The Toshiba Satellite P755-S5272 was tailor made for those who crave more performance than the typical laptop and who want to turn heads. This 15-inch notebook's Core i7 processor can blaze through any workload, and the vibrant 15.6-inch screen, Blu-ray drive, and harmon/kardon speakers promise lots of entertainment value. Priced at $949, the P755 also sports a very unique design, but it's definitely not for everyone. Read on to find out if this Toshiba machine is for you.
The Satellite P755's lid features the Platinum Fusion X2 design, an asymmetrical pattern of raised rows. Smooth, shiny gray bars along the top and bottom of the lid sets up an interesting contrast, while the chrome Toshiba logo rests in the middle. The design gives the notebook a pleasant texture that keeps it relatively free of fingerprints. However, we found the faux wood grain look to be somewhat gaudy, especially when the finish catches the light.
The notebook's interior features the same polarizing finish along with a shiny black keyboard. Two harman/kardon speakers, surrounded by a thin chrome strip, sit above the keyboard. The power button and the glossy black Media Control Bar are reside between the speakers. Aside from media controls, this touch-activated strip can activate Toshiba ecoUtility, a power management program, as well as Wi-Fi and backlighting. A backlit Satellite logo at the bottom of the notebook and a thin strip of light on the touchpad give the notebook an extra dash of flair.
At 15 x 9.8 x 1.1-1.4 inches, the P755 is slightly larger than the ASUS K53SV, the Acer TimelineX AS5830TG, and the HP Pavilion dv6t, but it can still slide easily into a large messenger bag. At 5.6 pounds, the Toshiba is lighter than the 6-pound K53SV but slightly heavier than the 5.4-pound TimelineX.
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Keyboard and Touchpad
The P755 has a large, well-spaced keyboard with a full number pad. The shiny, flat black keys provided firm feedback. However, oil from our hands soon coated the keys with a thin film, making the keys slightly slippery. We wish the space bar were larger, though; Toshiba shrunk it in favor of sandwiching the directional keys between the number pad and the CTRL button. Another point of contention was the keyboard flex that extended to the palm rest.
While the 3.7 x 2-inch Synaptics touchpad on the Satellite P755 provides plenty of real estate, it had trouble executing multitouch gestures. We had to repeatedly pinch to zoom in order to get the laptop to respond.
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Display and Audio
Watching movies and videos on the Satellite P755's 15.6-inch HD TruBrite LED backlit 1366 x 768p display was divine. The Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance YouTube 1080p trailer impressed, as Johnny Blaze's signature flame-engulfed skull billowed in gorgeous red and yellow plumes. When watching the Blu-ray of The Green Hornet, we noticed sharp detail, deep blacks, bright reds, and vibrant greens. Despite the screen's glossy finish, wide viewing angles made it possible for a couple of friends to watch the movie with us.
The audio from the P755's harman/kardon speakers was loud enough to fill a small room. Ledisi's rich vibrant alto, flanked by soulful instrumentals on "Pieces Of Me" was a delight to listen to, and Steven Tyler's vocals were equally crisp on Aerosmith's "Falling In Love Is Hard On The Knees." Just don't expect much bass. Explosions during The Green Hornet sounded muted, as did the AK-47 fire during the Columbiana trailer.
After we streamed a full-screen Hulu video for 15 minutes, the Satellite P755's touchpad registered a cool 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The space between the G and H keys was slightly cooler at 82 degrees, while the underside measured 83 degrees. We used the Toshiba notebook in our lap for over an hour without a noticeable temperature spike.
Two USB 2.0 ports, a Blu-ray drive, a headphone jack, a microphone jack, lock slot, and the power jack line the right side of the P755. A 5-in-1 card reader resides on the front lip of the laptop, while a USB 3.0 port, another USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, and Ethernet are on the left side.
The USB 3.0 port on this notebook supports Toshiba's Sleep-and-Charge feature, so you can charge a smartphone or MP3 player while the notebook is asleep. Plugging an MP3 player into the microphone jack activates Sleep-and-Music, which lets you play music through the P755's speakers even while the computer is hibernating.
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Webcam and Face Recognition
In conjunction with Toshiba's Web Camera application, the 0.3-megapixel webcam can capture video up to 1280 x 1024. Under florescent and natural lighting, images were bright but grainy. During a Skype session, our caller reported a noticeable amount of blurring when we moved. Audio, however, came through loud and clear with little echo.
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Toshiba's Face Recognition feature adds an extra layer of security. Setup took approximately 3 minutes, after which it took a quick 10 seconds for the system to recognize our face and log us into Windows.
A 2-GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-2630QM processor coupled with 6GB of RAM powered the Satellite P755 to an impressive score of 7,213 on PCMark Vantage, about 700 points higher than the mainstream category average. The P755 also beat out the ASUS K53SV (6,053) which has the same processor and RAM. The HP Pavilion dv6t and the Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG--both of which have a 2.3-GHz Core i5-2410M CPU and 6GB of RAM--scored 6,673 and 6,432, respectively.
It took the P755's 750GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive a somewhat sluggish 70 seconds to boot Windows 7 Home Premium, about 4 seconds longer than average. The Satellite continued its plodding pace when duplicating a 4.97GB folder of mixed-media files in 4 minutes and 17 seconds. That's a rate of 19.8 MBps, far below the 27.9 MBps category average.
Click to enlargeGiven that the P755 costs $949, it's somewhat surprising that the notebook features Intel's integrated graphics instead of a discrete GPU. Still, the system notched a respectable 4,460 on the 3DMark06. That's 300 points higher than the category average, but well below competitors with discrete graphics. The HP dv6t's switchable graphics (integrated Intel HD 3000 GPU with an AMD Radeon HD 6490M Graphics chip with 1GB of VRAM) scored 5,826. The Aspire TimelineX's Nvidia GeForce GT 520M GPU outpaced the P755 with a score of 5,340, and the Nvidia GeForce GT 540M-powered K53SV shattered the competition with a score of 9,319.
In World of Warcraft, with effects on Good and at native resolution (1366 x 768p), the P755 managed a playable frame rate of 37 fps. Still, the average mainstream laptop gets 68 fps. When we cranked up the settings up to maximum, the P755 scraped together a meager 18 fps while the TimelineX posted 30 fps and the HP dv6t gave us 26 fps. Once again, the K53SV beat all challengers with 53 fps, almost twice the 26.7 average. Gamers will want to upgrade to a configuration of the P755 that includes Nvidia GeForce GT 540M graphics.
On the LAPTOP Battery Test (continuous web surfing via Wi-Fi), the Satellite lasted a disappointing 2 hours and 55 minutes, more than an hour and a half below the mainstream average (4:36). The Asus K53SV's (4:02) Pavilion dv6t (5:02) and Acer TimelineX 5830t (5:41) all offer much stronger endurance.
With the Satellite P755, Toshiba offers a free 30-day trial of its Online Backup service, which provides 25GB of storage. After the trial, the service costs $4.95 per month or $49.95 for a year. You can also purchase up to 100GB for $14.95 a month or $149.95 for a year.
Other Toshiba software includes Bulletin Board and ReelTime, which provides a visual timeline of our recently used files. Toshiba App Place and Toshiba Book Place let us search for the latest apps and new books to add to our library. Utilties include Toshiba's PC Health Monitor, PC Diagnostics Tool, eco Utility, Sleep-and-Charge, and Sleep-and-Music.
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The P755 also comes with the WildTangent Games Console, Skype, Microsoft Office Starter, Adobe Reader X, Windows Live, and a 30-day free trial of Norton Internet Security 2011.
The Toshiba Satellite P755 comes with a one-year standard limited warranty covering parts and labor and battery. See how Toshiba fared in this year's Tech Support Showdown and Best & Worst Brands roundup.
Click to enlargeOur $949 Toshiba Satellite P755-S5272 features a 2-GHz Intel Core i7-2630QM CPU, 6GB of RAM, a 750GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive, and Mobile Intel HD Graphics, but Toshiba offers 23 different preconfigured models.
Consumers can purchase the entry-level $699 Satellite P755-5260, which comes with a Core i3-2310 processor, 6GB of RAM, a 640GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive, and Mobile Intel HD Graphics. At the top end, the $1,199 Satellite P750-ST4NX2 offers a Core i7 CPU with 6GB of RAM, a 500GB, 7,200-rpm hard drive with a Hybrid 4G Serial ATA and Nvidia GeForce GT 540M with 1GB of VRAM. For the same price, you can also get the P755-3DV20, which has a 3D display (plus a pair of Nvidia active-shutter glasses), a Core i5-2410M processor, 6GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive, Blu-ray, and Nvidia GeForce GT 540M graphics.
If you want to build your own configuration, the P750-BT4N22 starts at $499, and comes with a 2.1-GHz Intel Core i3-2310M processor, 4GB of RAM, a 320GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive, integrated Intel graphics, and a DVD SuperMulti drive.
The $949 Toshiba Satellite P755-S5272 offers great processing power along with a crisp screen and loud and rich audio. However, poor battery life and weak graphics performance keep this notebook from being one of our favorites. We're also not fans of the finish on this laptop. While you give up a Blu-ray drive, the $899 HP Pavilion dv6t offers better graphics, a nicer design, and longer battery life. The P755 is worth a look for those who crave lots of CPU muscle and serious multimedia chops, but you can do better.