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Toshiba Satellite L955D-104 review

Kat Orphanides
14 May 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
479
inc VAT

This workmanlike sub-£500 laptop runs desktop applications perfectly well but doesn’t impress in terms of power or features

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.2kg, 1.6GHz AMD A8-4555M, 8.00GB RAM, 750GB disk, Windows 8

The Toshiba Satellite L955D-104 isn't the most exciting laptop around, and certainly isn't particularly sleek or light when compared to the thin lines of many current 15.6in laptops and Ultrabooks. The L955D-104's size at least means that Toshiba has been able to include a DVD-RW drive. The blue brushed-metal finish is attractive enough, in an understated way.

Toshiba Satellite L955D-104

The laptop is also equipped with three USB ports, two of which are USB3, and an SDXC card slot on the front edge. It has 3.5mm stereo ports so you can connect a mic and headphones or stereo speakers and there are both HDMI and VGA outputs for the on-board graphics. The integrated speaker is reasonable - certainly adequate for voice but entirely lacking in bass and rather too muddy for busy music. It's also quieter than most laptop speakers we've seen recently.

Most laptops we see at this price tend to have low-end Intel processors, but the L955D-104 instead has a 1.6GHz AMD A8-4555M processor. This quad-core processor has an integrated AMD 7600G graphics processor, but it didn't well in our 3D graphics test. Even when we dropped quality settings to Low in Dirt Showdown we still only saw a 22.7fps frame rate. We've been impressed with the integrated graphics power of AMD's recent processors, but the A8 chip in this laptop is too underpowered for modern games.

Toshiba Satellite L955D-104

The processor's performance in our application benchmarks was also underwhelming, with an overall score of just 27. This is just enough for standard desktop applications, but the laptop begins to feel a little sluggish if you run multiple processor-intensive programs at once, even though it has 8GB of RAM. Despite its four cores, a score of just 26 in our video-encoding benchmark is significantly lower than that of many dual-core Intel laptops we've seen, showing this laptop will struggle with video-editing applications. The L955D-104 does at least have a large 750GB hard disk, so there's plenty of room to store all your applications and data. The laptop's six hours and 21 minutes of battery life is around average, but is still enough for a long train journey or East Coast flight.

The L955D-104's 15.6in display has a standard laptop resolution of 1,366x768 and is reasonably clear, and the screen's glossy finish helps to add vibrancy to colours. However, we felt the screen looked a little dull in our image tests, with slightly grey reproduction of white tones.

Toshiba Satellite L955D-104

The keyboard's flat, Chiclet-style keys are a little rattly and don’t have much travel, but are fairly comfortable and accurate to type on. We weren't particularly keen on the amount of flex in the keyboard, however. There's a full numeric keypad, again with reasonably sized keys. Its presence means that the touchpad is shunted quite a long way towards the left of the wrist rest, but there's still enough room for your left hand and we didn't find ourselves brushing the touchpad by accident as we typed. The wrist rest does get rather warm after an hour or so of use, though.

Although the L955D-104 has a decent range features and fairly good display, its processor and graphics capabilities are distinctly underpowered compared to other laptops at around the £500 mark. It's also a tad chunky. We prefer the Dell Inspiron 15, which is cheaper, more comfortable to use and more powerful.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorAMD A8-4555M
Processor clock speed1.6GHz
Memory8.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size25x380x260mm
Weight2.2kg
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorAMD Radeon HD 7600G
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory128MB

Storage

Total storage capacity750GB
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSDXC
Other ports3.5mm headphone port, 3.5mm mic port

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 8
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includednone
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£479
Detailswww.toshiba-europe.com
Supplierhttp://www.gultronicsdirect.com

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