The Bottom Line
Jul 23 2012With a price tag of just $750, the Toshiba Satellite S875D-S7239 is very affordable and an attractive option for those that need some 3D graphics. The AMD A10 APU offers a nice Radeon HD graphics solution that makes it capable of casual PC gaming or accelerating non-3D applications. The inclusion of a Blu-ray drive is also a nice feature not typically found in this price range. The downside is that the laptop doesn't offer that same level of performance as similarly price Intel laptops for most tasks and the display falls short of 1080p video support, both of which are attainable for those willing to spend a bit more.
- Good 3D Performance From Integrated Graphics
- Blu-ray Drive
- Performance Lower Than Comparable Intel Processors
- 17-inch Display Lacks 1080p Video Support
- AMD A10-4600M Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 6GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 750GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Blu-ray Reader and Dual-Layer DVD Burner Combo Drive
- 17.3" WSXGA+ (1600x900) Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- AMD Radeon HD 7660G Integrated Graphics Processor
- Fast Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three 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 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security
Review - Toshiba Satellite S875D-S7239
Jul 23 2012 - Rather than going with an Intel platform like the majority of manufacturers, Toshiba has also elected to use the new AMD Trinity APU for the Satellite S875D. It integrates both the graphics and processor into a single chip like past units and looks to boost overall performance compare to the past generation while also improving the overall power efficiency of the chip as well. The processor in question for the S875D-S7239 is the quad core A10-4600M. This is matched up with 6GB of DDR3 memory which is a bit lower than most laptops that feature 8GB but it is a more affordable platform.
So, how well does the new AMD processor perform? Well, it still falls short of the previous Intel Core i5 quad core processors that were based on the Sandy Bridge design. This means that it also falls behind the newer Ivy bridge as well. Still, for many buyer's the performance of today's laptops are well beyond what they need for their average task. After all, if you are primarily using your laptop to read email, browse the web, doing some work processing and spreadsheets or just watching some streaming media, it does a perfectly fine job. It even will do more demanding tasks such as desktop video, just not as quickly as an Intel based laptop.
Storage is one of the key features for the Satellite S875D-S7239. Since this is a lower cost laptop, it uses a traditional hard drive for storage over the fancier solid state drives. It uses a pretty typical 750GB storage capacity that most 17-inch laptops features. The one downside here is that hte drive spins at the slower notebook class 5400rpm rate rather than the 7200rpm rate more typically associated with the larger desktop replacement class laptops. Now, if you need additional storage, it does feature three of the USB 3.0 for use with high speed external storage. The big feature here though is the inclusion of the Blu-ray compatible drive for watching the high definition media format. The drive can also playback and recording CD or DVD media as well.
While the system does feature a Blu-ray drive, it is a bit disappointing to see that the 17.3-inch screen only reaches a native resolution of 1600x900. This means that it does not fully support 1080p high definition media to take full advantage of the HD media. Now, at the price point for the Satellite S875D, none of the competition features the 1080p screen. That is typically reserved for laptops over $1000. The display is pretty typical with decent color, contrast and brightness but nothing outstanding. It does use a glossy coating which makes it a bit more difficult to use outdoors or in difficult indoor lighting that produces glare or reflections.
While the Rather than using a dedicated graphics processor, the AMD APU uses a traditional dedicated graphics processor that is placed into the CPU. For the A10-4600M processor, it features a Radeon HD 7660G graphics core on it. This is definitely one area where AMD has an advantage over Intel when it comes to integrated graphics, even with the new Intel HD Graphics 4000. This graphics processor provides sufficient 3D performance to allow the laptop to be used for some casual PC gaming at lower resolution of roughly 1280x800. Now, the Radeon graphics are also very useful for accelerating non-3D applications especially when it uses the OpenCL extensions. It still isn't quite as fast at media encoding as Intel's Quick Sync though.
Compared to past Toshiba 17-inch laptops, the Satellite S875D is a bit more compact. Models such as the Satellite P755 spanned almost the entire width while this one has some space on either side. It still uses an isolated key layout that with numeric keypad. It has a decent feel but is a bit soft in spots. The trackpad is centered on the keyboard rather than the chassis deck and is recessed slightly which helps against accidental brushes with ones palms.
The power efficiency of the new AMD APU has greatly increased from past versions and now compares favorable to the Intel Sandy Bridge models. Of course, Intel's Ivy Bridge also improved efficiency which it doesn't quite match. The Satellite S875D comes with a fairly typical six cell battery pack with 48WHr that is common among less expensive laptops. In digital video playback testing, the laptop was able to run for roughly three and a quarter hours. This is a decent amount of time compared to similarly equipped laptops but it does fall short of HP's Pavilion dv7 with its gigantic 100WHr battery that provides nearly twice the running time.
At $750, the Toshiba Satellite S875D-S7239 is very affordable for those looking at a Blu-ray equipped 17-inch laptop that is also capable for casual PC gaming. Most of the competing Intel based systems do cost more than this with Acer's V3-771G and HP's Pavilion dv7 both priced around $900. In terms of features, the big advantage that the Acer system has is the NVIDIA dedicated graphics processor that makes it better suited to 3D applications. HP on the other hand offers more storage space and the incredibly long running times.