660 has a great display, comfortable full size keyboard and decent battery life for a laptop with such a large screen. While it has a fast processor, you can get very similar specifications for up to £100 less. As it stands, the A660 is just too expensive.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core i3 350M
Processor clock speed2.27GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free2
Maximum memory8GB
Size28x381x254mm
Weight2.6kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size16 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel HD Graphics
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory128MB

Storage

Total storage capacity500GB
Optical drive modelOptiarc DVD RW AD-7700S
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Bluetoothno
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/34
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSD, SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick PRO, xD
Other portseSATA (shared with USB socket), minijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionburn own restore disc
Software includedNero Express Essentials 9, Microsoft Works,
Optional extrasNone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£650
Detailswww.toshiba-europe.com
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk

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