The Bottom Line
Feb 7 2013 - Toshiba's updated mid-range 17-inch laptop does a good job at balancing its various features to provide a solid overall experience. It is one of the few systems to actually include a Blu-ray compatible drive in its price range although it does lack the full 1080p capable display. Surprisingly, the system is also a good deal lighter than must of the competition. Those who have to type frequently may find the keyboard a bit lacking however.
- Good Overall Performance Levels
- Lighter Than Most 17-inch Laptops
- Blu-ray Compatible Drive
- Display Lacks 1080p Support
- Keyboard Is Soft With Shallow Travel
- Intel Core i7-3630QM Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 1TB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Blu-ray Reader and Dual-Layer DVD Burner
- 17.3" WSXGA+ (1600x900) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- AMD Radeon HD 7670M Graphics With 1GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Two USB 3.0, One USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 16.3" x 10.6" x 1.3" @ 5.9 lbs.
- Windows 8, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security
Review - Toshiba Satellite S875-S7376
Feb 7 2013 - The Toshiba Satellite S875-S7376 is an updated version of the same 17-inch mid-range laptop model that the company released over a year ago. Most of the updates are pretty modest other than the Windows 8 operating system. Overall, this is one of the lighter 17-inch laptops on the market weight in at just under six pounds but this also means that it makes more use of plastics within the body. Toshiba does a good job at mitigating the overall feel of the system though which a decent level of workmanship.
Powering the Toshiba Satellite S875-S7376 is the updated Intel Core i7-3630QM quad core processor. This is a slight performance boost over the i7-3610QM that was found in 17-inch laptops last year. It should provide more than enough performance for those looking to do even demanding tasks like desktop video editing. The processor is matched up with 8GB of DDR3 memory to provide a smooth overall experience in Windows 8 even with multitasking.
Storage is a major part of the Satellite S875-S7376 laptop. The system comes with a one terabyte hard drive that provides a large amount of space for applications, data and media files. The only downside is that the drive spins at the lower 5400rpm rate which means that booting up and data access is a bit slower than systems that use the faster 7200rpm spin rate or some form of solid state drive caching. Should you need additional storage space, there are two USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage devices. The system also features a Blu-ray compatible drive for use with the high definition media format which is nice as many companies still haven't upgraded to it. The drive can also record and playback CD or DVD media.
On the other hand, the 17.3-inch display of the Satellite S875 features a 1600x900 native resolution. This means that the display cannot fully support the 1080p high definition video of the movie format. At least there is a standard HDMI video port so you can hook up to an HDTV for watching the movies at that rate. The display itself is of modest quality with decent brightness and contrast. The screen does feature a glossy coating which does produce a fair amount of glare and reflections. The graphics are handled by an AMD Radeon HD 7670M graphics processor. This is a mid-ranged option from the company that does a decent job with 3D graphics but doesn't quite live up to the performance provided by the GeForce GT 650M several competing laptops offer. It supports many games up to the full display resolution but more demanding games will require either a reduction of quality, resolution or both. The graphics processor also provides a decent ability to accelerate non-3D applications as well such as Photoshop.
The keyboard for the Satellite S875 features a full design with a numeric keypad. Rather than spanning the full width of the laptop, there is some space on both the right and left side of the keyboard. The size of the keys aren't really a problem but the isolated keys have a very shallow travel that wouldn't be expected from this size laptop. In addition, the keyboard has a number of soft spots that make it a less than ideal. The trackpad is a good size and is slightly recessed in the palm rest to help reduce accidental brushes. It features dedicated right and left mouse buttons and does a decent job with Windows 8 multitouch gestures.
The battery for the Toshiba Satellite S875 features a fairly typical six-cell pack with a rated capacity of 48WHr. In digital video playback testing, the system was able to run for three and three quarter hours before going into standby mode. This is decent for the class of system that it is in but still falls short what some of the other laptops in its price range achieve. The Dell Inspiron 17 offers almost five hours but it uses a lower performance processor and lacks a dedicated graphics processor.
Priced just under $1000, the Toshiba Satellite S876-S7376 is a mid-ranged 17-inch laptop that tries to do touch on all types of computing without necessarily excelling at any one particular area. At this price point, it faces a number of challengers. The Acer Aspire V3-771G offers a bit better 3D graphics performance but lacks a Blu-ray drive. The HP Envy dv7 offers better battery life but lacks a dedicated graphics processor for 3D capabilities and Blu-ray. Finally, the Sony VAIO SVE1712ACXB offers a full 1080p display at a slightly lower price but sacrifices battery life and storage features.