[Review] Toshiba Satellite S40t notebook

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Toshiba Satellite S40t

Toshiba Satellite S40t

Toshiba went on a no holds barred refresh journey of its notebook portfolio mid last year,  introducing the Qosmio X75 gaming notebook, the premium Satellite P series, the sleek Satellite S series, mainstream Satellite L series and entry-level Satellite C. Earlier, we had reviewed the Satellite L40 notebook targeted at students and entry-level users. Slightly higher up the range, we have a Satellite S40t, a workhorse of a notebook powered by a 3rd Generation Intel Core i5 processor.

Design and build

The S40t has a sleek profile, though not Ultrabook-beating – its exterior made of high grade plastic with a glossy finish. It comes with a single colour option – metallic silver. So sorry metallic pink notebook fans, you’re out of luck. The build and finish is commendable, although the glossy finish can be quite a fingerprint magnet.

The notebook weighs 2.15kg with battery in, which isn’t too much heft even in these days of Ultrabooks, ultra-slim 2-in-1s and tablets. You are talking about a full-fledged notebook, with optical drive to boot.

Toshiba Satellite S40t Toshiba Satellite S40t

Like other notebooks in Toshiba’s portfolio, the “ClickPad” trackpad is chrome-framed and off-centre. Around it sits a brush metal palm rest. Above the trackpad is the full-sized chiclet keyboard and a set of ONKYO speakers enhanced by DTS Sound technology.

On the right side of the S40t is a streak of ports – 2x USB 3.0 (Sleep & Charge), HDMI and VGA ports and audio input. On the left are RJ45 port, USB 2.0 port and integrated DVD SuperMulti double layer optical drive.

Overall, quite an appealing outlook, and looks more premium than the L40 I reviewed earlier.

Key features

The S40t review unit was the highest spec in the range, model S40t-AS102X. It packs a 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3337U processor rated at 1.8Ghz (Turbo Boost up to 2.7Ghz), 4GB DDR3 RAM and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M graphics card with Optimus Technology.

Optimus technology is Toshiba’s intelligent performance management technology that seamlessly and silently optimises battery lifetime without user intervention.

Beneath the glossy top cover is a 14-inch WXGA HD ‘Clear Superview’ LED backlit TFT display with a 1366 x 768 resolution and wide 16:9 aspect ratio. It isn’t a FULL HD display but offers acceptable brightness, sharpness and colour reproduction. Decent for movie watching and casual gaming.

The display is a 10-point multi-touch panel, a perfect companion to Windows 8.

Out-of-the-box, the S40t features up to 750GB of hard drive storage. For those seeking a boost in performance may want to look at a HSSD or SSD drive upgrade.

Toshiba touts the ONKYO stereo speakers across its notebook range, enhanced by DTS sound.

Toshiba Satellite S40t Toshiba Satellite S40t

More photos on Flickr.

Performance

The S40t shares most of its underpinnings with the cheaper L40, down to the processor, RAM and discrete graphics. So it is unsurprising that it scores similarly on the Windows Experience Index – 4.8. Like the L40, it scores commendably high in the gaming graphics department, thanks to the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M GPU.

There’s little to complain about the performance of the S40t in general tasks because it just runs. You’ll find it zips through your regular everyday tasks well – emails, surfing, social networking, spreadsheets, photo-editing, word processing, watching movies and more.

I did not experience lag when multitasking, and it even does well in casual games.

The LED display isn’t brilliant, and it would have been awesome if it offered higher resolutions, but as a whole, decent enough for your movies and games. Touchscreen performance is good.

I do like the ONKYO speakers, considering they are notebook-level speakers. Balanced sound with average bass.

The chiclet keyboard offers above average feel and feedback and is pretty comfortable to type on. The trackpad feels a tad better than the one on the L40, which I felt was oversensitive.

Battery life is decent considering it’s running on 3rd Generation Intel hardware. The “next-generation” 3Wh Lithium-ion Prismatic battery is good for 3-3.5 hours of use.

Toshiba Satellite S40t Toshiba Satellite S40t

Pros

  • Good all-round performer
  • Good build
  • Good audio performance
  • Touchscreen display is a plus
  • Dedicated graphics
  • Above average battery life
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Old hardware
  • Low-res display

Specs at a glance

  • 3rd Generation Intel Ultra Low Voltage Core i5-3337U @ 1.8Ghz (Turbo Boost to 2.7Ghz)
  • 4G DDR3 RAM (upgradable to 16GB)
  • 14.1” flat Clear SuperView HD (1366×768 resolution) widescreen LED backlight screen, 10-point multi-touch
  • Dedicated NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 740 M with Optimus™ technology and 2 GB VRAM
  • Up to 750GB HDD storage
  • 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0 (1 with Toshiba USB Sleep-and-Charge),
  • HDMI out, VGA, Bluetooth v4.0, RJ45
  • ONKYO Speakers with DTS Sound
  • Integrated DVD-RW
  • Windows 8 (64 bit)
  • 2.15kg

Full specifications from Toshiba.

The verdict

The Satellite S40t is a full-featured mid-range notebook that delivers above average performance at a pocket-friendly price. If you’re not too bothered about good looks and slight heft, the S40t may be a notebook worth considering.

It has enough expandability, performance and good multimedia features to appeal to mainstream users.

Pricing and availability

There is a total of six SKUs for the S40t with the Intel Core i3 version with integrated graphics costing RM1,999.00. The high-end Satellite S40t-AS102X retails for RM2,499 (SRP). 

Price includes a 1-year limited local warranty.

About The Author

Designer. Serial Entrepreneur. Blogger. Writer. Webhead. Tech geek. Twitter-addict. Mac advocate. Animal lover. Steve Jobs groupie. Footballer. Plays for KutipFC. Petrolhead. BMW fan. Alfisti. Chelsea FC.

  • Giant Jayne

    Hi, do you think this laptop is worth buying at this price? Do you have any suggestion of other brand laptop at the price of below RM2500 which is suitable for college student? Thanks :)

    • http://vernonchan.com/ Vernon Chan

      I recommend you have a look at the Dell Vostro 5870, better and updated specs.