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Toshiba Satellite L500-11V review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £500
inc VAT

A comfortable laptop to use, but the screen looks slightly washed out and is disappointing, particularly at this price.


15.6 in 1,366×768 display, 2.7kg, 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 3.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

While many manufacturers try to jazz up the designs of their laptops, Toshiba has gone for a more understated and business-like design for its Satellite L500-11V. That’s not a bad thing, as we quite like its plain looks and tough build.

The quality extends to the large keyboard. Each key is a decent size and provides excellent feedback, so you can type quickly and comfortably with this computer easily. There’s even room for a full-sized numeric keypad, as Toshiba has fitted a half-width Enter key, which we had no problem getting used to.

The responsive touchpad lies flush with the case, but its textured surface makes it easy to find by touch. Its buttons are just as easy to find and have plenty of feedback.

The L500-11V’s 15.6in widescreen display has a resolution of 1,366×768, but sadly its quality wasn’t as good as we’d hoped. Vertical viewing angles are poor, and looking anything other than squarely at the screen makes colours look washed out. Even straight on, colours tend to look slightly washed out. It’s a shame, as this is an otherwise decent laptop.

The 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo T6500 processor is a step up from the Pentium Dual-Cores in other budget laptops. Combined with the 3GB of RAM, the Satellite L500 achieved a decent overall score of 62 in our benchmarks. The GMA 4500M HD graphics aren’t capable of playing games, but we wouldn’t expect a dedicated graphics card at this price. It’s good to see an HDMI output as well as VGA.

The 250GB hard disk gives you plenty of space for storing all your files, but a larger 320GB model would have been preferable at this price. It has everything else that we’d expect to see, including three USB ports and an SDHC card reader.

At 2.7kg this laptop is just about light enough for occasional trips, although its three-and-a-half battery life is below average.

Toshiba’s Satellite L500-11V isn’t a bad laptop, but its poor screen and the fact that there are better-value models detract from it. Samsung’s R520 is a much better choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo T6500
Processor clock speed 2.1GHz
Memory 3.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 8GB
Size 40x385x255mm
Weight 2.7kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 2W
Power consumption idle 16W
Power consumption active 36W


Viewable size 15.6 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 4500M HD
Graphics/video ports HDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory 128MB


Total storage capacity 250GB
Optical drive model TSST TS-L633C
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth no
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11a/n
PC Card slots none
Modem No
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD
Other ports 1x eSATA


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option Windows disc
Software included Microsoft Works 9, Toshiba DVD Player 3.1, Toshiba Disc Creator
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £500

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