Toshiba Satellite L850 Review

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The other day we took a look at the Asus K55VM multimedia notebook and while it was a very good performer and offered great value, the lack of a bundled OS might be a slight deterrent for many prospective buyers. We did suggest you also have a look at the Toshiba L850, which bears similar specifications, around the same price point and it comes bundled with Windows 7 Home Premium. Today, we’ll take that very same notebook for a spin and see just how good it really is and if it is indeed a worthy alternative to the Asus.

Design and Build
Toshiba’s design of the L850 feels a bit outdated and the notebook just feels like a big chunk of plastic. We prefer Asus’s design of the K55VM anyday over this. The glossy metallic finish top will attract fingerprints and is very much prone to scratches, so will black gloss finish on the sides of the notebook. Other than the massive demeanour of the notebook, the build quality is actually pretty good, plastics seem durable and it’s put together pretty well. The lid has a little flex, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Prone to fingerprints and scratches

Prone to fingerprints and scratches


Connectivity wise, we have on our right, the microphone and headphone jacks, USB 3.0 ports (x2), HDMI, Gigabit LAN, VGA and an exhaust vent. The left hand side houses the DVD burner, a USB 2.0 port and the charging port. Inside we are greeted by a fairly comfortable chiclet keyboard with a full-sized Numpad. The keys themselves don’t have the best tactile response, so you don’t get a very confident click when you press them, which could be an issue if you type a lot. The power button is placed on top where the speaker grill is.

USB 3.0 and HDMI

USB 3.0 and HDMI


There’s plenty of space in the palm rest area and Toshiba have thoughtfully moved the trackpad towards the left so it doesn’t get in the way of typing. The trackpad size is generous and the two mouse buttons can be used with minimum effort. Overall, a well built notebook, even though it may not be the best looker in this price range.

The Toshiba L850 is powered by an Intel Core i7-3610QM CPU or Ivy Bridge. This CPU is the same as the one used in the Asus K55VM and it runs at 2.3GHz with a Turbo frequency of 3.2GHz. We also have the same amount of 8GB RAM. Toshiba, however, have had to cut down on the hard drive and GPU a bit in order to cover the cost of Windows as well. We have a 750GB hard drive running at 5400rpm and the GPU spot is taken by an AMD Radeon HD 7670M, which is based on the older HD 6650M.

Spacious keyboard

Spacious keyboard


This mid-range GPU is similar to Nvidia’s GT 630M. Unfortunately, this AMD GPU does not support dynamic switching of graphics, meaning that the discrete card is on all the time, which will impact battery life.

As expected, the performance of the Toshiba Satellite is nearly identical to the Asus K55VM in terms of CPU performance and the same is reflected in our SiSoft Sandra tests. Cinebench R11.5 shows a much stronger GPU performance, compared to Nvidia’s GT 630M in the Asus K55VM. However in real world games, the GT 630M seems to perform better with the Intel CPU than AMD’s card. In FarCry 2, we see quite a bit gap between the two notebooks.

Scores are not too bad

Scores are not too bad


The keyboard is relatively comfortable, but for extended typing sessions, we would rather prefer the Asus keyboard. The large frame of the notebook has given Toshiba ample opportunity to work out the cooling for the internal components, so the L850 actually never heats up, even under stress. The notebook gets a little warm, but never unusably hot. The sound from the speakers is not bad either, the notebook is able to deliver crisp highs and mids with decent bass. Movies and games sound good even without headphones.

Trackpad is comfortable to use

Trackpad is comfortable to use


Battery Life
This is one area where the Toshiba L850 really disappoints. The laptop didn’t even manage to finish a full hour under Battery Eater Pro, whereas the Asus K55VM managed to deliver more than 2hrs. The main problem here is the non-switchable graphics, which really affects the battery life quite badly.

At Rs. 55,000, the Toshiba Satellite L850 is slightly cheaper than the Asus K55VM and you also get an operating system bundled. However, you will have to sacrifice battery life and a bit of gaming performance, not to mention a smaller hard drive. For this reason, we would recommend the Asus K55VM over the Toshiba L850. If you don’t want to spend on an OS right now, then simply download and use Microsoft’s Windows 8 Release Preview for free, till Windows 8 is officially launched.


On the outside, the stylish chassis blends Metallic Ice Silver elements in a finish that has been made to resist fingerprints. On the inside, it comes with a high-value package of multimedia features and is built with typical Toshiba toughness. So you can watch your movies, play your games and groove to your tunes in quality HD non-stop on the 39.6cm laptop display. 10X speed USB 3.0 communication between your laptop and external devices will be smoother than ever.USB 3.0 is 10 times faster than USB 2.0 Share songs, information and much more at an unbelievable speed across a wider area upto 50 meters.With Bluetooth 4.0, it is possible to share data for a longer distance of upto 50 meters. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a feature of Bluetooth 4.0 wireless radio technology, aimed at new, principally low-power and low-latency, applications for wireless devices. The in-built SRS premium audio experience is the combination of superior sound and power-packed perfromance.Get an outstanding entertainment experience in Toshiba Laptops featuring SRS Premium Sound HD which delivers immersive surround sound, deep bass and enhanced definition all in a stylish, easy to use device. Connect Other external multimedia devices with your laptop seamlessly.Watch important videos in large HD screens through built-in HDMI port, now available in all Toshiba Laptops. Or easily scale up your gaming, movies and music on a home theater.

Processor Description

Processor Intel Core i7-3610QM
Speed 2.3 GHz
Cache 6MB
Turboboost Yes
Turboboost Speed 3.3 GHz


Type DDR3
Speed 1333 MHz
Expandable upto 8GB
Memory Slots 2

Hard Drive

Inbuilt HDD 750GB SATA
Speed (RPM) 5400
Format 2.5 inch
Optical Drive DVD Writer

Display Features

Screen Size 15.6 inches
Maximum Display Resolution 1366 x 768
Panel Type HD Clear SuperView LED Backlit Display


Chipset Model Intel HM76 Express Chipset
GPU Model ATI Radeon HD 7610M
GPU Memory (shared) 2GB
HDMI Port Yes


Ethernet Port (Nos) 1
Ethernet Type 10/100 Mbps
WiFi Type 802.11b/g/n


Audio Solution High Definition Audio
Speakers Yes
Sound Technologies SRS Premium Sound HD


USB 2.0 ports 1
USB 3.0 ports 2
Bluetooth V4.0
Built-in Camera Yes
Microphone Yes
Fingerprint Reader Yes
Digital Media Reader SD, MMC


Battery (Type) Li-Ion
Battery Life 4 Hrs
Battery Cell 6 Cell

Operating System

OS Windows 7
Version Home Premium


Dimensions (W x D x H) 380 x 242 x 33.55 mm
Weight 2.3

Misc Bundled Software

Other Features Metallic Ice Silver with Hair line Pattern|#|Tiled keyboard with 10 key Numeric Keypad|#|User/Supervisor Password|#|HDD Password/Kensington Lock Slot|#|Toshiba Face Recognition

After Sales Service

Warranty Period 1 Year


Warranty Period 1 Year

Published Date: Jun 23, 2012 12:54 pm | Updated Date: Jun 23, 2012 12:54 pm