We've long been fans of Toshiba laptops, but the Satellite Pro C660-171 falls below the usual high standards of the Japanese manufacturer, due to a sub-standard design and a lack of features.

Whereas other manufacturers including Acer and Dell, have created laptops that are a pleasure to own thanks to excellent designs, this laptop looks considerably cheaper than it is. This is down to its very plastic design that you could only call functional, with the only positive being it's very hard to mark and will prove suitably durable on the road.

Usability suffers slightly as a result. The plastic keyboard is surprisingly flexible and the action of the keys is a little too stiff for our liking. You might not mind this, however, but we would recommend trying at your local superstore before you buy.

The laptop's screen is decent enough, and the 1366 x 768-pixel resolution provides a detailed enough picture for viewing photos and films. It's also worth mentioning the shiny Super-TFT screen coating is very reflective in bright light.

Features-wise the laptop falls short here. This laptop doesn't feature an HDMI video out for connecting to an external high-definition (HD) source, such as a TV or monitor, and you also only get 10/100 Ethernet. This is the slowest wired connection currently available, and those who regularly use Ethernet for setting up home or office networks will prefer the Gigabit connections offered on similar laptops at this price.

Finally, there are also only two USB ports supplied. Those who are used to plugging in a wealth of peripherals, from smartphones to external mice, will find this restricting to say the least.

Toshiba satellite pro c660

Decent performance

Nevertheless, the Intel Core i3 370M chip provides decent performance. Everyday users will have no problem running all their regular software, even concurrently, although the 3072MB of memory is a bit low for the price, making the laptop less suited to multi-tasking than the Dell Inspiron 15R.

Similarly, the integrated Intel graphics card provides limited multimedia power, although there's enough performance on offer here for entry-level photo editing, as well as watching films and streaming video from the internet.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 209 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 228
3D Mark 2003: 3807

The 500GB of hard drive storage is excellent for the money, and will provide a great deal of future-proofing for all but the most data-hungry users.

Portability is also just about acceptable, with 209-minutes of battery life available and a chassis weight of just 2.4kg.

It's hard to like the Satellite Pro C660-171 when it offers so little for its asking price. Splashing out a little more on the Acer Aspire 5741G or Dell Inspiron 15R will pay greater dividends.

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