Despite being in continual operation for over a decade, Toshiba's Satellite model manufacturing record has maintained a steady chain of ups and downs. The inaugural machine of Toshiba's Laptops division, the Satellite has come under fire in recent years for being a lumbering workhorse instead of a steadfast steed. But the 2011 model has honestly succeeded in compromising the qualities depicted in the aforementioned equestrian metaphors. It's indeed bulkier than its competitors and a little slower around the track, but other than a few user-incited incidents that could cause damage, the Seattle Slew of cheap laptops is of all things a durable machine.
Bulk = Room to Do it Right
When closed, the Satellite is roughly 1.5 inches thick, which is noticeably thicker than most other laptops on the market. Bulkiness has been a noted problem of the Satellite for years yet attempts to change that have often resulted in models that were poorly rated. It's my opinion that the designers at Toshiba decided it was best to keep it a little bigger than the competition in order to ensure a more long-lasting laptop. I would like to see the compromise reflected better in the cost, but then again Toshiba included a few things that practically make what they're asking for look like a steal.
Blu-Ray You Say?
It's not impossible to find a laptop that includes a Blu-ray player for under $800, but the Toshiba Satellite is probably the only one you're going to find that has a Blu-ray drive that endures longer than two years. The bulkiness makes way for the addition of the high definition play back drive, which is a terrific bonus for anyone looking for a laptop that works well with car rides and can burn HD video. Despite the added awesomeness of a Blu-ray player, the machine is overall surprising light especially with the thickness included. Upon doing a poor man's weight analysis with the bathroom scale, I deduced it was roughly the six pounds Toshiba says it is.
Braun Over Brains
The addition of the HD video playback capability, 600+ gigabytes of memory, and an LED screen on a standard AMD processor means the traditionally slow Satellite is as snail like as it always ways. Then again it's faster than it's ever been, so as long as you avoid using other laptops and seeing how fast they run comparatively, you should be okay (kind of like the theory of relativity, no?) With that said, consider the different price tags. You might realize the "slowness" isn't so bad when you compare it to the way these things used to move ten years ago.
Overall: A definite safe pick. Satellites have a tendency to outlast even the most compromising of issues as they get older. For less than $800 a 17.5 inch LED laptop that will last you a long time is never a bad bargain.
This post was a sponsored review published at www.techolo.com