Are you looking for a popular yet well-priced notebook? Toshiba Satellite E45-B4100 could be a good candidate. It comes with i5 processor, 6GB memory and a nice Full HD display. All this for very inexpensive price. But does affordability mean the manufacturer skimped on something important? Perhaps, I’ll tell you more about that here…
Toshiba Satellite E45-B4100 is powered by a 5th generation Intel processor, more precisely the i5-5200U model. It offers a dual-core design with 2.2GHz clock speed. Also 2.7GHz turbo boost is featured. It’s good to keep in mind these new i5s are low-voltage models, so they consume much less energy than many previous 4th generation chips. The downside is, of course, restricted performance which benchmarks clearly indicate. For example, i5-5200U gets ~3500 points in CPU Mark while many models from the 4th generation line reach over 4000, so “newer” doesn’t always mean “faster”. But to put things in perspective, the i5 in this laptop is still very sufficient for everyday computing, including video streaming, and even some gaming.
The notebook comes with six gigabytes DDR3L 1600MHz memory. Both slots are occupied (2GB and 4GB chips). The manual says the RAM can’t be upgraded by user, but I’m sure a tech savvy person can indeed replace the memory modules himself. It’s just a bit difficult to do (need to remove the bottom), so somebody not knowledgeable about these things would need to send his laptop to Toshiba tech for RAM upgrade.
Storage is provided by a decent 750GB 5400RPM hard drive. It has SATA II interface although the system also supports SATA III. The drive is not small for the price, but some people prefer the performance of SSD over these older hard drives. There is no space for second drive inside, but rest assured you can always remove the hard drive and put in a new one, a solid-state drive for example.
Display and graphics
The screen in Toshiba Satellite E45-B4100 is 14″ diagonal, a bit smaller than the average 15 inches. The resolution is brilliant 1920×1080, although on this small display a lower resolution would do as well. It is not a touch screen, but in my opinion it’s not necessary at all even for Windows 8.1.
This cheap laptops are often great for everything but gaming. Indeed, there’s no powerful dedicated graphics engine in Toshiba Satellite E45-B4100. It relies on the processor-integrated Intel HD 5500 chip which gives some improvement from older generations’ HD graphics units. In real life, you can fire up some demanding games such as GTA 5 and have somewhat playable frames (20-25FPS), but that will only happen on low to medium details. If you’re happy with easier types like Minecraft and Sims 4, you’ll end up with much higher frame rates.
Plugging in your peripherals to Toshiba Satellite E45-B4100 is effortless. The laptop offers one USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 connections for that. The other USB 3.0 supports sleep and charge function.
Of course, you can also use an external monitor or HDTV with the Toshiba. The notebook features HDMI port with 4K UHD support. So if your monitor supports the higher resolution, you can enjoy 4K content on it.
Internet access won’t be a problem. You’re offered Gigabit Ethernet and A/C Wireless card for that. Bluetooth 4.0 and Intel WiDi technologies are also enabled.
DVD drive is something this laptop doesn’t have. If you want to install stuff from discs you must use an external drive. However, memory card reader (SD/MMC) is available for uploading files from several portable devices.
The laptop also includes an HD webcam which naturally works for Skype and other similar applications.
Other relevant things
Toshiba Satellite E45-B4100 weighs 4.5 pounds, traveling with it should not be too big a burden. Users have been reporting 4-5 hours battery life, which I bet is sufficient for most. It’s also possible to remove the battery and replace it for a better one if you like.
This model has a nice keyboard: its keys are illuminated and there’s no 10-pad pushing the trackpad to left.
The laptop color is satin gold and the body is made of aluminum.
Toshiba Satellite E45-B4100 is one of the notebooks with excellent price-performance ratio. You won’t be paying a lot, but you’re getting a lot in return. A 5th generation processor together with plenty of RAM are likely to run any program you throw at them without slowing down. Furthermore, a 1920×1080 screen for this price is a rarity, power users and digital artists will surely appreciate that. Connections include useful AC WiFi and two USB 3.0s. Also other people have said mainly positive things about this Toshiba, so I have a good reason to recommend it as your next general use laptop.