Toshiba Satellite NB15t review

More power than the usual 11.6-inch touchscreen laptop

Toshiba NB15t review
Is this the budget touchscreen laptop to get?

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With all this hardware in tow, the Toshiba is more than capable for CPU a straining task like the image rendering Cinebench test. Better yet, the integrated Intel HD Graphics on the 11.6-inch rig managed to crank through most of the 3DMark GPU benchmarks tests with decent marks worthy enough for a tour through World of Warcraft.

  • 3DMark: Ice Storm: 12,603; Cloud Gate: 961; Fire Strike: DNF
  • Cinebench 11.5: CPU Performance: 0.58 pts, Open OpenGL graphics performance 3.45 fps
  • PCMark 8 Battery Life: 2 hours, 59 minutes

Although the NB15t is only powered by a Celeron processor, it's no multitasking slouch. The laptop managed to keep up with light image editing in Adobe Lightroom 5, working on word documents in Microsoft Office 2013, and tabbing between web pages on Firefox all at the same time. Things only started to hitch when I added on a couple of additional tasks, like streaming music on Spotify and downloading a game from the Xbox Store.

Toshiba NB15t review

Digging down to the benchmarks, the NB15t scored worse on the Cinebench test than both the HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11 and the smaller 10.1-inch Asus X102BA. Oddly enough, in the same test marking frames per second, the Intel HD graphics in the Toshiba fared much better than the dual-core A4-1250 APU-powered X102BA. Toshiba's portable rig lagged slightly behind the HP 11-incher's dedicated Radeon HD 8210 graphics card.

The NB15t also failed to complete the 3DMark Fire Strike graphics test due to a driver incompatibility. I hope this is a problem that will be remedied with a future driver update in case the same issue crops up in real games.

Toshiba NB15t review

Blinding but accurate touchscreen

Unfortunately, the screen on the NB15t errs on the blown out side. The overly bright backlight washes out colors even at lower brightness. NB15t users will also be hard pressed to share the screen with three friends, as horizontal viewing angles take a harsh turn at 45 degrees. However, looking at the screen from above, I had to get right on top of it before the display became indecipherable.

Toshiba NB15t review

The touchscreen on the NB15t lacks any dedicated overlay, but this was easily forgiven, thanks to its seamless integration with Windows 8 app tiles. It was also accurate enough for some point-and-tap adventuring in the Walking Dead Season 2 and more precise shooting needed in Halo: Spartan Assault.

The speakers, meanwhile, sound good for the price. The tweeters on the NB15t sounded decent when I streamed music through Spotify, without any noticeable tininess. But they definitely won't satisfy any hardcore audiophiles.

A keyboard in need of a drawing board

Design-wise, the keyboard is all over the place. All the main lettered keys are short and wide. The arrow keys were cramped into a corner with two dedicated page up and down keys, an odd alternative to them being a secondary function of the navigation keys. Near the tiny Tab and Caps Lock keys I didn't find the tilde. Instead, it was relocated to the right side of the left Alt key. It's like Toshiba decided to play Scrabble with the key layout.

Toshiba NB15t review

Luckily, the touchpad is much better, though a bit too sensitive to my palms while typing. Trackpad button purists, however, will be happy to know the NB15t houses two separate mouse buttons that depress with a firm click.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.