Toshiba's low-cost Satellite L650-1DG PSK1EE is a smart-looking mid-range laptop that offers good performance in our tests, but better value can be found elsewhere.

The Toshiba Satellite L650-1DG PSK1EE is a smart-looking but somewhat generic mid-range laptop. Like the Medion Akoya P6625, it's a slab of blackness, with a glossy display and subtle patterning.

The Toshiba Satellite L650-1DG PSK1EE laptop's multitouch trackpad is almost invisible, but its rough texture allows your fingertips to feel where it begins and ends. Below are two large physical buttons for clicking left and right.

Compared to the Akoya, Toshiba has done a good job with the Satellite L650-1DG PSK1EE's keyboard. Although the laptop itself is no wider, the keys spread out further towards the edges of the case, allowing room for a full numberpad with large plus and minus buttons down the side.

Connectivity options include VGA, HDMI and three USB 2.0 ports, one of which doubles up for eSATA. The Toshiba Satellite L650-1DG PSK1EE laptop's multiformat card reader, webcam and ExpressCard slot are other welcome additions.

Priced at £599, it’s a little more expensive than the Medion, but the Toshiba Satellite L650-1DG PSK1EE's 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-450M is a tiny bit faster than the 2.26GHz i5-430M found in the Medion. The Toshiba failed to capitalise on this advantage, however, only matching the Medion's 106-point WorldBench performance. The laptop also comes with a stingy 320GB hard drive and only 3GB of memory.

The Toshiba Satellite L650-1DG PSK1EE also lacks a discrete graphics processing unit, instead relying on the Core i5’s integrated graphics. This is more than enough for work and multimedia, but not for gaming: framerates of 14fps in Fear and 5.5fps in Stalker: Call of Pripyat really aren’t fun.

While battery life is a lot better than some, the 48Wh lithium-ion model used here is less capacious than those of the more expensive laptops. The Toshiba Satellite L650-1DG PSK1EE lasted a little under five hours in our tests.

See also: Group test: what's the best laptop?

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Toshiba Satellite L650-1DG PSK1EE: Specs

  • 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-450M
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 3GB DDR3-1066 RAM
  • 320GB 2.5in 5,400rpm SATA 3Gbps
  • 15.6in (1366x768) glossy LED-backlit screen
  • Intel GMA HD (games scores: Stalker: Call of Pripyat [720p, DirectX 10.x] = 5.5fps
  • Fear [Max] = 14fps)
  • 3 x USB 2.0 (one shared with eSATA)
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • 10/100Mbps ethernet
  • 8x DVD+/-RW DL drive
  • multiformat card reader
  • webcam
  • multitouch trackpad
  • stereo speakers
  • headphone jack
  • VGA
  • HDMI
  • 48WH lithium-ion battery, 293 mins life
  • 280x250x28-38mm
  • 2.4kg
  • WorldBench 6 score: 106
  • 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-450M
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • 3GB DDR3-1066 RAM
  • 320GB 2.5in 5,400rpm SATA 3Gbps
  • 15.6in (1366x768) glossy LED-backlit screen
  • Intel GMA HD (games scores: Stalker: Call of Pripyat [720p, DirectX 10.x] = 5.5fps
  • Fear [Max] = 14fps)
  • 3 x USB 2.0 (one shared with eSATA)
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • 10/100Mbps ethernet
  • 8x DVD+/-RW DL drive
  • multiformat card reader
  • webcam
  • multitouch trackpad
  • stereo speakers
  • headphone jack
  • VGA
  • HDMI
  • 48WH lithium-ion battery, 293 mins life
  • 280x250x28-38mm
  • 2.4kg
  • WorldBench 6 score: 106

OUR VERDICT

While the Toshiba Satellite L650-1DG PSK1EE has the edge in terms of looks and build quality and what should be a faster processor, the cheaper Medion Akoya P6625 offers better value for money at this end of the price scale.

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