While the Acer Timeline X 4820T brings lightweight portability and the HP Pavilion dv6-3112sa unrivalled power, the Toshiba Satellite Pro C660-16N aims at a much more modest target.

Its sub-£400 price tag makes it a low-cost option and, for such a bargain price, you get a surprisingly good deal.

At the heart of the C600-16N is a Core 2 Duo T6670 processor which, although dated, is still a solid performer. It predates the Core i3 found in the HP and Acer, but it's still capable of running most programs and dealing with multiple programs such as Word, Internet Explorer and photo viewers.

The capable processor is also backed up with a healthy 4GB of RAM, which helps speed up the day-to-day running of your machine. This makes it perfectly adept at basic home computing, but this is where the Toshiba's limits lie.

Sadly, the Toshiba only features an onboard graphics chip. Our lab tests showed woeful graphics power, which makes it unsuitable for anyone looking to edit video, play games, use Photoshop or watch HD content.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 250
MobileMark 2007: 190
3DMark 2003: 1877

The unassuming hardware inside the Toshiba Satellite Pro C660-16N, which puts the focus on basic tasks rather than entertainment, is also echoed in the laptop's drab looks. The whole machine is a charcoal colour with an attractive texture on the lid.

Toshiba c660

Lift the lid, however, and the flat featureless keyboard is revealed, which blends seamlessly into the flat black plastic palmrest and matt-finished bezel. It's a desert of black plastic and is certainly not for the fashion conscious.

Durable chassis

While it may look unexciting, the build quality is great, as you would expect from Toshiba. It feels solid, strong and durable, while remaining relatively lightweight at 2.4kg. You could carry it with you easily and not worry about placing it into a bag, but if you're looking to turn heads while sitting in the park or your favourite café, then look elsewhere.

The four-hour battery life is only beaten by the Acer, which is designed to be a true portable, and the Toshiba's processing power surpassed the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15 in our lab tests. Unsurprisingly, the Toshiba is in turn outclassed by the powerful Core i3 Acer and HP.

For this reason, it's hard to recommend the Toshiba. Yes, the Toshiba represents a huge saving and if you want a laptop for basic email and web surfing it's a great buy. However, if you're looking for a laptop for entertainment purposes, then the C660-16N is totally unsuitable.

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