Toshiba's Satellite range targets consumers with strong build quality and usability at affordable prices. The L450-136 offers impressive performance, mobility and software at a price that won't break the bank.

Although the 2.7kg chassis is quite heavy, it weighs marginally less than the Advent Roma 2000. This isn't a machine that you'll want to carry around on a daily basis, but its 193-minute battery life means you can work around the home or on the move when necessary.

The resilient build quality means this is a laptop that will ably take the knocks of family use. With a matt finish on all the plastics used throughout the chassis, scratches are kept to a minimum. The thick lid also provides ample protection for the 15.6-inch Super-TFT screen.

Impressive images

The screen itself provides strong images that match the Lenovo for quality. The 1366 x 768-pixel resolution ensures text appears sharp. Colour and contrast are strong, but black levels appear quite bright in tone, which leads to darker images sometimes appearing washed out.

Graphics performance is quite poor, despite using the same Intel GPU as the Advent Roma 2000 and Lenovo G550. Basic photo and video editing is possible and you can watch DVDs, but performance lags slightly if you try to run HD video or play the latest 3D games.

Home and office performance is equally strong, but inevitably fails to match the dual-core Lenovo. The Intel Celeron processor is a single-core chip, so basic home office software runs smoothly, with only resource-intensive multi-tasking slowing the processor to a crawl.

A real strength of this laptop is its comfortable usability. While the keyboard doesn't fill the width of the chassis, all the keys are large and responsive with a smooth typing action, although they respond quite loudly when typing at speed.

Where this machine stands out is its high-speed connectivity. 802.11n Wi-Fi provides the fastest possible wireless connections, so bear this in mind if you plan to regularly connect to the internet wirelessly. An HDMI port is in place for digital connections to an HDTV.

Toshiba

A VGA port, for use with older monitors and projectors, provides analogue connectivity. Market leading software for basic home office use and internet security is also included.

Although its large size restricts the L450 to the most basic mobility, excellent battery life, strong performance and great connectivity make it an excellent laptop for the home or office.

Just bear in mind the stronger graphics and dual-core power of the Lenovo G550 before buying.

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