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Toshiba Satellite P500-1DZ review

A powerful big-screen media centre, but unfortunately flawed against its rivals

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1680 x 945
  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Large screen
  • Decent performance
  • Audio quality

Against

  • Not as powerful as we would expect
  • Heavy
  • Keyboard

Toshiba's Satellite P500-1DZ is a big screen media centre, built for multimedia use. With its huge 18.4-inch screen, capacious storage and powerful graphics, it is ideal for work and play and a great choice for university studies.

The thick chassis weighs a back-breaking 4.5kg, so this is not a laptop you'll want to carry outside very often. The 210-minute battery life is surprisingly capable, however, and allows basic mobility.

The entire chassis is finished in glossy black plastic. While this creates an eye-catching style, it won't suit all tastes. The plastics are also particularly susceptible to scratches and smudges, and will require regular care and cleaning, which may not suit less careful students.

Glossy plastics are also used across the keyboard, although fingerprints are thankfully barely noticeable. The board is frustratingly spongy to type on, however, requiring a firm strike to register. All the keys move quietly and accurately, but usability cannot match its rivals.

Toshiba p500 detail

The large 18.4-inch screen features the same hit-and-miss approach. While its size and sharp contrast make it ideal for watching movies and doing university course work, it is not as bright as we would like, failing to match the Apple MacBook Pro and Sony VAIO VPC-F12M0E/B.

Sub-par power

While on paper the quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU should prove more powerful than all but the Sony VAIO VPC-F12M0E/B, supplementary testing revealed it to provide quite a low performance in comparison to its main rivals. That's not to say it is remotely underpowered, however, as it dispatches most tasks with ease.

Graphics are far more pleasing and bettered only by the Sony VAIO VPC-F12M0E/B. The dedicated Nvidia GPU smoothly runs the latest games and allows high-definition (HD) video to run with ease. Frequent photo and video editing is also easily possible.

Multimedia use is enhanced by the inclusion of stereo speakers from audio specialist Harman Kardon. Audio quality is among the best in the group and music and movies sound great.

A touch-sensitive control pad on the chassis's left-hand side allows easy control of multimedia files.

The 640GB of hard drive storage space is generous and will provide more than enough storage for years to come.

Microsoft Works software is also included, providing basic office tools to get you started during your studies.

While there is plenty to like about the Satellite P500-1DZ, when you compare it to the Sony VAIO VPC-F12M0E/B, by spending an extra £100 you can get significantly more for your money, making the Toshiba difficult to recommend highly against its rivals.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity640 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ModelGeForce GT 330M
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilitySemi-shared
Maximum Battery Run Time3.50 Hour
FireWire/i.LINKYes
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Product FamilySatellite P500
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli7-720QM
ColourPrecious Black
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameToshiba
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore i7
Screen Size46.7 cm (18.4")
Screen Resolution1680 x 945
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)4.40 kg
Cache6 MB
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyTruBrite
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Height41.5 mm
Width442.6 mm
Depth294.2 mm
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesP500
ManufacturerToshiba
Product ModelP500-1DZ
Product NameSatellite P500-1DZ Notebook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineSatellite
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberPSPGSE0SY02HEN
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.toshiba.co.uk
Marketing Information

High definition entertainment. The Satellite P500 is a powerful entertainment laptop delivering performance computing and a high-quality cinematic experience. Ideal for those who want to enjoy HD movies, downloads, music and games it features a large 18.4" wide aspect display combined with Harman Kardon speakers. Powerful performance is provided by Intel processors and the latest nVIDIA graphics. The Satellite P500 features a Blu-ray drive on selected models for Blu-ray playback and recording. Toshiba's unique Resolution+ upscaling technology is also included to upscale standard definition DVDs, downloads and other content to near high definition.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Satellite P500-1DZ Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Remote Control
Limited Warranty1 Year