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Toshiba Satellite L755D-12L review

Tom Morgan
17 Sep 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
450
inc VAT

A great first showing for AMD Llano; desktop performance on a par with Intel’s budget chips but better graphics and battery life make it a compelling budget choice

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.5kg, 1.4GHz AMD A6-3400M, 6.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Toshiba’s latest mid-range laptop might not look any different from the other machines in the manufacturer's current line-up, but it’s easily one of the most exciting. It’s the first laptop we've seen powered by a Llano Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), the first from AMD capable of taking on Intel’s mighty second-generation Core processors. Judging by this laptop's performance, Llano looks set to shake up the budget laptop market.

Toshiba Satellite L755D-12L

The Satellite L755D uses one of the lowest-frequency A6 processors currently in production, the A6-3400M, which runs at 1.4Ghz and is paired with a generous 6GB of RAM. The clock speed may not seem particularly fast, but AMD’s new Turbo Core feature can increase this up to 2.4GHz for better performance in intensive applications, in a similar way to the Turbo Boost technology found on Intel chips. It achieved an overall score of 35 in our multimedia benchmarks, which is a few points behind the average Intel Core i3 laptop.

Although desktop performance is only average, the processor's integrated graphics are nothing short of revolutionary. In our Dirt 3 benchmark, which runs at 1,280x720 with High detail and 4x anti-aliasing, it managed a nearly-playable 25fps. We could run the game at the laptop's native 1,366x768 resolution in High detail at a playable 31fps, once we turned off anti-aliasing. This should mean that almost all current generation games will be playable with a bit of tweaking.

Toshiba Satellite L755D-12L left

In spite of the impressive graphics performance, the A6 APU is still very energy-friendly. The Satellite L755D managed nearly six and a half hours in our light-use battery test, which, although not quite enough for all-day computing, is still around an hour longer than the average Core i3 laptop.

Toshiba Satellite L755D-12L right

We were impressed with the hardware inside, but the Satellite L755D's exterior didn’t provide much excitement. In spite of the radically changed interior, Toshiba has reused the same chassis found in the rest of the L755 line-up, including the red plastic chassis and 15.6in glossy screen. Connectivity is also identical, with three USB ports, VGA and HDMI video outputs, a multi-format card reader that supports the latest SDXC cards and a DVD re-writer. There's no USB3 support, unfortunately.

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