You might be on the hunt for a perfect touchscreen laptop. Perhaps you prefer using Windows 8.1’s touch features. Or maybe you just like to try out something new. Either way, there’s an overwhelming supply of suitable notebooks and the choice might be hard to make. In this review, we’ll concentrate on Toshiba Satellite L15W-B1310 featuring a 11.6″ touchscreen.
The core performance
The Toshiba, having the price tag of a budget laptop, can’t be characterized as a very powerful computer. It features Intel Celeron N2840, a commonplace entry-level processor of 2.16GHz frequency and two cores. I’ve seen this CPU countless times on other low-end laptops, and while it’s not a gamer friendly component, for everyday computing it is adequate. A home user doesn’t necessarily need the fancy features such as Hyper-Threading found in more expensive Core i3 processors.
The memory might sadden some people. There’s just 2GB DDR3L RAM installed. And it’s non-user replaceable type. So you’ll have to settle for the two gigabytes – which for a power user could be unacceptable.
There’s a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive installed in Toshiba Satellite L15W-B1310. It’s got the space, so to speak, but speed is much slower than with solid-state drives. The SSD vs. HDD debate is a matter of storage against speed, with hard drives beating SSDs in storage size with flying colors and SSDs winning easily in the write/read speed benchmarks.
How about the display? Graphics?
So the screen is indeed a touch display. Measuring at 11.6 inches, you’ll have no problems trying out the touch features implemented in Windows 8. For resolution, you’ll only get the basic 1366×768, but for such a small display it works.
The screen also rotates 360 degrees. In addition to normal laptop mode, you can flip the screen and the computer basically becomes a tablet. This makes it rather versatile, sort of a 2-in-1 device.
The Intel HD chip takes care of the graphics performance of Toshiba Satellite L15W-B1310. I can only say it’s the slowest member of that GPU family – which probably tells you enough about that chip. Also keeping in mind the mere 2GB RAM, gaming would lag especially on new games – Thief, X-Plane, and Risen 3 to name some. However, you’d probably be happy with old titles like World of Warcraft, Trackmania and Minecraft, provided that you keep resolution and eye candy at bay.
The laptop has a bare minimum connectivity. There are two USB ports, of which one is USB 3.0. A HDMI output is likewise included – important for somebody who wants to use his laptop with a HD television.
There is no LAN port so you won’t be connecting Internet through a wire. However, a single-band WiFi adapter is installed which also supports Bluetooth 4.0.
Because of the size limitations the laptop doesn’t feature an optical drive. You can still use CDs and DVDs but only with an external drive. However, a memory card supporting SD, SDHC, SDXC, miniSD, microSD and MMC formats is available.
A regular HD webcam and microphone are installed on the system, allowing for convenient video meetings on Skype and other programs.
Anything else to consider?
As you notice, the laptop was made with mobility in mind. The 2.9 pounds weight happens to be around the average for 11.6″ laptops. The battery life is promised 5.25 hours, which you can probably get on web browsing and other lightweight use.
The keyboard is typical for a small laptop: it doesn’t feature a 10-key numeric pad. It’s not backlit, either, which is good or bad depending on your preferences.
Some software is installed by default. Often known as bloatware, few are actually useful. You might want to take advantage of one month trials for MS Office 365 and McAfee anti virus programs at least.
Toshiba Satellite L15W-B1310 would be best used by somebody in home or small office. Celeron processor and 2GB RAM don’t promise a lot of performance, and the computer would indeed be too slow for individuals with heavy requirements – such as gamers. The flipping touchscreen is a nice addition, also the main selling point of this laptop. The price is a bit high for the features though, so if you can’t get this Toshiba for a bargain you might want to think about getting another notebook.