Toshiba Satellite P855-32G review

Great performance at a reasonably low price for this 15-incher

Toshiba P855-32G
Great performance at a reasonably low price for this 15-incher

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3DMark06: 8922

Cinebench 10: 10,980

Battery eater: 168 mins

While the Toshiba P855 isn't an absolute top-of-the-line performance laptop, the benchmarks show that it put in a very respectable performance.

It betters the old P850 by some way, with a Cinebench score 40 per cent higher, highlighting that the Ivy Bridge Core i5 gives it a significant leap in performance.

It falls just behind the similarly priced, but slightly better-specified Medion Akoya P6635 which has a third-gen Core i7 and a much higher Cinebench score.

Toshiba P855-32G review

The P855 can comfortably handle anything you want to throw at it; you can even expand the memory to 16GB if you really want to do some super multi-tasking.

As the P855's 3DMark score indicates, this laptop can handle a certain degree of gaming without too much bother.

It's not an out-and-out gaming machine, naturally, but it really held its own – Max Payne 3 at medium settings ran almost flawlessly, so there's scope here to play nearly all the current crop of high-end games, provided you don't mind turning the dial down a touch.

Unfortunately, while the P855 is certainly capable, at times it felt a little on the sluggish side.

We can only put this down to either a lack of an SSD, which would really make it extra spritely over the standard spinning drive, or – more likely - the fact that the P855 has been outfitted with an outrageous amount of bloatware from the factory.

Toshiba has absolutely rammed the poor thing with all sorts of nasties.

There's the usual security suspect thrusting its warning notifications in your face every five minutes, but otherwise it's mostly Toshiba's own offerings.

One of them even has its own dedicated launch button next to the keyboard, which instantly puts it in a low-power state mode. While this might seem useful for people who don't know much about the power-saving modes, is it really that hard to access in the taskbar?

As an entertainment machine, the Toshiba P855 certainly delivers.

It's got plenty of power, as we already know, and a huge hard drive.

But what of the screen? Sure, it lacks 1080p, but this is one of the nicer screens you'll come across.

The TruBrite display really does bring movies to life, making HD files look bright and vibrant. Admittedly, it does suffer from a degree of glare in natural light, due to its glossy nature, but this is an entertainment laptop at the end of the day – image quality is where it's at.

Similarly, the Harmon Kardon speakers help to reiterate the P855's entertainment intentions.

Whether it's movies or music, these speakers are crystal clear and have a very solid sound to them. As this is only a 2.0 speaker setup, don't expect a barrel-load of depth to the sound – these still feel very much like laptop speakers, but nonetheless you won't be disappointed.

Outside of entertainment duties, the P855 has a full size keyboard with a built-in number pad, which makes it very useful for work-related tasks, especially those involving lots of number input.

Having said this, we found the keyboard to be a little unpleasant.

Toshiba P855-32G review

The keys are nicely spaced, granted, but the travel is very short and feedback is poor. We might be fast at typing, but more often than not letters in words would be missed off, meaning we had to go back and make corrections.

The battery life of 168 minutes isn't the worst we've seen in this category, especially considering the beef on offer, but it's certainly not going to convince you to take this out for the whole day. Then again, it's much too heavy to carry around for long anyway.

Toshiba P855-32G review