Toshiba did a big refresh of its PC line-up mid last year, unveiling a strong portfolio of notebooks including the Qosmio X75 gaming notebook, premium Satellite P series, Satellite S series, entry-level Satellite C series and mainstream Satellite L series. I took the Intel Core i5-powered 14-inch Satellite L40 for a spin. Here’s Part 1 of the review.
Design and build
The Satellite L40 is considered a mainstream notebook, thus is bulkier and thicker compared to Ultrabook class notebooks out there in the market. It’s definitely not going to win any Ms Slim pageants with its 24.4mm depth and almost 2kg weight.
On the plus side, Toshiba has made its new crop of notebooks snazzier and curvier. The exterior is made of high grade plastic with a glossy white finish that makes it look a little more expensive than it actually is.
The large off-centre trackpad with chromed frame sits on a brush metal finish palm rest. I always found off-centre trackpads a little weird, and skewed to right-handed use (sorry left-handers). The Satellite L40 features a tactile full-sized chiclet keyboard. Above the keyboard is a set of ONKYO speakers with DTS Sound technology, hiding behind the metal grill.
On the right side of the notebook is a plethora of expansion and connectivity ports –
2x USB 3.0 ports, VGA, HDMI and audio inputs. On the left side, an RJ45 port, USB 2.0 port and integrated DVD-RW optical drive.
Overall quite a well put together package, with a pleasing if unremarkable outlook.
Pop open the glossy lid and you’ll be welcomed with the 14.1-inch Clear SuperView HD widescreen LED backlit screen that supports 1366×768 resolution.
Under the hood is the 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3337U ULV processor running at 1.8Ghz, bundled with an adequate 4GB DDR3 RAM. There are a dozen SKUs for the Satellite L40, and my review unit thankfully was the variant with a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M (with Optimus technology) and 2GB VRAM. Discrete graphics is always a plus especially if you plan to play games.
Optimus technology is Toshiba’s intelligent performance management technology that seamlessly and silently optimises battery lifetime without user intervention.
The Satellite L40 features up to 750GB hard drive storage and a barrage of expansion ports including 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0 (1 with Toshiba USB Sleep-and-Charge), HDMI out, Bluetooth v4.0 and RJ45.
Toshiba touts the L40’s multimedia prowess, and the ONKYO speakers with DTS Sound technology is a step in the right direction.
Something you’ll see less and less in modern notebooks is an optical drive, the L40 however includes a DVD-RW drive. Let it burn.
The Satellite L40 runs Windows 8 (64-bit) out of the box.
More photos on Flickr.com.