A comfortable laptop to use, but the screen looks slightly washed out and is disappointing, particularly at this price.
While many manufacturers try to jazz up the designs of their laptops, Toshiba has gone for a more understated and business-like design for its Satellite L500-11V. That's not a bad thing, as we quite like its plain looks and tough build.
The quality extends to the large keyboard. Each key is a decent size and provides excellent feedback, so you can type quickly and comfortably with this computer easily. There's even room for a full-sized numeric keypad, as Toshiba has fitted a half-width Enter key, which we had no problem getting used to.
The responsive touchpad lies flush with the case, but its textured surface makes it easy to find by touch. Its buttons are just as easy to find and have plenty of feedback.
The L500-11V's 15.6in widescreen display has a resolution of 1,366x768, but sadly its quality wasn't as good as we'd hoped. Vertical viewing angles are poor, and looking anything other than squarely at the screen makes colours look washed out. Even straight on, colours tend to look slightly washed out. It's a shame, as this is an otherwise decent laptop.
The 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo T6500 processor is a step up from the Pentium Dual-Cores in other budget laptops. Combined with the 3GB of RAM, the Satellite L500 achieved a decent overall score of 62 in our benchmarks. The GMA 4500M HD graphics aren't capable of playing games, but we wouldn't expect a dedicated graphics card at this price. It's good to see an HDMI output as well as VGA.
The 250GB hard disk gives you plenty of space for storing all your files, but a larger 320GB model would have been preferable at this price. It has everything else that we'd expect to see, including three USB ports and an SDHC card reader.
At 2.7kg this laptop is just about light enough for occasional trips, although its three-and-a-half battery life is below average.
Toshiba's Satellite L500-11V isn't a bad laptop, but its poor screen and the fact that there are better-value models detract from it. Samsung's R520 is a much better choice.
|Review Date||13 Oct 2009|
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo T6500|
|Processor clock speed||2.1GHz|
|Memory slots free||0|
|Sound||Realtek High Definition Audio|
|Power consumption standby||2W|
|Power consumption idle||16W|
|Power consumption active||36W|
|Viewable size||15.6 in|
|Graphics Processor||Intel GMA 4500M HD|
|Graphics/video ports||HDMI, VGA|
|Total storage capacity||250GB|
|Optical drive model||TSST TS-L633C|
|Optical drive type||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100|
|Wireless networking support||802.11a/n|
|PC Card slots||none|
|Supported memory cards||SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD|
|Other ports||1x eSATA|
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium|
|Operating system restore option||Windows disc|
|Software included||Microsoft Works 9, Toshiba DVD Player 3.1, Toshiba Disc Creator 220.127.116.11|
|Warranty||one year collect and return|