Toshiba Satellite L55t-A5290 review

Toshiba is looking to position itself as a laptop with the Toshiba Satellite L55t. This 15.6-inch laptop features powerful processing power, a vivid touchscreen, and an incredibly comfortable keyboard. However, it doesn’t come with Intel’s latest Haswell processor and comes with a slightly mediocre 4-cell Toshiba Satellite L55t-A5290 laptop battery. With Staples on sale for $713 (after discounts), should you stop by and pick up an L55t?designThe Satellite L55t looks like the previous generation of Toshiba’s Satellite series laptops: The L55t’s lid and base are made of silver-gray plastic instead of the Satellite P55t’s elegant brushed aluminum design, and the keyboard comes with a glossy black plastic stand. A subtle horizontal stripe pattern breaks up the monotony of the lid and base, and a silver Toshiba logo is printed on the lower right corner of the lid.More: The 20 sexiest laptops ever madeThe L55t measures 14.9 x 9.6 x 1.13 inches, weighs 5.4 pounds, and feels thicker than the competition. The $679 Satellite P55t is slightly thicker than the L55t, 1.2 inches, but weighs just 5.2 pounds thanks to Toshiba’s new Skyline design. The $699 Acer Aspire M5 measures 15 x 10.08 x 0.68~0.9 inches, weighs just 5 pounds, and feels very thin in comparison. Click to enlarge The latest 1080p The Wolverine trailer looks rich and vivid on the Toshiba Satellite L55t’s 15.6-inch, 1366 x 768 TruBrite display. Exploding orange flowers stand out against the snow-covered Japanese dojo, and we can make out details like the decoration on the Assassin Samurai’s armor.Vocal MusicThe living room of our apartment filled with a roaring baritone choir as we listened to Jeremy Soule’s majestic score for Skyrim. Thanks to the laptop’s DTS Sound software, the audio was virtually distortion-free even when we turned the volume up to 100%, and allowed us to fine-tune the settings for bass, voice, and treble. For quick adjustments, DTS Sound also offers surround, maximum volume and bass boost options. We don’t recommend disabling DTS sound: the audio sounds distant and harsh.Keyboard and Touchpad Click to Enlarge The Satellite L55t’s island-style keyboard is a pleasure to use thanks to its generous travel and textured keys. The keyboard has almost no flex, and Toshiba was thoughtful enough to leave enough space between the keyboard and the number pad so we didn’t accidentally hit the wrong key when trying to use the Backspace, Enter, or right Shift keys. On the Ten Thumbs typing test, we hit a typing speed of 68 words per minute, which was slightly above our average.Unlike mainstream laptops like the Toshiba Satellite P55t and Acer Aspire M5, which use Intel’s latest Haswell chipset, the Toshiba Satellite L55t comes with an older Ivy Bridge processor. Still, its 1.8 GHz Core i5-3337U CPU and 8GB of RAM deliver smooth performance, even under heavy use. For example, In the OpenOffice spreadsheet test, the Satellite L55t matched 20,000 names and addresses in 5 minutes and 50 seconds. That’s about average for the class, but slightly slower than the Satellite P55t (5 minutes, 14 seconds) and the Aspire M5 (5 minutes, 15 seconds).Aspire M5 BatteryLifeToshiba Satellite L55t battery lifeClick to enlarge Power-hungry power users will wish the Toshiba had equipped the Satellite L55t with Intel’s power-saving Haswell chipset instead of the older Ivy Bridge CPU. In the Toshiba Satellite L55t laptop battery test (continuous Internet access via Wi-Fi), the Satellite L55t’s 4-cell lithium-ion battery lasted 4 hours and 43 minutes. That’s well below the mainstream average (6:11) and the Toshiba Satellite P55t (5:32). The Acer Aspire M5’s 4-cell 3560mAh lithium-polymer Toshiba Satellite L55t battery lasts up to 8 minutes and 55 seconds.Click to Enlarge Like the P55t, the Satellite L55t comes preloaded with a number of Toshiba-branded apps. These include Toshiba App Place and Toshiba Book Place, where you can download (you guessed it) apps and books; Toshiba Start, which acts as a pseudo-Start menu and news aggregator; and Toshiba Central, which offers user guides and support pages the link to.Third-party apps include Evernote Touch, StumbleUpon, Netflix, Electronic Arts’ Origin, and one-year subscriptions to Norton AntiVirus and PC Checkup. Microsoft-branded applications include trial versions of Skype, SkyDrive, and Microsoft Office 2013.The Toshiba Satellite L55t-A5290 comes with a one-year parts and labor warranty. Find out how Toshiba fares in our Best and Worst Brands report and Tech Support Showdown.ConfigurationIn addition to the configuration we reviewed (1.8 GHz Intel Core i5-3337U CPU, 8GB RAM, 750GB 5,400-rpm HDD), Toshiba offers several other configurations of the L50 series on its website. Prices for these configurations range from $429 for the Satellite L50D-ABT2N22 (1.7 GHz AMD quad-core A8-5545M accelerated processor, 4GB RAM, 320GB 5,400-rpm HDD) to $799 for the L50-AST2NX3 (2.4 GHz Intel Core i7-4700MQ) USD CPU, 12GB RAM, 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive).In summarySoftware and warranty Click to enlarge The 15.6-inch Toshiba Satellite L55t-A5290 ($713 at Staples) has a touchscreen, loud audio, and a great keyboard and trackpad. The laptop’s design looks a bit dated, though, and it must use a third-generation Intel CPU. The $699 Acer Aspire M5 is a better deal, as it offers an aluminum lid and panel, Intel’s new Haswell architecture, and nearly twice the battery life of the Toshiba Satellite L55t.The Toshiba Satellite P55T is also better than the L55t in terms of cost performance. This $679 15-inch laptop from Best Buy has a newer Haswell chip, 45 minutes more battery life, and a sleeker body. Overall, the Satellite L55t is a great, affordable touchscreen laptop, and there are plenty of better options out there.

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