In general, Toshiba focuses on the performance and mid-level market more than on low-cost, budget laptops. The Satellite L655-S5158 is no exception; this machine is a great mid-range laptop with a lot of processing power relative to its price category thanks to an Intel Core i3 processor, which makes it considerably faster than the Pentium Dual Core versions of the L655 that are also available.
It also comes with a roomy 640GB hard drive and 4GB or RAM, making it a great machine for everything except high-end 3D gaming, due to the relatively weak integrated graphics card. It runs some newer games in low detail settings and some older games such as World of Warcraft with some extra details, but it is by no means a gaming machine. The dual-core (effectively quad-core with Intel’s Hyperthreading feature) processor runs at 2.53 GHz. Here are full specifications for the Toshiba Satellite L655-S5158:
- Weight: 5.5 pounds and 14.96x 9.84×1.49 (W x D x H) dimensions.
- 15.6 inch TruBrite LED TFT widescreen with 1366×768 HD resolution (720p).
- 6 cell LI-Ion battery with 48Wh capacity.
- Intel Core i3-380M Processor with 2.53 GHz clock speed and 3MB Cache.
- Intel HD Graphics with dynamically allocated graphics processing memory.
- 4GB DDR3 1066MHz RAM, extendable to 8GB.
- 650 GB SATA Hard drive.
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Operating system.
- DVD drive 8x Super-Multi
- 3 USB 2.0 ports and 1 e-SATA/USB combo port along with HDMI HD audio/video output and VGA video output.
- Embedded Stereo Speakers with Dolby capability.
Pros and Cons
Potential buyers should be aware that the Toshiba Satellite L655-S5158 has a major edge on its Pentium-equipped counterparts. The Intel Core i3 is a powerful processor that only differs from the Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs in that it lacks dynamic overclocking. It also has a very stylish body and sleek physical characteristics.
The TruBrite screen is good but not spectacular. 1366×768 pixels is the standard resolution in newer laptops; and in this price range it is practically impossible to find any laptops with a higher resolution panel. The advantage of having a standard HD screen is that it is easier to read. The battery life is not fantastic but more than adequate for most users–it will run for about 5 hours away from the mains with power saving measures activated.
On the downside it doesn’t have an integrated Bluetooth module, so if you want to hook up your smartphone wirelessly an add-on module is required. The num-pad is practical but having one on a 15-inch laptop is a borderline case, as it makes the keyboard a bit cramped. It also comes with some pre-installed bloatware, including a trial version of Norton Internet Security, but it’s nowhere near as much or as annoying as in some other laptops.
On the whole it’s a nice and powerful laptop at a very reasonable price point. Although it lacks dedicated graphics, the new integrated Intel solution is much better than older versions and will let you watch high-resolution content or play some basic 3D games. It’s a good compromise between performance and cost, and a good choice for anyone looking for an all-purpose, multimedia laptop.