Toshiba’s Satellite L850D is designed to provide good multimedia features at a low price. It works well as an entertainment system, providing an attractive screen and respectable speaker system. See also: Group test: what's the best budget laptop?
The L850D is also well built. This 15.6 laptop is available in either white or cherry-red and feels sturdy. There's a large, smooth, responsive trackpad and a firm keyboard panel that feels comfortable when typing at speed. See all laptop reviews.
It’s relatively heavy though, at just over 2.3Kg, and measures a chunky 33.5mm thick. If you need something to carry around every day, you might want to look elsewhere.
Toshiba always chooses good screens for its laptops, and the 1366x768 display of the L850D is bright and clear, with a wide viewing angle that means you can watch videos with at least one other person, or run a photo slide show. The glossy coating causes annoying reflections, though.
The built-in speakers aren't as tinny as many laptop speakers, so you can listen to some music without scrambling to find your headphones.
There’s an Intel-based version of this laptop (the L850), which costs about £430.00 with a 2.5GHz Core i3 processor. The L850D takes the AMD route, and costs significantly less. The dual-core AMD E2-1800 processor runs at 1.7GHz and it's backed up by a healthy 6GB of memory and a roomy 750GB hard disk.
The E2-1800 is no speed demon, though. The L850D only takes about 25 seconds to boot into the Windows 8 Start screen, but then drags its feet for another 20-25 seconds before really hitting its stride and allowing you to get down to some work. Its score of 1265 in PCMark 7 is one of the lowest we've seen.
Even so, the L850D will still be adequate for basic web browsing and running Word, and you’ll get a little under four hours out of the battery for streaming video so it should be fine for a few hours' work when you’re out and about.
Video playback is ably handled by the integrated Radeon HD7340, but its 3D gaming performance is predictably modest – only managing 17fps when running Stalker at 1280x720 resolution and low graphics settings.