The moment you take the Toshiba
Satellite L740 out of the box, you know it is a budget laptop. Primary
reason being the limited attention paid to bulk and secondary being that
the build quality. But that should not cloud the fact that this could
actually be the budget laptop that performs well.
Look & Feel
Straightaway, the glossy black finish is a bit of a turn-off - for being
a scratch, dust and fingerprint magnet. The same finish continues
through the entire lid and all areas around the keyboard except the
touchpad. There is a neat imprint design on it though, which reminds us
of when HP first started to do the wave imprint on the Pavilion DV range
of notebooks a few years back. This one isn't as profound, but is
Above the keyboard are the stereo
speakers and the power key. No dedicated keys for multimedia playback or
accessing the web. Whatever quick access keys are there are on the
shared with the FN keys. The LAN port, HDMI out, 2 USB ports and the
headphone/ mic jacks are on the left side. A considerably profound
cooling vent is there as well. On the right are the optical drive,
another USB port, and the DVI connection. Nothing on the back, since the
hinge placement ensures that the lid goes all the way down when opened.
To the left of the touchpad, just on the
side is a cluster of notification lights -charger connection, power,
battery, hard drive, memory card and Wi-Fi. They aren’t marked very
well, and you’ll have to squint considerably to know which one means
what. Till you remember that by heart, that is! The memory card slot is
just below that.
Overall, while this is a well-built
laptop with no evident rough edges, what gives away its price is the
bulky design and the complete plastic treatment throughout. Slightly
slimmer, and it would have looked a lot better.
Features & Performance
While it isn't an old processor (considering it was launched in the
second quarter of 2011), it isn't the newer gen Core i3 or Core i5
either. The Pentium B940 (Sandy Bridge family) clocks at 1995MHz and is
paired with 3GB of RAM. Toshiba preloads the laptop with Windows 7 Home
Basic in the 32-bit version. If you do consider upgrading the RAM to 4GB
or more, we suggest switching to a 64-bit version of the OS. Graphics
are the Intel HD 2000 series, which isn't going to allow for gaming at
all. Except solitaire that is! We were surprised with the PC Mark
Vantage score of 4195, which slots it cleanly in the “I am not a slouch
by any stretch of the imagination” category. The Graphics score brings
down the Windows Experience Index of 5.0. The processor gets a score of
5.8, while the hard drive scores 5.9. All these scores are out of 7.9.
The 14-inch display is the basic LCD
one, with a resolution of 1366 x 760 pixels and 16:9 aspect ratio. What
impressed us the most was that this display isn't reflective at all,
making it very comfortable to use - be it outdoors or in a typical
office environment with lot of overhead lighting. Partly because of the
non-reflective nature of the display, the viewing angles are much better
than a lot of other laptops. While it does not have a very vivid colour
handling, the crispness helps equally with multimedia viewing and
anything to do with documents.
With a humongous 640GB hard drive, we
are sure you wont run out of storage space anytime soon. The drive
performance is quite good as well - it copies a zipped 4GB file in
almost 103 seconds and 118 seconds for the unzipped 4GB folder.
Battery life is quite disappointing
though. This one will run out of juice in an hour and 40 minutes, from
full charge to complete discharge. You may get a bit more if the
brightness is turned down and connectivity reduced to the bare minimum,
but this still wont really cross 2 hours.
For a price around Rs 30000, this is essentially a budget laptop that
could fit well in the role of a desktop replacement. The performance is
quite stable, and should not slow down under most heavy usage scenarios.
No gaming though, since this only comes with integrated graphics. Built
well, albeit a bit bulky. The real delight is the amazing display, and
we thank God that there is some sense out there to put non-reflective
displays on laptops. Alternatively, you could also consider the Lenovo
G560, which will come with a newer Intel Core i3 processor, same 3GB of
RAM, smaller 320GB hard drive but a bigger 15.6-inch display.