The Toshiba L745DD-S4220 is a chunky, less powerful alternative to the similarly-priced Dell Inspiron 15R. It bears the same AMD E-350, 1.6GHz dual-core processor found in 11-inch ultraportables such as the HP Pavilion dm1z, yet the HP dm1z costs less, is far more portable, and offers superior battery life.
Toshiba L745D glossy white plastic case has a tolerable appearance but is 1.5 inches thick, which is the sort of size only gaming-specification machines can excuse. The flat keyboard offers an acceptable typing experience though the textured touchpad should be bigger. Its buttons are the standard rounded Toshiba Satellite buttons. At 13.3 x 9.1 x 1.5 inches and weighing 4.5 pounds this qualifies as a midsize laptop.
The processor on the Toshiba Satellite L745D is a 1.6GHz AMD Fusion E-350 dual-core, and Toshiba have provided the L745D with 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 RAM and a very reasonably-sized 500GB 5,400rpm hard drive. The unit includes a dedicated AMD Mobility Radeon HD6310 graphics card, and the notebook runs Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium.
The 14″ 1366 x 768 pixel glossy display is below-par for a Toshiba notebook, brightness and crispness are not up to the lower mid-range price bracket. The webcam has a max resolution of 1280 x 1084 pixels, quite impressive, but video capture only ran smoothly with the resolution lowered to 640 x 480.
Not surprisingly, the stereo speakers in Toshiba Satellite L745D notebook are not made by Harman Kardon, but their tinniness is almost unparalleled amongst notebooks. Full blast is very quiet, we considered inventing the term ‘hearing angles’ for the purposes of this review. External speakers required.
For connectivity, the L745D offers the usual VGA and HDMI sockets, and then there are three USB-2 ports, an SDcard reader, and headphone and mic jacks. WiFi-n connectivity is offered, though Bluetooth is missing.
No one should expect USB-3 on a budget-range notebook, of course.
Programs open a little sluggishly, and applications take longer to install, so strictly speaking it’s not a business machine at all, not in the sense of opening spreadsheet software in the blink of at eye or allowing you to surf with twenty tabs open while running a virus scan in the background…
Nor is the L745D suitable for current games. Anyone wanting to find something eminently playable should hunt around for games that were on sale two or three years back, such as Driver, Delta Force or Fifa 8. The graphics might be slightly less detailed, and there might be a trick or two missing from the latest footballer’s palette, but games from that era are still very entertaining and immersive.
Video-looping tests produced 3 hours 12 minutes of battery life, easily extended to four-and-a-half under moderate usage. Again not earth-shattering, but perfectly acceptable for the price.
The Satellite L745D might seem low-spec and overpriced. But maybe you shouldn’t compare it with other similarly-priced notebooks. Compare it with other Toshibas. Not be the slimmest laptop on the market, or the fastest. But the RAM is upgradeable to 8GB, which will make a big difference. It has a DVD rewriter where ultrabooks have nothing but fresh air, and you won’t find a more reliable manufacturer on the market. If you do spot an i3 Toshiba notebook for a similar price, grab it. I’m writing this on an old Toshiba Satellite with a 1.7GHz CPU and 2GB DDR2 533MHz RAM, plus a 40GB hard drive. No graphics card. For under $550 a Toshiba notebook with superior specification in every respect is an absolute steal.
Toshiba Satellite L745D 14.0-Inch LED Laptop (Brushed Aluminum Blue)can be purchased at Amazon for $529.99.
Enjoy this review of courtesy of cnet:
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