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Toshiba Satellite M640-ST2N02 14-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC

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Toshiba Satellite M640-ST2N02 14-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC

Toshiba Satellite M640

©Toshiba

The Bottom Line

Nov 16 2010 - Toshiba's Satellite M640 series laptops may be designed for power an multimedia, but the M640-ST2N02 just doesn't have enough to pull itself away from many other capable laptops. Sure, it offers some good speakers and a wide range of ports for peripheral devices and expansion but it just doesn't make up for the lack of a dedicated graphics processor or its below average battery life. Thankfully there only slightly more expensive versions of the M640 that do offer some dedicated graphics.
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Pros

  • Excellent Range Of Peripheral Expansion Ports
  • Good Quality Speakers
  • Supports Labelflash Media

Cons

  • Integrated Graphics
  • Below Average Battery Life

Description

  • Intel Core i5-460M Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
  • 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drives
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner With Labelflash
  • 14" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless
  • Three USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, VGA, ExpressCard/34, 6-in-1 Card Reader
  • 13.3" x 9" x 1.4" @ 5.4 lbs.
  • Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, Norton Internet Security

Guide Review - Toshiba Satellite M640-ST2N02 14-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC

Nov 16 2010 - Powering the Toshiba Satellite M640-ST2N02 is the new Intel Core i5-460M dual core processor. This is a solid mid-ranged mobile processor that offers plenty of performance for most tasks that users will have. It may fall behind some higher grade processors in tasks such as desktop video but that is true for most laptops. The 4GB of DDR3 memory help mitigate any slowdowns from heavy multitasking or very memory intensive applications.

Storage features on the Satellite M640-ST2N02 are what you will find in just about every laptop in the $900 price range. The 500GB hard drive provides an ample amount of storage space for applications, data and media files. The drive does spin at a more traditional 5400rpm spin rate which means it doesn't have quite the same performance as laptops that use 7200rpm rate drives. The dual-layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CDs or DVDs. It also supports burning labels directly to Labelflash compatible media. A multi-card reader handles the most common types of flash memory cards available.

The smaller 14-inch display of the Toshiba Satellite M640 does help the overall size of the laptop while still providing the same 1366x768 native resolution typical to many larger laptops. The display does use a glossy coating like almost every consumer laptop which does produce glare and reflections under certain lighting conditions. The disappointing aspect of the M640-ST2N02 unit is the Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics solution. This is fine for streaming HD video or standard web work but it lacks any real 3D performance for even casual PC gaming. There are other versions of the M640 that feature NVIDIA GeForce 300 series processors for those interested in doing some 3D work.

The Satellite M640-ST2N02 comes with a six-cell battery pack that can be found in most laptops in this size and price range. In DVD playback tests, the laptop was able to run for two hours and fifteen minutes before going into standby mode. This falls roughly thirty minutes below that typical laptop in this class. Now, Toshiba does offer an Eco power profile that will extend the battery time but it does reduce brightness and system performance. More typical usage should yield a little less than three hours.

There are a few areas where the Satellite M640 does step up from much of the competition. The Harmon Kardon speakers are certainly much better than the average set of laptop speakers. They still won't meet an audiophiles standards but they are quite good. Included with the system are some peripheral ports that aren't as common on consumer laptops. This includes a USB/eSATA combo port that also has the ability to charge devices while the laptop is not in use as well as an ExpressCard slot.

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