The Toshiba Satellite 650D: Adequate, Inexpensive, and Useful.
James Paul Zaworski
An unfortunate accident in July, which saw my feet go out from under me as a result of running down slippery stairs in my apartment in China, smashed the LCD screen on my then brand new Acer laptop that I had bought in Hong Kong in January. The Acer saved my life, but gave its life in the process, so I found myself in the market (again), for a new laptop.
I had some good experiences with Toshiba before, and though my ‘big Toshiba’ was still functioning, I knew it’s days were numbered. I was back in the USA visiting on family business in August, and did some shopping around online, as my time was limited. I ventured to Toshiba’s website, and saw some promotions, and decided to pick up a new laptop from Toshiba Direct. The computer I ended up with is sufficient, for the most part, for my needs. Price, features and accouterment encouraged me to purchase quickly, and I am pleased with my purchase. My review follows.
The Toshiba C 650 Laptop Specifications.
I was impressed immediately by the specifications of this computer:
1) The hard drive capacity is 500 Gb. That is an enormous amount of drive space on which to store data, and this computer is so much smaller than my last Toshiba, but has twice the amount of storage space. Indeed, I have room to spare for all of my documents, photos, and selected videos and programs.
2) Processor Type/Speed.
The Toshiba Satellite 650D has an AMD Fusion E-350 1.6 GHz processor. While the processing speed appears to be a little slow, the AMD Fusion processor is designed with economy of energy in mind, to maximize battery power, while giving good performance in the typical users computing needs. It appears to do so in this case, and in my experience. However, I have not tried some of the more sophisticated games that would put a strain or significant demand on the processor to determine its performance at the time of this writing. But so far, I can open several programs and there has been no significant slowing of computing power from this processor, so I’m pleased thusfar.
3. Size and Weight.
This is technically a “thin and light laptop”. At about 5.5 lbs, it’s not too big for me, but for others it may be considered to be big. It’s only 15” x 9.8” x 1.5”, which is pretty small if you ask me. However, the trend in computers has been smaller, faster, cheaper and better. This one is clearly on the cline towards the small.
4. Screen Size, Dimensions, and Resolution.
The screen size of the Toshiba Satellite 650D is 15.6 inches measured diagonally. The screen is an LCD, and so far it looks great. The display resolution is 1366 x 768. Pictures, movies, and graphics look great, but I wish the screen was a bit bigger, as I’m used to the previous series 17” screen, and my eyes have to squint a bit these days to see smaller screens.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
The Random Access Memory provided with this computer is 4 Gb. The RAM can be upgraded to 8 Gb.
I thought 4 Gb of RAM would have been enough in terms of capacity for the usual tasks that I demand of my computer for my purposes. This includes opening up one or two browsers, with several pages open, listening to some music, and a word document open or power point program open for editing or viewing, printing, and the like. My other, earlier laptops all seemed to be able to handle this with not much difficulty. This one seems a wee bit sluggish in this context.
So, I use a 4 Gb USB flash stick and dedicate it as “virtual memory” under the auspices of Windows 7’s “ready boost”, and that seems to smooth things out.
So, the RAM on this computer is a potential drawback, and perhaps it is just that my individual laptop has a funky RAM chip. I’m in Macau and can’t send it back to the manufacturer as I need this for work.
Perhaps it is usual and common to others.
There are only 2 USB ports on this laptop and I wish there were more. I need a minimum of 3 USB ports for my purposes (my 3 G USB wireless internet connection, a 4 Gb USB for “virtual memory” and a port for a mouse (wireless in my case). So, I can only do two out of three, and will end up buying one of those USB ‘hubs’ that can add multi-USB functionality to this computer.
Having two USB ports is a drawback of this computer. I didn’t look so closely at this specification when I bought it, thinking that it would have three, which is the usual case for laptops that I have seen.
Other Specifications and Features.
The Toshiba Satellite 650D has an Wireless Connector (Internal), a CD/DVD drive that is also burner for both. The Battery life is about 5 hours, maybe 6 if you tweak the power specifications.
The keyboard is smaller than what I am used to, and I tend to punch two keys together on this one, so I don’t like this aspect as well as other keyboards from before.
The operating system is Windows 7 home professional, service pack 1, 64-bit. Windows Office 2010 starter is included
All in all, the Toshiba C 650 Laptop is a very capable, adequate laptop computer. Despite its drawbacks, such as a limited number of USB portals and a slightly sluggish multi-tasking computing ability, this computer is sufficient for my purposes for work, communication and a little bit of play. It should be good enough for you.
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Amount Paid (US$): 299
Operating System: Windows
Processor: AMD Athlon (K7)
Processor speed: over 1000
Screen Size: 15 inches
RAM: More than 256
Internal Storage: CD-RW and DVD
Hard Drive (GB): Over 50