The Toshiba L830-10X has launched, a 13-incher equipped with an Intel Core-i3 CPU and 4GB RAM, and in shops for around $630. The L830 is available with either pristine white chassis or understated black, both with a black undercarriage to disguise the grime and dust found on tables and laps the world over. Heavy-handed typists beware – this keyboard has flex. OK so a totally plastic build isn’t unusual for entry-level mid-rangers and at 30mm thick ultra-thinness hasn’t been a prime concern for the designers.
Toshiba has put together a moderately powerful package with an Intel Core i3-2367M chip getting top billing. Clock frequency is faintly suspect at 1.4GHz, and it’s ye olde Sandy Bridge 32nm architecture, but there’s 4GB RAM pulling up the rear.
The Toshiba L830 gets 4000+ on Geekbench. It might not be suited to current gaming, but if we’re talking slow program execution, then by ‘slow’ we mean having to wait 2 seconds max for a full-screen Photoshop creation to be converted to.png format, that sort of thing.
But Toshiba L830 notebook does have some premium points – a pair of USB-3 ports should be enough for most folk, plus there’s a USB-2 socket for non-mission-criticial peripherals. VGA, HDMI, DVD writer, audio jacks, SDcard reader, blah, blah. Open her up and things get…’interesting’. Inside instead of the brilliant white for the keyboard surround too Toshiba has used a beige tone.
But onto the keys themselves. Chiclet-style, but there’s almost as much feedback from the keyboard’s flex as there is from the keys. It’s distracting at first, and so unusual that you’d probably need to use this as one of a maximum of two main computers for it not to be a problem. If you’re the sort of person who likes to have different machines for different tasks, you’ll quickly learn not to type out long passages on the L830. The trackpad is good, though, as with most Toshiba notebooks- good glide, textured surface for good accuracy, and responsive. And all set off nicely with a chrome trim.
Above the keyboard Toshiba have situated the L830′s speakers, which are fine for casual use but need a bit of help from headphones/external speakers for serious audio pleasure. The 13.3-inch display’s 1366 x 768 pixels is more for a jack-of-all-trades dilettante than for a specialist to carry on their profession or hobby; great for widescreen movies, thanks to the 4:3 aspect ratio, but a bit too much scroll for researchers, and far too low a resolution for artists or designers.
BluRay won’t play on it natively, the sRGB is of course not fully covered for $630, but – but – it’s a Toshiba notebook. That means one bad apple is never allowed to spoil the barrel. Thus it’s bright, with decently inky deep tones, it can handle 720p footage, even distribution of brightness, viewing angles are good, images display crisply and with faithful color fidelity, and you’re unlikely to see dead pixels in a very long time. It ‘s a great all-rounder.
That said, the 15-inch Lenovo Essential G570 notches up 6000+, and that can be yours for $550. But then you miss out on Toshiba’s legendary durability. In any case, streaming hi-def movies is well within its compass, with Spotify and Chrome doing their thing in the background. Multi-tabbed browsing is equally feasible, but things like video-editing are a bit beyond its comfort zone. But anyone who needs to edit footage more than once in a blue moon ought to know by now that the terms ‘i3′ and ‘video-editing’ are incompatible. But for movies, document editing, spreadsheet work, surfing the web, knocking up presentations, even Photoshop work, the L830 is a pretty decent little workhorse. Toshiba aims to please with heaps of pre-installed software – Toshiba Assist, Media Controller, Hardware Set-up, Eco Utility, PC Health Monitor, Meduia Creator – everything is there to make the new user feel he is in capable hands.
Now 13-inchers are meant to be versatile. That means half-decent battery life is a must. Brightness maxed out, CPU flogged to its very last breath, the Toshiba L830 musters a noble 2 hours 36 mins. You can easily double that in normal usage. The Toshiba L830 features a space-age design with mid-range internals, and a good display and keyboard, if a slightly eccentric typing feel. For raw power, there are better deals around, but for a reliable all-rounder you won’t find much more bang for your buck.
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