While the Portégé range makes up Toshiba's high-end business laptops, the Satellite Pro range is a business series that caters for those who don't want to spend thousands on their mobile computing solution.

The Satellite Pro L450- 13R (£380 inc. VAT) is a comfortably usable laptop, but one that falls short of the competition in a few key areas.

The main one is performance – despite costing only a little less than the likes of the Acer Aspire 5732Z-443G32Mn and Samsung R530, the power on offer via the Intel Celeron processor is limiting.

Performance-wise, this machine even falls quite a bit short of the HP here, despite featuring the same processor and same amount of memory. Office applications will run well, but if you plan to multi-task them or run more powerful programs, the machine will start to show lag.

Poor graphics

The same can be said for graphical performance, as this machine also produces less power on this front than the competition, limiting the multimedia usability of the laptop even more.

There's enough power to watch DVDs, however, and the 15.6-inch screen – although not nearly as bright as the excellent Samsung – is crisp and clear, courtesy of the 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. A shiny Super-TFT screen coating is in place, but suppresses irritating reflections well.

The laptop is well built and the tough plastics provide good protection for the components within. The silver paint scheme employed is attractive in its neutrality, but lacks the impact of the Samsung – some buyers may consider this low-key look a plus, however.

toshiba build

The keyboard impressed us, and the spacious offering here is easy to use. The travel is a little springy, but we found it quick to get used to.

One thing that may put people off, however, is the lack of a dedicated numeric keypad - a very useful feature present on a lot of other laptops at this price.

The laptop provides mixed portability and, while the 2.6kg weight shouldn't be too much of an issue to carry around, the 173-minute battery life falls slightly short of the three-hour minimum that we expect from machines these days.

The 10/100 Ethernet is joined by 802.11n Wi-Fi and there's also three USB ports, as well as an HDMI-out port.

The Toshiba Satellite Pro L450-13R is a usable machine, but unless your performance requirements are anything but basic, then you're going to find the machine slow to use due to its low powered components. In this sense, it's quite similar to the HP Compaq Presario CQ61-402SA, but the latter boasts more 3D power – amongst other things – to push it just ahead.

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