Big doesn’t always mean expensive. In addition to small subnotebooks, also laptops with large screens can be found in the sub 500 bucks category. One example is Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7300, notebook sporting a 17.3″ display. All the questions about this budget laptops suitability for you will be answered below.
The processor of Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7300 is called AMD A8-6410. Following the latest integration trend, also this AMD is an Accelerated Processing Unit housing both the actual processor and graphics engine. The CPU part runs on four cores with clock speed of 2.0GHz. The processor also features a turbo boost, momentarily allowing for 2.4GHz clock speeds. The performance could be compared to modern Core i3 processors – the CPU world’s jack of all trades, suitable for most kind of uses including video streaming and office tasks.
The memory configuration is 6GB DDR3, the sweet spot between basic 4GB and splurge 8GB. It’s however non-user replaceable type, so installing more in the future isn’t possible even if you wanted to. That said, six gigabytes is plenty to work with and will most likely suffice for the entire lifespan of this laptop.
The storage solution is a conventional 750GB 5400RPM SATA hard drive. Giving more space than a 500GB drive would, it still lacks in speed the new solid-state drives possess. It’s basically a choice between speed and storage size, and going for a hard drive (like the one in this Toshiba) means you get lots of space at the expense of fast user experience.
How about display and graphics?
Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7300 screen is indeed big. It measures at 17.3 inches and has a resolution of 1600×900. On this screen, a Full HD resolution would be thousand times better, but for the price I can complain only so much. Just keep in mind it’s not a touchscreen, so you wont use some of the features Windows 8.1 (64-bit) has.
As said above, the processor also takes care of the graphics with its Radeon R5 unit. Compared to better-known graphics engines, the Radeon R5 is on the same level with Intel HD 4200. It offers rudimentary performance for older or lighter games, like Fifas and Sims. However, the Radeon isn’t powerful enough for keeping newer titles’ FPS on acceptable levels and enjoying full eye candy at the same time. Heavyweight games like Thief or Assassin’s Creed IV would probably be rendered unplayable, with frame rates dropping below 20.
Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7300 contains 3 USB ports in total, one of those being USB 3.0. To connect external monitors, you can use either VGA or HDMI outs.
Internet can be accessed via wired (10/100 Mbps) and wireless (802.11 b/g/n) connections. Bluetooth isn’t available by default, using a USB dongle would probably offer the easiest solution.
To transfer data, the laptop features a 16x DVD burner as well as a media card reader with support to SD, SDHC, SDXC, miniSD, microSD and MMC formats.
Microphone and HD webcam are available, so having video calls on Skype and similar programs is possible.
What else to keep in mind?
The laptop weighs good 5.9 pounds. In my opinion, that’s acceptable weight for a 17.3″ notebook, but its physical dimensions would limit the portability to a degree. Battery should last for 5 hours on lightweight use like browsing, which is again very acceptable for such a big laptop.
Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7300 comes with bunch of pre-installed software. Some are useful, like one month trials for MS Office 365 and Norton Internet Security.
Toshiba Satellite C75D-B7300 is a choice for the folks who don’t enjoy a small and portable laptop. Its large screen and increased resolution makes sure you get more screen estate to work with, and the quad-core AMD CPU with 6GB RAM will do great job providing enough oomph for everyday computing needs. It’s however not a great gaming rig, just like any other budget notebook. I heard some people getting this laptop for as low as 400 bucks – if you manage to do the same, I’d call it a no-brainer.