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Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4037 14-inch Budget Laptop PC

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Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4037 14-inch Budget Laptop PC

Toshiba Satellite L645D

©Toshiba

The Bottom Line

Oct 15 2010 - Toshiba's Satellite L645D-S4037 offers some surprising performance thanks to the triple core AMD Phenom processor that is great for anyone that multitasks heavily or happens to like to work with video. The laptop also features a larger than average hard drive for those that need to store lots of files. The downside is that the laptop has one of the shorter running times for its price and it does not feature an HDMI connector for use with an external monitor or HDTV. If these aren't really big issues for you then, it will be tough to find a higher performing laptop for under $650.
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Pros

  • Triple Core Processor Benefiting Multitasking And Multithreaded Apps
  • Larger 500GB Hard Drive
  • eSATA Port

Cons

  • Below Average Battery Life
  • Lacks HDMI Port
  • Relatively Thick

Description

  • AMD Phenom II X3 P820 Triple Core Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
  • 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner With Labelflash Support
  • 14" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With VGA Webcam
  • ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 Integrated Graphics
  • Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
  • Three USB 2.0, eSATA, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
  • 13.3" x 9.1" x 1.5" @ 5 lbs.
  • Windows 7 Home Premium, Works, Norton Internet Security

Guide Review - Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4037 14-inch Budget Laptop PC

Oct 15 2010 - Toshiba's Satellite L645D-S4037 differs from many other budget laptops because it uses a triple core AMD Phenom II X3 P820 processor rather than a dual core processor from either Intel or AMD. The performance of the processor is on par with the Core i3 processor in most tasks but it does have the advantage of better performance when multitasking or using multithreaded applications such as many video editors. The 4GB of DDR3 memory help mitigate any slowdowns caused from multitasking.

Storage features are also better than many other budget laptops. It comes with a larger 500GB hard drive that provides roughly fifty percent more space than the average 320GB size. It still spins at the 5400rpm laptop rate but the higher density does give it a slight advantage in performance. A dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CDs or DVDs. It also can burn directly to Labelflash media if you can find it. For those needing high speed external storage, it does feature an eSATA port which many low cost laptops lack.

The display for the Satellite L645D uses a 14-inch panel that provides a smaller footprint than those using 15-inch panels but it still provides the same 1366x768 resolution. Like most consumer laptops, it uses a glossy coating to try and bring out the brightness and colors but this results in a fair amount of glare and reflections under certain conditions. Driving the graphics is the AMD Mobility Radeon HD 4250 integrated processor. This is a step up from the Intel integrated graphics found on many system but still falls short of most dedicated graphics. It provides sufficient 3D performance for casual 3D gaming at lower resolutions and detail levels but it still isn't something for those wanting to game frequently. One major disappointment is the lack of an HDMI or other digital connector for use with an external monitor or HDTV.

Like many low cost laptops, the Satellite L645D-S4037 comes with a relatively small capacity six cell battery pack. In DVD playback tests, the laptop was able to just barely get past two hours before going into standby mode. This is a good thirty minutes less than many similarly priced laptops with six cell battery packs. More traditional usage should yield about another forty-five minutes of running time.

While the 14-inch screen helps make the system smaller in the width and length dimensions, the height of the laptop is thicker than many other systems. It is a pretty bulky one and a half inches thick through almost the entire frame. Many laptops have a fairly thick hinge but will taper downward to the front of the chassis. This makes the system a bit more difficult to carry at times compared to other 14-inch and even some 15-inch laptops.

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