Toshiba Laptop Satellite A505 Review

It appears that Toshiba is actually pushing this particular model of laptops out, and it seems that it’s being replaced by the line of A660s. But all model jargon aside, I did want to do a review for this for whoever might still be considering this laptop. They still have some at Best Buy, where I bought mine a few weeks ago. I wanted to model this review similar to how Best Buy does it. 5 being the best score, and 1 being the worst, here’s how I rate it:

4 stars out of 5

Pros: Excellent speaker quality and volume, great screen size, very fast overall, great battery life
Cons: A little slow at startup, fingerprint magnet, a tad heavy, not a gaming computer

I’ll start off by saying Toshiba is my favorite electronics company. Period. I have been satisfied with their products throughout my entire life. It seems like everything they make is well thought out. Their TVs, phones and basically anything I’ve used of theirs is good, maybe near perfect. Now, I cannot say that entirely for this laptop, but it is still darn good. A very quick review would be this: This is an excellent computer for everyday usage. If you are the kind of computer user who does not utilize very high-tech, high-powered software, this computer is probably very suitable for you.

For a college student like me, this is also a very good computer. But even that is variable. If you take your laptop to class everyday, the weight on this computer might be a bit much. It weighs in at nearly 7 pounds, and that’s before the charger and any other accessories. As is becoming standard nowadays, though, the computer does come with a built-in webcam and microphone, so right out of th box you can do video chats. This is also a Windows 7 OS, so it runs very smoothly. Although starting the computer up is a little slower than I would have hoped (although the desktop loads in 10 seconds, it’s at least 2 minutes until it’s done loading ‘background’ programs), the shutdown is very, very quick. Going to sleep and even turning a computer on from sleep is also extremely fast.

Because the graphics card is integrated (I am told with the motherboard), it has very little dedicated graphics memory. Much of the memory for graphics is taken from the RAM. Such is the way when the graphics card isn’t separate, like a Nvidia or ATI kind of graphics card. So, I’ll give an example of a game that does not play so well-The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The load screens are extremely fast. But the framerate definitely takes a dip anywhere but dungeons/caves. The game could run on a lower setting just fine, but it will just make the game look much worse. I always run the game in the highest resolution, as well. I wonder if running the game in a lower resolution but keeping the ultra high graphics settings would be okay. Either way, this is absolutely not a gaming computer. I knew that going into it, so make sure you do if you purchase this.

That being said, some of the good features are incredibly so. The battery life is nigh unbeatable-clocked at 6.5 hours, I get about 6 hours. I think I could get 7 if I turned the screen resolution down. The screen is a nice, big 16-inch widescreen, and it looks fantastic. The speakers are also very big, harman/kardon brand speakers. I’ve yet to find another laptop that has built-in speakers that are louder than this. It blows my old laptop’s speakers out of the water. And they sound excellent. This is also thanks to the great sound card-I feel like even my crummy $10 headphones sound a tad better than before. And I can’t mention enough how fast this computer is. I can have so many programs open with no slowdown, and I can load those programs in seconds. That’s what 4 GB of RAM does, and it’s so great to have.

The computer also has a bunch of little cool features, more or less thanks solely to Toshiba. The computer has 4 USB ports, one being a USB/eSATA combo port. That port also can be used to give battery life to a device, even if the computer is on sleep or completely powered off. It’s really cool. And just having 4 ports in the first place is so helpful. I don’t think I’ve ever used more than 2 or 3 at once, but it is nice to have. My last computer had 3, but one of them broke and the other one was more dedicated for the external DVD drive because there was no internal drive. This computer also has fairly little ‘bloatware’, and the Toshiba stuff is actually relatively useful. For example, it has a feature that temporarily moves the hard drive head in case of a sudden vibration. It will also move the head when closing the laptop lid as well. Mac computers have always been user friendly, and I know Macs have the ability to scroll up or down quick using two fingers, or act like Home and End buttons when using three fingers. You can imitate this feature on this computer, and can also use two fingers to zoom in and zoom out if needed. It’s extremely helpful for webpages and PDFs, especially because the screen is so wide. I really feel like Toshiba has thought of about everything to make this laptop great.

Bottom line, this is an excellent computer for everyday usage. If you’re like me and spend 90% of your time, checking e-mails, on YouTube, listening to music and using Skype, this computer is perfect. I probably never needed a fast processor for just those things, but it does allow me to do all these things at the same time, fortunately. This can probably handle most games that are 3 years old or older, but I would be weary of games that are within the past 3 years. Bioshock, for example, did not run so smoothly. All in all, bad aspects aside, I cannot think of a much better laptop on the market. Toshiba really makes you feel like you got great value for the price; just over $600.

Questions or comments? Let me know down below. Thanks for reading the review!

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