Toshiba's latest range of laptops sport a smart new look, and the Satellite L40 stays true to its billing. It's a good candidate for a basic, stylish home laptop which just about ticks all the right boxes. But does that mean you should buy one?
Just last month, Toshiba updated its Satellite series of laptops with a brand new look. No, don’t worry, the laptops still sport a clamshell design, but its exterior’s a lot more snazzier than before. If you remember previous Toshiba laptops to be drab and boring, that’s no longer the case with this particular model we received for review. The Satellite L40 has a brushed silky blue screen lid and palmrest that’s pleasing on the eye, its two toned blue-on-black finish gives it a smart fit, and it definitely looks more expensive than its price tag. A pleasant departure from past Satellite series laptops, for sure.
Silky blue exterior and a chic new look.
Despite its alluring design and curved edges, the Satellite L40 isn’t spectacularly built, however -- its roomy keyboard deck dips too easily at several spots and so does the palmrest. Having said that, typing on the Toshiba Satellite laptop’s keyboard is comfortable. But the same can’t be said of its touchpad which is too sensitive and difficult to use early on – we have no complaints of the touchpad size in any way, but just its overall response. Unlike thin and slim ultrabooks, the Toshiba Satellite L40 is slightly bulkier and heavier, its 14-inch frame weighing in at around 2 kg. It isn’t petite for sure, but for a laptop that doesn’t sport the ultrabook tag, it’s acceptable.
The 14-inch Satellite L40’s battery life lasts for 2 hours 38 minutes in our benchmark test (at high performance mode), which is quite good. Under a conservative setting and basic usage (browsing the Web, working on productivity sheets, 50% screen brightness, etc), expect the laptop to easily go past the 4 hour mark. Apart from this, the laptop’s an adequate performer, multitasks with 3 or 4 programs easily, but nothing extraordinary. It will let you watch an HD movie (with an acceptable audio-visual experience), but don’t even think of gaming on the Satellite L40. Its glossy screen is nice and bright and does a good job displaying text and visuals, and onboard speakers are decent for personal entertainment – not too loud, not too noisy. This laptop’s an average performer, it doesn’t surpass expectations, and it doesn’t disappoint in any respect either. All through our benchmarking and testing duration, the Toshiba Satellite L40 laptop didn’t heat up unduly and ran at a fairly acceptable temperature.
The Satellite L40 comes with Windows 8 operating system. In terms of features, the Toshiba laptop doesn’t really miss out on any of the standard input-output connectivity fare. If you’re wondering whether this laptop comes with latest Intel 4th generation “Haswell” processors, it doesn’t – it still sports last year’s Intel 3rd generation “Ivy Bridge” processors. We really like the fact that the Toshiba Satellite L40 comes with a 750GB hard drive at this price – other OEMs usually limit their bundled HDDs to 500GB at this price point.
All things considered, the Toshiba Satellite L40 makes for a good basic home laptop that covers all bases and looks stylish. If you have a soft corner for Toshiba, by all means go for it.