Monday, May 17, 2010

Back at it. It's been about 3 weeks since I picked up my new laptop, so I think it's finally time for a review. If you haven't checked out my unboxing video yet, I'll give you a quick rundown on the specs. It is a Toshiba A500-01X, sporting a core i5-420M processor (2.26ghz, up to 2.53ghz with turboboost), 4gb's of DDR3 ram, 640gb hard drive (5400rpm), NVIDIA geForce 330M gpu (1gb dedicated), 16" 16:9 LED backlit HD display, and built in Harmon/Kardon speakers. This computer is all about speed, from the core i5 proccessor, to the NVIDIA gpu, this computer handles multiple tasks with ease, and minimal lag. Now as far as boot times are concerned, I wasn't throughly impressed. After switching to fast boot in the bios, and disabling some programs on startup, the speed was increased somewhat, but not much. Running multiple tab's in IE8 and loading hd videos on youtube is fairly quick qith the gigabit ethernet card, or wireless n connection. Rendering HD video, or applying filters in Photoshop is also sped up by the on board gpu. Reading and writing files to the large hard drive is about standard, not as quick as you would see with a 7200rpm drive, but sufficient for my use. The display is very bright and vibrant due to the LED backlighting, however some shades of red appear a bit pinkish, but you adjust to it. Now I have had issues with the display driver, and have not found a solution as of yet. The issue is that the display driver will stop responding and the screen will go black temporarily. This seems to be a common issue with the A500 series. Toshiba only recommended that I resinstall the driver, or to a system restore (I only tried the driver so far). Moving on the the speakers. This is my third Toshiba laptop with Harman/Kardon speakers, and as usual they are the best speakers built in speakers I've heard in a laptop. They are fairly loud, and clear at all levels. From watching videos, to listening to music, they perform nicely. There is one other issue I need to mention about this laptop. I've been having trouble downloading and installing certain Windows updates. It seems that I constantly need to restart my computer to finish installing these updates, but they never appear to install, also some will fail to download. All in all this laptop is very nice, and to me the pro's far outweigh the cons. I hope to do a video review soon, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading :)

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