The Bottom Line
Sep 7 2011 - For those looking at a media capable 13-inch laptop, the Toshiba Satellite L735-S3220RD offers a surprising value at under $800 equipped with a Blu-ray drive. Performance is also very good thanks to the second generation Core i5 processor. It also offers extra storage space thanks to the larger 640GB hard drive. While all these features are great, there are a few issues with the system. Most notable of these is the below average battery life that could be an issue for anyone looking to use it frequently away from power. The system is also a bit heavier and thicker than many other 13-inch models on the market.
- Blu-ray Compatible Drive
- Solid Performance From Core i5 Processor
- Larger Hard Drive
- Lacks USB 3.0 or eSATA Ports
- Below Average Battery Life
- Relatively Thick For 13-inch Laptop
- Intel Core i5-2410M Dual Core Processor
- 4GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 640GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Blu-ray Reader And Dual-Layer DVD Burner
- 13.3" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel HD Graphics 3000 Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, 5-in-1 Card Reader
- 13" X 8.7" x 1.5" @ 4.6 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, Win DVD, Norton Internet Security
Review - Toshiba Satellite L735-S3220RD
Sep 7 2011 - Toshiba's Satellite L735-S3320RD uses the latest Core i5-2410M dual core processor. This offers it a good solid level of performance that can be used for just about any type of computing task one might have. While it does only have two cores, it does support Hyperthreading that allows it to better in demanding tasks like desktop video compared to the Core i3 processors. It is paired up with a fairly typical 4GB of DDR3 memory that offers a smooth overall experience with the Windows 7 operating system.
Storage features are probably some of the best aspects of the Satellite L735-R3220D. It is one of the few 13-inch laptops to come equipped with a Blu-ray compatible optical drive for watching the high definition video format and at a price under $800. The drive can of course also be used for playback and recording of CD and DVDs. Data storage is also quite nice with a larger 640GB hard drive that provides extra space for applications, data and media files. The drive does spin at a 5400rpm rate which gives it a slight disadvantage compared to those using faster drives or solid state drives but has a big space advantage compared to them. One disappointment with this latest L series though is the lack of a USB 3.0 port for use with high speed external storage. Even some the past L630 series units offered an eSATA port which this does not.
The display of the Satellite L735 is pretty typical of the 13-inch laptop. The color and brightness are acceptable. Viewing angles are good from the sides but vertical angles are a bit narrow with color drop-off or saturation depending upon how it is tilted. It features a glossy coating that can make it difficult to use outdoors or in certain lighting conditions. As with many more compact laptops, it uses an integrated graphics engine. With the new Core i processors, this is the Intel HD Graphics 3000. This is certainly a step up from the previous GMA graphics in terms of 3D support but it still is going to fall well short of gaming capabilities. Maybe some older games at lower resolution and details will be possible for some light, casual gaming.
Rather than using the isolated keyboard design found in many of the other Satellite series and the Portege laptops, Toshiba has used a more traditional design with a tiered button layout for the Satellite L735. For the most part, the design works well enough but it does seem to have some accuracy probably because of the limited space of a 13-inch laptop. I do dislike the layout inclusion of the home row keys on the right hand side as it gets in the way of the backspace key but that can be trained over time. The trackpad uses a flush design that is differentiated from the keyboard rest by a textured surface. It works well enough and the buttons are dedicated for both the right and left rather than using integrated or rocker bar designs.
Toshiba uses a standard six-cell battery pack for most of their Satellite series laptops. It features a 48WHr capacity that is certainly lower than most larger laptops but much more inline with 13-inch laptops. In Blu-ray playback testing, the Satellite L735-S3220RD laptop was able to run for just under two hours before going into standby mode. Now, Blu-ray playback is more demanding than DVD playback but even if you consider a potential extra hour of playback with a DVD, this still offers a shorter overall running time than a comparably equipped Lenovo IdeaPad Z370. Expect it to yield roughly three to three and a half hours of more traditional usage.