Toshiba Satellite L40-A I0110 Review

Price

38,706

Tech2 Rating

6.5

Compare Item

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By tech2 Connect /  08 Aug 2013 , 13:12:48

Toshiba recently launched 18 laptops in India spanning across four new series and various price points. One of the models is the Satellite L40, which belongs to the Satellite L series. This series comprises mainstream models that offer a blend of style and performance. Let’s find out what it packs under the hood and how it performs.

A classy looking mainstream laptop

A classy looking mainstream laptop

Design and features
Weighing slightly less than 2 kilos, the Satellite L40 is one of the lightest mainstream laptops. It’s also one of the slimmest in its class measuring just 24 mm in thickness with the lid closed—mind you, it’s not an Ultrabook.

The Satellite L40 sports a slim profile

The Satellite L40 sports a slim profile

These days many laptops run ultra-low voltage processors (the same that are used in Ultrabooks) to offer prolonged battery life without compromising much on performance. The Satellite L40 too uses an ultra-low voltage processor, and you have a choice. If you want to stick with just the basic everyday applications like office suites, web browsing and media playback with the antivirus running in the background, there’s the Satellite L40-A I0110 that’s powered by the Intel Core i3-3227U processor (1.9GHz dual-core with 3MB cache). The Satellite L40-A X0110 is for those who want more power to multitask and run demanding applications. It runs the Intel Core i5-3337U processor (1.8GHz dual-core with 3MB cache), which features Turbo Boost technology to boost the clock speed up to 2.7GHz if the applications demand. You don’t have any choice of colours, though. The Core i3-powered I0110 comes clad in a pearl white chassis with thin stripes and the X0110 sports a brushed blue and black colour theme.

The lid and palm rest are pearl white with fine grey stripes

The lid and palm rest are pearl white with fine grey stripes

Except for the different processors, the I0110 and X0110 are identical in configuration. Both the laptops come with 4GB of RAM and 750GB hard drive (5400 rpm), a good step up from a 500GB drive which has become a common feature these days. The only user upgradeable component in the laptop is the RAM for which a removable cover is present on the bottom of the chassis. A 4GB module is installed in one of the two RAM slots. The other slot can be used to add more memory. The Satellite L40 supports up to 16GB of memory.

There's room for adding more RAM

There's room for adding more RAM

Thanks to a 14-inch display, the Satellite L40 is slightly compact and much lighter than 15.6-inch laptops. The display is LED backlit and has a standard resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, which translates to an aspect ratio of 16:9. Despite being significantly more expensive than the I0110, the X0110 doesn’t feature a discrete graphics processor. The graphics is fuelled by the integrated Intel HD Graphics.

A large cluster of ports and exhaust vents on the right side

A large cluster of ports and exhaust vents on the right side

As for connectivity, you get Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi N and an Ethernet port for wired network connection. The Ethernet port, a USB 2.0 port and the slot-loading DVD-RW drive are placed on the left side. The right side houses a large cluster of ports, which includes two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, a D-sub port and audio jacks. The exhaust vents are placed towards the rear just before the Kensington slot. A small portion of the bottom of the chassis (where the processor resides) and the cover for the RAM slot are also vented to draw heat out of the chassis. Four rubber feet on the corners elevate the laptop slightly to add clearance for the vents and prevent the laptop from slipping easily. Similarly, thin pieces of rubber are stuck on the outermost edges of the screen bezel to prevent it from coming in direct contact with the palm rest.
Build quality and ergonomics
We received the pearl white Satellite L40-A I0110. Except the base of the chassis, the entire exterior, screen bezel and palm rest are glossy. Toshiba should have included a microfibre cloth to clean the stains and fingerprints—the L40 is one big fingerprint magnet. But when spotless, the shiny gloss looks very classy. 

The lid and palm rest have very fine grey stripes that break the monotony of plain pearl white colour and add some class to the design. You can differentiate between pearl white and plain white if you compare the colour of the lid and the chassis, or the palm rest and the keyboard. The sides of the chassis are glossy and the base sports a very fine ridged texture to go with the stripes on pearl white. You may not care how the bottom of the laptop looks, but yes, Toshiba has paid good attention to detail—the L40 actually looks nice even overturned!

Comfortably large chiclet-type keyboard and touchpad

Comfortably large chiclet-type keyboard and touchpad

On opening the lid, you’re greeted with the island-type keyboard and a large touchpad with a chrome trim around the borders. The entire touchpad is clickable and slightly recessed from the palm rest. The top left corner has an almost invisible icon that disables the touchpad on double tapping. The icon is illuminated (and visible) when the touchpad is disabled. The keyboard too is slightly recessed and the surface of the keys is almost in level with the palm rest.

The keyboard of the L40 isn’t one of the best. The keys have very shallow travel and you don’t feel too confident when you’re typing quickly. Thankfully, the keys are large and well spaced. You may take some time getting used to the feel of the keyboard.

The mapping of the function keys should have been done in a better way, so that you needn’t use the “Fn” key for alternate functions like media player control, volume control, mute and brightness control; Toshiba has taken the other way round. These functions are mapped directly to the function keys, and using the function keys otherwise requires combining key presses with the “Fn” key. So, “Alt + F4” now becomes “Alt + Fn + F4”. While this mapping may be useful to some, it can be a big hindrance to those who use a lot of keyboard shortcuts.

The overall build quality of the L40 is good, just that you have to be careful about the glossy surfaces getting mottled with scratches and fingerprints. Most importantly, make sure your hands are clean before using this laptop. The matte-finish keyboard isn’t easy to clean unlike the glossy surfaces—you don’t want the keys turning yellow or brown!

Performance
It can be said that the L40-A I0110 is a replacement for a basic home or office PC. The configuration easily suffices to run Windows 8 smoothly and handle most of the basic everyday tasks and multitasking with light applications. However, you will encounter stutter or slow-down if you run demanding applications or games. The sound quality is very good courtesy Onkyo speakers that reside under the elongated metal grille above the keyboard.

Model

Sony Vaio Fit 15E (SVF15212SN)

Toshiba Satellite L40-A I0110

Asus Vivobook F202E

Price

Rs 34,990

Rs 38,706

Rs 40,000

Weight

2.7 Kg

1.96 Kg

1.4 Kg

CPU

Intel Core i3-3227U, 1.9GHz

Intel Core i3-3227U, 1.9GHz

Intel Core i3-3217U, 1.8GHz

RAM

2GB

4GB

4GB

Hard drive

500GB

750GB

500GB

Graphics processor

Intel HD 4000

Intel HD 4000

Intel HD 4000

Display

15.5-inch, 1366 x 768

14-inch, 1366 x 768

11.6-inch, 1366 x 768

OS

Windows 8

Windows 8

Windows 8

PERFORMANCE

 

 

 

SYNTHETIC (higher is better)

 

 

 

SiSoft Sandra 2013

 

 

 

Processor Multimedia

65.44 Mpix/s

65.5 Mpix/s

61.52 MPix/s

Memory bandwidth

10.08 GB/s

10.65 GB/s

8.35 GB/s

PCMark 7 (Overall)

2272

2666

NA

CineBench R11.5 (multi-core)

1.9

1.91

1.8

CrystalDiskMark (Seq. read/write)

95/90 MB/s

96/91 MB/s

94/83 MB/s

Battery Eater Pro (Classic Test)

2 hr

2 hr 40 min

2 hr 10 min

REAL WORLD (lower is better)

 

 

 

File compression: 100 MB files to 7zip @ultra, Bzip2

116 sec

108 sec

118 sec

Video encoding: 1 min MPEG to H.264 (2nd pass)

86 sec

88 sec

87 sec

Ray tracing: POVRay (800×600,
AA 0.3)

58 sec

59 sec

69 sec

The battery life deserves a special mention. The L40-A I0110 draws power from a 4-cell battery pack that’s not removable. While most mainstream laptops last for a little more than 2 hours in the Classic test of Battery Eater Pro, this one survived heavy load for 2 hours and 40 minutes on a full charge. With light to medium usage, this laptop will easily survive without the charger for 3.5 to 4 hours.

Verdict and price in India

The L40-A I0110 is priced at an MRP of Rs 38,706, which is a bit too high for an Intel Core i3-powered laptop with no discrete graphics. Agreed that it scores high on aesthetics and comes with a 750GB hard drive and good speakers, but the asking price doesn’t justify the premium. It would have been a very good deal had it been priced around Rs 35,000. Or Toshiba should have included a discrete graphics processor or touchscreen. Nevertheless, the L40-A I0110 is a worthy consideration if you need a classy looking laptop with good battery life.


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