Toshiba Satellite P845t-101 review

Toshiba Satellite P845t-101

In this world of Ultrabooks and hybrid laptop/tablet devices, the Toshiba Satellite P845t feels almost traditional, with a 14-inch display and a built-in DVD drive that combine to give it a total weight of 2.2Kg. It's not the kind of laptop that you'd want to carry around in a backpack or briefcase on a daily basis. But the P845t is designed primarily for multimedia entertainment at home – and on that score it does very well. See also: Group test: what's the best laptop for under £1,000?

It's a little disappointing that the Toshiba Satellite P845t-101's screen provides only 1366x768 resolution, rather than full HD, but it's very bright and clear – in fact, you can turn the brightness down to 50 percent and it's perfectly usable.

The Harmon Kardon speakers stand out too, with stronger volume and bass output than most laptops that we've seen recently. The highly reflective screen coating can be a bit annoying at times, but that's a common issue with virtually all laptops these days.

It's tempting to dismiss the touchscreen as a 'me too' gesture, but many people will find it more comfortable to use their fingers on the bigger screen of the Toshiba Satellite P845t-101 is easier than on many of the 10- and 12in Windows 8 devices that are currently available.

Everything is physically larger, so it's relatively easy to tap on web links with your finger. The same goes for icons on the traditional Windows desktop, but you'll still want to stick with the large, comfortable keyboard and touchpad for using older Windows programs.

Toshiba Satellite P845t-101: Core i3 and i5 processors

The Toshiba Satellite P845t-101 is available with Core i3 and i5 processors, but the model we reviewed has an i5 running at 1.7GHz (2.6GHz with Turboboost), 6GB of memory and a 640GB hard disk.

The 5400rpm hard disk is the weak link here, and results in a modest score of 2648 when running PCMark 7. However, the processor is snappy enough to cope with undemanding tasks easily enough, and the touchscreen feels smooth and responsive as you flick back and forth between apps.

The Toshiba Satellite P845t-101 can even handle the occasional spot of casual gaming. Its integrated graphics managed 14fps when running Batman: Arkham City at 1366x768 resolution with high graphics settings, but if you drop to low detail settings you'll get a playable 30fps.

The weight of the P845t means that you won't be carrying it around with you that much, but if you do need to work without being tethered to the mains then you'll get a full four hours of streaming video over Wi-Fi, which is quite respectable for a laptop with these specifications. See also: Group test: what's the best laptop for under £1,000?

Toshiba Satellite P845t-101

Toshiba Satellite P845t-101: Specs

  • 1.7GHz Intel i5-3317U (2.6GHz Turboboost)
  • Windows 8 (64-bit)
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • 640GB hard drive
  • 14in (1366x768) glossy touchscreen LCD
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x VGA, 3x USB 3.0
  • SDHC card slot
  • headphone socket, line-in socket, built-in microphone
  • 48Wh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
  • 349 x 234 x 24mm
  • 2.2kg
  • 1.7GHz Intel i5-3317U (2.6GHz Turboboost)
  • Windows 8 (64-bit)
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • 640GB hard drive
  • 14in (1366x768) glossy touchscreen LCD
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 802.11a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x VGA, 3x USB 3.0
  • SDHC card slot
  • headphone socket, line-in socket, built-in microphone
  • 48Wh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
  • 349 x 234 x 24mm
  • 2.2kg

OUR VERDICT

Mobility clearly isn't a strong point with the Toshiba Satellite P845t-101, and the touchscreen is likely to get only occasional use. However, the Satellite performs well enough for undemanding users and is a good choice for anyone that wants a versatile laptop for use at home or in the office.

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