At first glance, the Toshiba Satellite A660-15T looks like a one of Toshiba's typical business laptops. It's not shiny, pretty or finished with silver trim – it's matt black on matt black with a bit of subtle texturing, which we suspect is there more for grip than appearance.

Still no matter how grubby your grubby little fingers are, the Toshiba Satellite A660-15T will keep its looks better as little will show up.

When you turn on the Toshiba Satellite A660-15T, the sea of black is soon complemented by white – and very bright white at that in the form of the illuminated power switch. And a thin white illuminated strip above the touchpad. And a pointlessly and somewhat irritatingly bright illuminated “Satellite” logo down at bottom left.

Also in white, but slightly dimmer, is a row of touch-sensitive control buttons, which offer the first clue that the Toshiba Satellite A660-15T is indeed a multimedia entertainment laptop.

Here, among other things, you'll be able to alter the sound volume and control playback with ease, even in the dark. The Toshiba Satellite A660-15T's keyboard itself is surprisingly easy to type on and comes with a full numeric keypad. There's also a wireless remote control in the box.

The next thing you'll notice is the Windows start-up sound. It sounds good. This is thanks to the embedded Harman/Kardon sound system. Those big speakers with serious-looking speaker grilles aren't just for show: they produce by far the best sound quality output of any of the smaller laptops in this round-up. It's a very noticeable difference, so if you're likely to be using built-in laptop speakers regularly it's well worth giving the Toshiba Satellite A660-15T a closer look. And listen.

To complete the laptop's multimedia credentials, Toshiba has also managed to sneak a Blu-ray drive in there. While the 1366x768 pixel dimensions of the screen will limit you to well below full HD resolution the overall image quality of the display is pretty good. It's bright and delivers well-saturated colours and an evenly illuminated screen.

The 1.60GHz Intel Core i7-720QM is a little slower clocked than the likewise quad-core 1.73GHz version found in the Sony VAIO F13M0E/B laptop, but a WorldBench 6 score of 105 points is still perfectly acceptable. These quad-core chips are great for maintaining smooth media playback while other tasks are running.

The only real let-down here is that the Toshiba Satellite A660-15T's battery life peaked at only 162 minutes under MobileMark 2007 which is a little disappointing if you want to watch a movie on the move.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Toshiba Satellite A660-15T: Specs

  • Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (pre-installed, Toshiba-HDD recovery)
  • Blu-ray Disc rewritable drive (BD-RE) with recording, rewriting and playback support
  • 4096MB (2048 +2048) DDR3 RAM (1066MHZ)
  • 40.6cm (16in) TruBrite HD (1366 x 768 ) High Brightness display with LED backlight and 16 : 9 aspect ratio
  • Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (pre-installed, Toshiba-HDD recovery)
  • Blu-ray Disc rewritable drive (BD-RE) with recording, rewriting and playback support
  • 4096MB (2048 +2048) DDR3 RAM (1066MHZ)
  • 40.6cm (16in) TruBrite HD (1366 x 768 ) High Brightness display with LED backlight and 16 : 9 aspect ratio

OUR VERDICT

The Toshiba Satellite A660-15T is not the most attention-grabbing of entertainment notebooks – until you switch it on for the white lightshow. A quad-core processor keeps it fast but don’t expect to spend much time away from the mains.

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