Toshiba Satellite L755 Review

The Toshiba Satellite L755 is sold direct from Toshiba.com as the Satellite L750 or in various online and bricks and mortar retailers as the Toshiba Satellite 755 model.  The Satellite L750 is a 15.6” screen desktop replacement style laptop that comes equipped with an Intel Core i3 or Core i5 processor.  One of the biggest attractions of the Satellite L755 is definitely the budget pricing it offers, making it a good choice for students or others that just need a basic laptop for the home.  The Satellite L755-S5271 model under review was purchased for only $499.99 at Amazon.com and comes nicely equipped with the following tech specs:

Toshiba Satellite L750 / L755

  • Processor: Intel Core i3-2310m (2.10 GHz)
  • Screen: 15.6” 1366 x 768 resolution LED backlit display
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • Storage: 640GB (5400RPM)
  • Optical Drive: DVD-Super Multi drive
  • Ports: 2 USB 2.0, 1-USB 2.0 with Sleep and Charge, HDMI, Media card reader, monitor out, headphone jack, microphone jack, Ethernet port
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • Wireless: 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Built-in web cam and microphone
  • Weight: 5.7lbs
  • Battery Life: 4 hours and 40 minutes
  • Dimensions: 14.96 x 9.84 x 1.48 inches (width x depth x thickness)
  • Price: $499.99 at Amazon.com
  • Detailed Specs: Toshiba Satellite L755-S5271 detailed specs

Difference Between Satellite L750 and Satellite L755

There is sometimes confusion due to the fact that Toshiba puts a “5” at the end of the model number of its pre-configured laptops and a “0” at the end of its customizable laptops sold on Toshiba.com.  Just to clarify before we start this review, what’s said here pertains to both the Satellite L750 and Satellite L755 models.  These are the same laptops in terms of build, the only difference is the internal components used.  Granted that can make a big difference between performance metrics of laptops, but those differences will be pointed out in this review when appropriate based on the section heading (bolded titles).

Toshiba Satellite L755 Packaging

The Satellite L755 arrived in of course an Amazon.com box and inside of that was a standard brown cardboard laptop box, the Satellite L755 was securely held in this box.  Along with the laptop itself was included the battery, power adapter, getting started guide and warranty.  Below are some images of the unboxing:

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Toshiba Satellite L755 Design

The Satellite L755 has what Toshiba calls a Fusion Finish Matrix Pattern design on the lid and keyboard area.  That’s a mouthful, and to understand what that design actually means a picture of the lid best exemplifies it:

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The design looks like a wide weave pattern, it’s more interesting than just a glossy finish but I can’t say I’m in love with it, it’s a bit too much for my tastes.  What the design pattern does do a good job of is hiding fingerprints, the coating finish on the lid actually reduces the amount of oil picked up from fingers and then the weave pattern just obscures any dirt picked up more, so there’s no constant having to wipe the lid with a cloth.  Around the screen area is a black glossy plastic frame, it picks up fingerprints but since you’re not constantly touching that area it’s no big deal.

Toshiba Satellite L755 Build Quality

Satellite L755 weight
The Satellite L755 weighs 5.37lbs

The Satellite L755 uses a plastic case, on the plus side this keeps the weight down to a reasonable 5.37lbs, quite good for a 15” laptop.  On the not so good side, the plastic build means you get some flexing in areas of the palm rest and on the lid when carrying it around or applying more pressure than you typically would just by resting your palms while typing.  I wouldn’t feel comfortable jamming the L755 in an overhead bin of an airplane, it seems prone to cracking if a lot of pressure is applied.  However, under normal usage of having this laptop sit on a desk and carrying it in a backpack (preferably not overstuffed with books) the plastic build is of no big concern.  You can’t expect to get an aluminum body at the price point the Satellite L755 comes in at.

Toshiba Satellite L755-S5721 Performance

This section is specific to the Satellite L755-S5721 configuration.  The Satellite L755 comes equipped with the 2nd generation Intel Core i3 or Core i5 processor technology dubbed “Sandy Bridge”, the processor you have depends on the model you buy.  The Core i3-2310m processor used in this Satellite 755-S5271 is a great option for a processor that doesn’t cost too much yet still gives you excellent performance on some demanding tasks.  The most processor intensive tasks the average user performs is often playing HD video streamed from online, this requires the processor to do a lot of decoding and if the processor is slow can often cause stuttering of video.  Thankfully the Core Satellite L755 with the 2.10GHz Core i3 plays HD video just fine, even 1080p video played back very smoothly with the processor only reaching 20% utilization while decoding the video.  Multi-tasking with several browser tabs open, Microsoft word open and playing video or music at the same time will be seamless with the power the Satellite L755-S5271 has.  If you want to attach the Satellite 755 to an external monitor or TV using HDMI and stream video there while doing work on the laptop screen that’s easy to do and the Core i3 processor can handle it.

I ran the PCMark Vantage system benchmark to test the overall performance of the Satellite L755-S5271, the score was a respectable 5,130 PCMarks:

satellite-l755-pcmark-score

Here is that score compared to some other recent laptops I’ve reviewed:

Laptop PCMark Vantage Score
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420 – Intel Core i5-2410m 2.30GHz, 4GB RAM 6,056 PCMarks
Dell Vostro 3450 – Intel Core i5-2410m 2.30Ghz, 4GB RAM 5,901 PCMarks
Dell Inspiron N411z – Intel Core i3-2330m 2.30GHz, 4GB RAM 5,285 PCMarks
Toshiba Satellite L755-S5271 – Intel Core i3-2310m 2.10GHz, 4GB RAM 5,130 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad T420 – Intel Core i3-2310m 2.1GHz, 2GB RAM 3,204 PCMarks

It’s just slightly less powerful than the Inspiron 14z (N411z) I recently reviewed.

Another common benchmark is the Windows Experience Index, the Satellite L755-S5721 scored a 5.6 on this Windows 7 built-in benchmark:

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The integrated Intel HD3000 graphics are the slowest aspect of the Satellite L755-S5721 performance, which is not surprising, this is not intended to be used as a 3D gaming laptop or CAD workstation.

Toshiba Satellite L755 Screen

The Satellite L755 has a 15.6” widescreen display with a 1366 x 768 resolution that can support up to 720p resolution video.  The display is very bright at the top brightness level and thanks to the glossy screen finish colors are bright and bold.  Movie watching is a joy on the screen, if you’re in a dark room you may have to turn the brightness down, it’s really that bright.  While the glossy screen enhances the color experience, you do get reflections on the screen if there is strong backlighting such as overhead fluorescent lights typical of offices.  The reflectiveness is at its worst when the screen has dark colors and you have a strong light source from behind you.

The viewing angles of the Satellite L755 screen are typical of other laptops, it’s best viewed straight on with the screen perpendicular to your eyes and at eye level.  It’s not like an Apple iPad IPS technology screen where you can rotate the screen in any direction and colors remain the same, the more the vertical angle changes the more distorted colors become.  Again, just view the screen straight on and this is not an issue.

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Overall I give the Satellite L755 screen a high rating, it’s excellent brightness and color contrast make for a very pleasing viewing experience.

Toshiba Satellite L755 Battery Life

The Toshiba L755 comes with a 6-cell removable Li-Ion battery.  While battery life is not usually a huge concern for a 15” screen laptop that will mostly be used on a desk, it is nice to have a good amount of battery life for those times when you’re away from an outlet.  I put the Satellite L755 battery life to the test by setting the screen brightness to the 3rd level, leaving wi-fi on and then opening a browser to a site that refreshed every minute, I adjusted the power settings to make the laptop screen always on and the battery lasted 4 hours and 40 minutes under this usage.  You could squeeze more battery life out by tweaking a few settings, but in general you can expect to get between 4.5 – 5 hours of battery life out of the Satellite L755.  That’s pretty good for a 15” laptop.

Toshiba Satellite L755 Keyboard

The most noticeable thing about the Satellite L755 keyboard is that you get a built-in number pad, that will please the accountant majors in the audience that like a quick way to punch in numbers.

Toshbia Satellite L755 keyboard

The layout of the keyboard is spacious as you would expect of this size laptop.  The keyboard is firm, meaning it doesn’t sink if you push down on it.  The keys are quite sensitive, which is bad if you’re a clumsy and heavy handed typist as it means more mistakenly hit keys but good if you’re a fast typist and prefer a light touch.  The feel of the keys is less than impressive, the keys feel cheap and it doesn’t feel like it would take much to get a finger caught under a key and then accidentally pop it off.   I also can’t get over how small the space bar is, I’ve seen larger sized space bars on ultraportable laptops.   Overall the keyboard is fine and usable, but nothing to write home about.

Toshiba Satellite L755 TouchPad

The touchpad on the Satellite L755 is  not inset, it actually lies even with the palm rest.  This can make it easier to accidentally brush while typing so I feel is a poor design decision, if you find it’s extremely bothersome you can easily disable the touchpad by holding Fn + F9.  The touchpad is a synaptics variety so you can do all the typical things such as pinch to zoom and scroll using two finger swipes.  Interestingly,  when I got the Satellite L755 the two finger scrolling was disabled and had to be turned on.  As far as touchpad sensitivity and functioning, it worked well in my usage and there were no annoying quirks such as a jumpy cursor as I’ve seen on other laptops.  I do wish the touchpad were bigger, for a 15” laptop it’s rather diminutive in size.

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The mouse buttons are fine, they’re of a decent size and easy to push, they do produce a click but not overly loud.

Toshiba Satellite L755 Ports

The Satellite L755 has the standard selection of ports you would expect on a 15” screen laptop, nothing more nothing less.  Here is a rundown of what you get on each side of the laptop:

Satellite L755 left side

On the left side is an Ethernet port, monitor out port, USB 2.0, HDMI, headphone jack and microphone jack

 

Toshiba Satellite L755 right side

On the right side of the laptop are two USB 2.0 ports, the DVD burner optical drive and then a power jack

 

Toshiba Satellite L755 front

On the front of the laptop is the media card reader port

 

Satellite L755 back

On the back side of the laptop is simply the battery

You don’t get the latest USB 3.0 port technology, but to most people that won’t matter as all the bases are covered with other essential ports.  The HDMI is an important port to most people today as it enables you to output video to a TV or monitor.

Toshiba Satellite L755 Speakers

The speakers on the Satellite L755 are just fine for spoken dialogue audio, but if you’re an audiophile that loves music then you’ll be disappointed by the listening experience of the two built-in speakers.  There’s little to no bass and at loud volumes the audio can get tinny or crackle.  For the best audio experience a set of headphones will do wonders, or plug in a set of external speakers such as the budget friendly Lenovo M0520 portable speakers.

Toshiba Satellite L755 Heat & Noise

The Satellite L755 does a great job of staying cool, while personally this laptop is heavier than I like to have in my lap, it does stay cool enough that you can do such a thing without burning your legs.  The fans also behave themselves and don’t get super loud, so if you plan to take this laptop to a lecture hall then rest assured you won’t drive your fellow classmates crazy with a noisy laptop.

Toshiba Satellite L755 Review Conclusion

The Satellite L755 (or Satellite L750 if you configure it on Toshiba.com) is what I call a very safe choice for a laptop.  It has just the right amount of speed and performance for the typical student or home user, it doesn’t break the budget and it’s design is decent though not stunning.  Is the L755 built as well as a business laptop or MacBook Pro?  No, but it also costs half as much.  You can spend $1,000 and get a nicer laptop than the Satellite L755, but will it be twice as good as the $499 you can pay for this on Amazon.com?  Not likely, so if the Satellite L755 fits your needs in a laptop, meaning you don’t need it to do any intense 3D gaming and you don’t need something that’s extremely portable and easy to carry, the Satellite L755 is it.

Where to Buy the Satellite L755

Filed Under: Feature Articles, Student Laptop Reviews

About AJ

I'm a big believer in the importance of technology usage in education, but not just having blind faith in technology gadgets and using them in a school setting for the sake of it. I review and write about technology devices such as laptops and tablets that have a clear purpose and provide a learning advantage for students.

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