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Toshiba Satellite L550-113 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £700
inc VAT

An impressive laptop with a high-resolution screen, comfortable keyboard and good 3D performance, but battery life isn't great.


17.3 in 1,600×900 display, 3.0kg, 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

Toshiba’s Satellite L550-113 has a huge 17.3in screen, making it appeal to anyone that wants a desktop-replacement computer to use at home.

The screen has a high resolution of 1,600×900, which gives plenty of room for the Windows desktop and applications.

With its bright colours and wide viewing angles it’s a great screen to look at, whether you’re watching films, editing photos or working on a spreadsheet. It’s also capable of running 3D games, as the onboard 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon 4570 graphics card managed almost 20fps in our Call of Duty 4 test. Turn off anti-aliasing or drop the resolution and smooth frame rates are possible.

Performance in applications is good, too. The 4GB of RAM and 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo T6500 processor helped it to a respectable overall score of 63 in our benchmarks.

We were greatly impressed with the Satellite’s large, comfortable and responsive keyboard, which makes typing accurate. The numeric keypad is also big and great for data entry. The accurate touchpad is a little small in contrast to the huge buttons, which give just the right amount of feedback.

Unlike many previous Satellite laptops, this model doesn’t come with integrated Harman Kardon speakers. The installed speakers sound notably worse, with little bass, a muddy midrange and a harsh treble.

At 3kg, the L550 isn’t likely to travel far from a power socket, and if it does its battery isn’t likely to last long. It managed only two hours and 42 minutes in our light-usage test. This is fine for use around the home, though.

Surprisingly for such a large laptop, there’s no ExpressCard slot for adding peripherals such as a TV tuner, although there are three USB ports and one eSATA port. The hard disk is generously large at 500GB.

The L550-113 is an excellent desktop replacement, with good 3D performance and a comfortable keyboard. It’s a little expensive, though, and Dell’s 15.6in Studio 15 is a better choice if you don’t need such a large screen.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo T6500
Processor clock speed 2.1GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 8GB
Size 43x417x270mm
Weight 3.0kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 2W
Power consumption idle 19W
Power consumption active 39W


Viewable size 17.3 in
Native resolution 1,600×900
Graphics Processor ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570
Graphics/video ports HDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory 512MB


Total storage capacity 500GB
Optical drive model Pioneer DVRTD09A
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 £700

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