on November 13, 2012
I was debating whether to give this notebook review 4 or 5 stars, but settled on 5 stars based what I paid. I purchased this notebook at $629.99, which is an amazing value on pure specs - 17.3" LED display, AMD A-10 processor, 6GB of RAM, etc. The keyboard is also nicely laid out and comfortably spaced. The laptop runs fairly quietly and very cool. It also boots up ridiculously quick thanks to Windows 8.
I've had this laptop for almost 2 weeks now, and I haven't had any major issues or problems so far. A few Windows crashes but that's mostly due to the new Windows 8 OS, not because of the hardware. Make sure to run Windows Update before installing additional programs - especially old software. Toshiba also has a separate update service which you may or may not have to run to update your BIOS - highly recommended if it prompts you. I would also advise updating your default Windows Apps via Microsoft Windows "Store" before heavily using your new laptop. Do all this and this laptop will be rock solid.
I do have a few cons to point out but it's really trivial if you take into account what you're getting for the price. The shell of the computer feels nice and sturdy except the black plastic portion framing the keyboard; it's a bit flimsy/cheap. The built in speakers are loud but not exactly up to par on more expensive laptops - sounds a bit muffled and lacks bass. This can easily be compensated by hooking up a decent pair of external speakers. Last the screen, it's bright but I've seen sharper displays on more expensive laptops. It's not really noticeable to the average consumer, and it's certainly not a deal breaker.
All that being said this laptop is still an excellent deal considering what you're getting at this price point. I can't stress that enough. You will be hard pressed to find another 17.3" laptop with similar specs and performance. The AMD A-10 Fusion processor provides more than enough power for the average consumer, and has enough graphical performance to match Intel notebooks that are $200 - $300 more.
on November 27, 2012
The A10 processor with the ATI 7660G is a sufficient combo for running many PC games without the need of a dedicated GPU. For example, I've been playing CS:GO, Fallout 3, and The Darkness II on medium settings for the on board GPU and the games run seamlessly.
What's more, the system temperature is well regulated with the on-board cooling system. It appears the laptop's fans do a great job at venting the heat generated from the long term gaming sessions, having run The Darkness II for a 5 hour sitting and having only a mildly warm GPU resulting. Processor/GPU heat dissipation is probably one of the biggest concerns in mobile gaming, so this effective cooling system is a HUGE plus.
6GB RAM is more than enough for my gaming needs, as well as anything I would like to run concurrently (Steam). My only complaint is Windows 8. It's so new still. Many things like Adobe and Java aren't even properly written and updated for Windows 8. Moreover, the operating system feels more like an android mobile phone OS than a desktop OS. It's certainly a new and unwelcome adjustment, but hey! It's still better than Vista (what was Microsoft thinking?). However, there is hope for Windows 8. It's just such a different feel from traditional OS's like XP or even Windows 7. The Windows 8 user with a touch-screen desktop may find the new OS more intuitive, but that's because Windows 8 boots to a home screen that has about 40 apps clumped together, all arranged in thumbnail images with scrolling side-to-side screens, much like how one would "swipe" their mobile phone screens to move from subscreen to subscreen. It's literally identical in nature to one's mobile phone OS, unfortunately. For those of us that have always used a mouse and keyboard, Windows 8 is a bit frustrating. Oh well. First world problems, I know. Moving on.
Conclusions: I could never afford a $1200-$2000 Alienware gaming laptop (you know, the ones with the massive dedicated graphics cards that can run any game you could ever want!), and I've been waiting and waiting for an affordable alternative. The Toshiba L875D-S7343 is that laptop. The speedy A10 processor coupled with the fact that the ATI 7660G finally is up to the task of performance graphics makes this a great mobile gaming station. System cooling is great. 17.3" screen, 6GB RAM, 640GB HDD... all noteworthy attributes. At $629, I couldn't be happier.
Last words on the competition: Intel's equivalent on-board GPU is the Intel HD4000. Although it's... suitable... for gaming, the intel HD4000 definitely under performs in comparison to the ATI 7660G equivalent. As processors are concerned, the Intel 3rd gen core i7 processor may be more powerful than the AMD A10 core... fine... but the core i7 is just overkill and overpriced. The A10 is an effing great processor and when taken with the ATI 7660G graphics, is substantially more capable of gaming than the core i7/Intel HD4000 equivalent. Just saying... just saying... figure out where your loyalties lie. Remember, AMD is a company for gamers! If anyone reading this review is interested in frame rate/overclocking/cooling specs obtained while running Steam and various games, one could email at email@example.com.
on November 27, 2012
Fast CPU/GPU combination; Good size hard drive; Nicely laid out keyboard; runs cool and quiet; great for gaming!!
Screen has quite a bit of glare when light hits it - using it in low light environments works best (definitely not for out door use); the sound is a bit low quality, but plug in some headphones or speakers (or plug it directly into an HDTV via HDMI, with a sound system setup) and that issue is resolved quickly.
Windows 8 is a mixed bag - It works well and runs fast, but it is a lot different than your typical Windows setup (XP or 7). I think once you get comfortable working in Windows 8 it will not be an issue. Remember: The "Windows" + "Q" button on the keyboard is your friend. This brings up the search box and you can type for whatever you are looking for. It is the fastest way to find something in Windows 8.
This thing is fast! It runs Crysis, Fallout 3, Team Fortress 2 all at MAX settings. Max resolution, all ultra/high quality on everything. I know these games listed are 5 years old, but this is still a testament to how powerful this CPU/GPU combo is. To help put it in perspective, my 5+ year old gaming desktop I built is not as fast as this laptop. It has an nvidia 8800GT, Q6600 Intel CPU, 4GB RAM....and it cannot play Crysis or Fallout 3 at max settings (although I can set it on medium to high settings). I have no doubt this laptop can play many of the latest games currently out (my desktop can, and if my desktop can then this laptop definitely can).
For $630, and an integrated GPU, you wouldn't think it could play the latest games, but it can and does it very well.
Overall this is the "best bang for your buck" laptop I have come across in a while. Highly recommended!
on November 27, 2012
This laptop is great. I purchased it on a lightning deal for $529.99, great price, even the $629.99 would a pretty good one. I'm not the most computer savvy, I don't do much gaming, occasionally, but more with consoles.
I've had it about 5 hours now. The Windows OS was a very confusing setup at first. I've pretty much got the hang of it by now and it doesn't run quite seamlessly, occasionally a small bit of lag, not much.
I have a feeling it will be a much better system than my previous system with 7, but the gestures are a bit difficult to get used to. Took me a good while to figure out the basics, though.
I have two qualms with the laptop. Both are due to the keyboard. The keyboard only requires a very light touch to type with, I prefer a more solid feeling, but no biggie. Other is that I would've liked a backlit keyboard, but I've went the 6 years I've owned laptops without one, so again, no biggie.
Overall, this thing runs/ feels solid.
Sound seems a bit muffled, but can't have everything.
I've owned Toshiba's before and loved them, I have a feeling this one will be the same.
on December 4, 2012
Just an amazing package for the price!(I got it for $560 on Black Friday) The processor/Ram/Graphics card are such an amazing combo it almost brings a tear to the eye for the price. This set can definitely handle a lot of different games on normal to high settings. (I'm currently playing LOTRO on Max settings) Make sure you play with ac adapter to enable max potential! Oh as for normal usage (surfing,email,Facebook) this is obviously a perfect choice. Windows 8 is a sweet addition as well. I love it and will be using this for a long time. Highly recommended. Just wow
Still running strong through the new year! Runs 720p videos on YouTube flawlessly. (1080p to as well, I'm not completely sure in all videos.) I've also ran Netflix from my Toshi through an HDMI to my 1080p Sony LCD TV and it worked perfectly and fast. This laptop is my best friend. Just has everything. Also, I haven't upgraded the ram either to 16gb! (I'm only using the factory 6gb.)
I can't believe this Toshiba has still held up for this long! I have Steam currently on it and planning on checking out Undertale soon. I still standby this great computer as it still runs great with the new Windows 10 OS. Streaming 720p vids still goes great as well.
on December 1, 2012
all that needs to be said is once you have removed all the toshiba bloatware and the worthless norton security crap it plays games such as deus ex human evolution, bioshock, bioshock 2, dead island, call of duty black ops II, darksiders II, saints row the third, orcs must die, assassins creed III, and borderlands 2 with the highest settings it stays cool and has no lag in any of them
on January 7, 2013
The laptop seems to be working just fine, but... what was Microsoft thinking? The new Windows is so cumbersome, that using the new laptop is not even close to a smooth thing.
on November 29, 2012
The best laptop I've ever purchased. The designed of this laptop is incredible and beautiful. I've never had AMD laptop before, but to be very honest , there aint a big difference. Unless you want to do heavy processing.
on December 21, 2013
I've owned this laptop for exactly a year and it was given as a gift.
As a gamer it barely meets the mark.
Its not even the graphics, the human eye can only validate 30 frames per second anyway so theres no real point to having 150 fps.
Higher end games you can get away with settings on high but medium settings safely.
I play CS:GO, Shogun 2, and I tried playing Batman: Arkham Asylum on here.
CS:Go is fine, as is Shogun 2 both on Medium but Batman even on the lowest settings drops frames like mad.
After a year now its become a bit more unstable, the battery reports a poor charge, and big surprise here Toshiba Tech Support is outsourced.
I almost got taken by a company not even related to Toshiba Tech Support.
Also the problem with the keyboard stands true for me as well, however at the least the keys don't pop off like my previous Toshiba Satellite.
The cost for a gamer is stuck keys and other mishaps that will render you spell bound when you can't go any other direction then left or backward depending on the key that gets stuck.
If you planned on using this machine as your main console I don't recommend it.
For photoshop and other tasks involving rendering or audio manipulation it does a good job.
But for gaming you want something that suit your playing more completely.
Also if you are not comfortable with Windows 8 as I am don't try back pedaling since all the proprietary drivers are geared for Windows 8.
(Believe me I'd do it if I thought it was safe!)
Disabling those live tiles is a pain in the butt.
As a budget machine its okay.
But if you can set your budget a little higher and keep your eye on one of the hybrid laptop/tablets that are becoming more affordable, Once SSDs become a little more spacious and a little more affordable I will ditch this for that.
For grandpas and grandmas it will seem like a corvette, but for us younger types it will feel like an oldsmobile after a year.
Good luck out there!
on November 28, 2012
The good the bad the ugly
the good: fast computer good budget gaming graphics
the bad: The keyboard is garbage some buttons have to be pushed down harder than the rest press 4 corners 1 corner isn't imputing. The space bar is a pain.