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on 22 July 2014
tl;dr Even though the laptop has been discontinued by Toshiba, it is great value for money in terms of the features and specifications that it offers. However, it doesn't have a great screen and it's quite thick and heavy.
If you have any questions about it that I haven't answered in this lengthy review, then please feel free to ask.

Prerequisite: This review was made on the Intel Core i3-4000M version using the latest software, drivers and BIOS at the time of review.

Good points:
Fast and battery efficient CPU and GPU
Plenty of high speed RAM
Fast start-up and shutdown times
Good battery life
Quick charge times
Sturdy build quality
Well laid out and easy to type keyboard
Modern Bluetooth adapter
HDMI out port
Fast USB 3.0 port
Quiet fan (very quiet)
Stays relatively cool under a heavy load

Bad points:
Low resolution screen (1366 x 768)
High gloss plastic attracts dust
No dual band Wi-Fi
No Gigabit Ethernet port
Poor sound quality
Low resolution webcam
Low quality audio recording
Toshiba pre-installed bloatware
Quite thick and heavy

Now for a more in-depth review which I'll separate into sections:

Performance
The Intel core i3-4000M processor is Intel's 4th generation of processors which is able to complete tasks very quickly and has handled everything that I've thrown at it. Web browsing is smooth and fast, using multimedia applications, watching videos, listening to audio is very pleasant with no stutters or slowdowns. Any standard graphical tasks are no problem for the laptop and it can even play some games at low settings. For example I've been able to play F1 2013 on low-medium settings averaging at 37 fps, which is acceptable. However, if you intend to game then this is not the laptop for you.
The 8GB of DDR3 RAM included in this laptop is more than enough for most 'regular' users and even enough for some `power' users. It can handle tasks that need a lot of memory such as Adobe Premier Pro with no problems.
The laptop comes with Windows 8 installed which is upgradeable to Windows 10. I won't say much about WIndows, there are plenty of in-depth reviews out there.
Using Windows fast boot (enabled by default) and fast boot in the BIOS, the laptop boots from off to the start screen in about 10 seconds and shuts down in about 13 seconds

Display
The screen on this laptop is average. It's just as good quality as most of the other laptop screens at this price bracket. I think that 15.6" is the sweet spot for laptops as it gives enough real estate for content on-screen whilst still being relatively portable. The resolution is 1366 x 768 which just a bit better quality than 720p is (HD ready TVs). However, due to the screen resolution being fairly average it does help improve the performance of the laptop as it doesn't have to move around as many pixels which also helps battery life. So it is a compromise between quality and performance/battery life. The screen gets relatively bright

Battery Life
While the battery life isn't quite up to the 10+ hours from a latest gen MacBook Air or Pro, it is still good and lasts for about 4 hours of continual use for me (it will vary depending on use).
If you are using Windows 8, 8.1 or 10 you can open up the command prompt and paste this in:
powercfg /batteryreport /output %USERPROFILE%\Desktop\battery_report.html
This will generate a battery report on your desktop where you can find out all sorts of information about the battery of your current laptop/desktop.
Just a note, the battery charges very quickly, it takes about an hour to go from 0% to 100%

Build Quality
Overall I'd say the build quality is surprisingly good for a laptop of this price. I won't go into the aesthetics of this laptop too much as that is personal preference and can be seen from the pictures. Although I would say that the high gloss black around the keyboard and screen is a bit of a dust magnet. I'd have preferred a matte finish.
In the past a lot of laptops that I've used have had really poorly built power buttons for some reason which showed the lack of attention to detail. However, I'm glad to say that the power button on this laptop is better. It's big, 'clicky' and has a nice LED around it to show when the laptop is on.
The keyboard is another strong point of the laptop as it is also well-built with a good layout which makes typing quite easy, although it may not be for everybody as some may prefer a more 'clicky' keyboard.
The hinges on the screen seem relatively sturdy and the whole laptop seems like it could sustain a bit of a drop (haven't tested this though).
The trackpad is well positioned and the right and left buttons are sturdy and feel like they would last for a few years without getting stuck or loose. Just a note it requires you to hold the base of the laptop whilst you lift the lid open.

Connectivity
The Wi-Fi on this laptop is relatively good and has a maximum throughput of 150Mbps at 802.11n (a specification that most modern devices support). However I was disappointed to find out that the adapter wasn't dual band so I couldn't use the 5GHz network. Something I imagine that wasn't included to cut costs. The Wi-Fi range is good as I can pick up signal everywhere in the house and garden.
This laptop comes with built-in Bluetooth 4.0 LE which allows you to connect it to various Bluetooth devices such as a phone/tablet to transfer files, a speaker or headphones, and thanks to its support for Low Energy devices you can connect it to fitness accessories such as fitness bands, watches, etc.
A USB 3.0 port is included in this laptop (the blue one for those wondering) which allows for faster data transfer between external storage devices. With an external Toshiba USB 3.0 hard drive I am able to get 110MB/s read speeds and 85MB/s write speeds which is very fast compared to USB 2.0 speeds of 35MB/s read and 20MB/s write for the same drive. By the way this USB 3.0 port is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices.
An Ethernet port is included in this laptop which allows you to connect to the internet via wire. I was disappointed with this to find out that it was not a Gigabit Ethernet port and was only 100Mbps. Having said that it becomes irrelevant if you connect to the internet via Wi-Fi all the time.
A good point about this laptop is that it has a HDMI port which allows you to connect it to an external display to either mirror or extend the content that is on the laptop screen. Great if you want to use the laptop as a media player for playing films through the TV.

Sound/Webcam
The sound quality is poor but it is somewhat expected for a laptop of this price. It sounds very `tinny', has very little bass and the volume isn't all too loud either.
The webcam is also poor with low quality audio and pictures. The pictures taken are a mere 0.9MP which looks poor even in good lighting. The audio is recorded at 96 kbps and is mono, which doesn't sound very good. These are things that have had to be cut back to sell this laptop for such a good price. However the video quality is not too bad as it records at 1280x720 (720p HD) at 30fps.

Heat/Disc Drive
Whilst gaming for a few hours I recorded the temperature of the CPU and it didn't go any higher than 66° Celsius which is a completely acceptable temperature. Bear in mind though that the CPU wasn't constantly at full load. A safe temperature is usually considered anything below 80° Celsius which I don't think this laptop would exceed.
The fan is very quiet, especially at idle and it is still quiet at full load. Very impressive.
The disc drive can read and write to CDs and DVDs and is relatively quiet in comparison to some other laptops.
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on 17 March 2014
Bought this for my wife to replacing an ageing Dell laptop at xmas. She was very pleased with it. It has a great piano black highly shiny surface that looks great. The screen is very vibrant and is great for movies too. The only downside has been the Fisher Price style OS installed (Windows 8) and whilst Windows 8.1 update tries to give you back some of that old Windows 7 style, it just wasn't what we were looking for, so still having a copy of Win 7 I decided to wipe it and install that instead... and I'm so happy I did.

The laptop seems to me and my wife to run much faster under 7 than 8.1

It comes with a hard disk that even I would take some time to fill (1TB -- my apple macbook air has only 256GB) and the CPU and memory are more than sufficiently fast for browsing the web, office documents or watching movies on the plane. Battery life is pleasantly surprising as I noticed one day using it for almost 5 hours unplugged without even noticing my power supply was unplugged.

My wife loves the keyboard with number pad too since small keyboards can make your fingers hurt a bit after a while, and number pads make crunching the numbers so much easier. All in all a very tidy laptop and a decent price, very impressed.
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on 4 December 2013
Only 4 stars since I have only had it today. Moved to review because it is so smooth. Arrived a day early (it took 3 days standard delivery) and parcelled well. Starting up, and using functions within 5 minutes. Absolute breeze.

Best things:
Screen
Connections (USB3 etc)
Some Tosh software - I like the sound adjustments and the monitoring/eco stuff
Quiet
Extremely easy to get going
Everything works
Got all my standard downloads done each in seconds (this is processor/architecture/8gb RAM/1 terabyte HDD combining to install (e.g.) Free AVG (uninstalled the bundled McAfee - cos I have used AVG for 10 years with no trouble)/CCleaner/Kingsoft (why buy Office?) all within an hour and mostly taking seconds to download and install.

Nearly bad things:
W8 is not everyone's cuppa. It is because we are not used to it, but I had had some practice on my phone. Once experienced it will be fine, I think.
The near 'trap' of pushing Office - a Windows thing not Toshiba's fault.
Too shiny - did I really say that?
Pentium inside sticker slightly askew.

Had use of several Tosh satellites before (Mrs/work etc)and cannot fault them.

This laptop is severely good value at £386 delivered.

Hopefully it lasts another day!

UPDATE 2 months on
Still cannot fault this machine. Like the key spacing. Comfortably capable. Got many programmes open and 9 or 10 internet tabs. Nothing phases it. Beginning to warm to Windows 8.1.

UPDATE 2 months and 10 minutes on - forgot to say it is quiet. Very quiet. Added the 5th star.
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VINE VOICEon 14 March 2014
Style Name: Intel Core i3-4000M|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Something of an initial review, as I have not had the item that long, but enough to give some details.
Out of the box, very nice and easy to use, and to set up
STOP BEFORE YOU GO TO FAR
And do yourself a favour, my laptop came with Windows 8 installed and an option to upgrade to 8.1 - DO THAT FROM THE MAIN SCREEN before you spend hours personalizing the machine, and need a redo after the 8.1 install.
OK, back to basics.
NICE keyboard, maybe a personal observation but it's one of the nicest I used.
Very clear screen, easy and intuitive mouse pad, nice webcam, and even the installed software isn't too bad.
A little word of advice here about the included Microsoft Office products, they are short term "demo's" only, they will require a licence key to activate fully.
If this machine is for a student, shell out the extra and buy the licence, if that's not an option for you, go to Control Panel/Programs?Uninstall a program and get rid of it, and then go to openoffice.org for the next best thing (and it's free).
8GB of RAM and 1TBB hard drive should be enough for ANYONE for normal laptop, school, or office work, it's very fast.
Chip set is more than capable, this isn't a graphics powerhouse, but then again it isn't supposed not be, especially at this price.
AV installed is McAfee, I'm not getting into the whole AV debate, keep it or replace it, I actually upgraded mine to three years with the existing McAfee, will probably mean less conflict issues down the line, and was reasonably priced.
DVD drive is nice, as is the HDMI out and USB 3.0 for those with compatible add ons, or AV needs.
Another thing to note is the extremely quiet fan, the unit does get warm, and I would recommend a cooling pad if you have one.
All in all, it's really a nice machine, and very keenly priced.
I recently purchased and tested a Lenovo G500 15.6-inch Laptop - Black (Intel Pentium 2020M 2.4GHz Processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, DVDRW, LAN, WLAN, BT, Webcam, Integrated Graphics, Windows 8 Home Premium) for a family member, and was equally impressed with that machine.
However, considering this is double the RAM and HDD capacity for just under a hundred quid extra, it's not that tough a decision.
With the rise in popularity of the tablet and iPad's and phones, it's a buyers market for PC's and Laptops right now, this is a pretty good place to start.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 April 2014
I bought this (not from Amazon) to replace my Dell laptop. I did ask advice from a friend who is good with pc's as I am not pc literate at all.

The only problem I had was with Windows 8. I just can't get to grips with it so instead, I work off the 'Desktop' feature which is basically same as Windows 7.

I only use my laptop for internet shopping, emails and facebook etc so I can't go into all the other technical stuff it does but I am pleased with the battery life and the keyboard is a good size. I have used it to watch stuff on Iplayer etc and the screen quality is good. It is sometimes slow to catch up with how fast I type and I would prefer the keys to be a bit 'looser', I find they are a bit stiff but I wouldn't have thought that was a problem for people who don't 'touch type'. I like the added bonus of the number pad to the side. The built in mouse is easy to use.

All in all, I'm very pleased with my purchase and the spec. It's a lot better than my old Dell. I would buy Toshiba again.
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on 19 April 2014
When you read the reviews, look at the number of people who mention replacing their Dell. Not with another Dell. I paid over a thousand pounds for a Dell XP and it was a turkey from the start. This time I had to look a bit lower in price and came up with this one. Not only does it cost £600 less than its predecessor, it is better. Better in everything except for Windows 8.1, which is like a plague of boils in an intimate body place. You can mitigate 8.1 by getting a little free piece of software called Classic Shell. Please, if you do, it is your responsibility to know what you are doing, but as far as I know, Classic Shell is kosher and does the job of returning some of the characteristics of Windows XP and 7.

What did I want this for? I wanted the usual things, plus streaming Netflix, which it does well, in HD. The screen suffers from some fading if you get the vertical angle wrong, but it is not an issue. Certainly not at this price. I was able to install my Microsoft Office, Home and Student edition with no problems, except that 8.1 decided to force a shut down for updates in the middle of installation and there was nothing I could do to stop it. It did, however, resume successfully.

How fast is it? Well, after the egregious Dell, that had a Core i5, the technology has caught up and this laptop does an awful lot with the combined resources of a Core i3, 8 MB of RAM and other stuff. (I am not a geek). Essentially, it does the job without any noticeable sluggishness.

What are the alternatives? I considered an Acer and sent in a question about it. The answer arrived today - over a week since I sent it. So, it kind of gives you an idea about how keen Acer is with customers.

Other observations. The keyboard is skewed to the left and does not appear to have a backlight, but I am a touch typist and I have started to get to grips with this. The keys are responsive and not clacky or plasticky, so full marks there. The screen picks out all the wrinkles the actors of my favourite Netflix shows, but as I said, you have to angle the screen to get the full effect. Overall, it is quick and trouble free. The sound quality is tinny if you rely on the onboard speakers, but if you modify the settings and use external speakers, the sound is A1. In fact, it is the best sound I have heard from a laptop, especially if you make sure the frequency settings are on the best quality. A word about bloatware. Like most laptops, the Tosh comes loaded with stuff that just wants you to buy things. Most of it is, to put it politely, rubbish. You can uninstall nearly all of it, and I have. This is easy to do, which is something of a relief. You cannot get rid of Skydrive, but you can disable it. As for McAfee, I have had dealings with them in the past, and I shall probably uninstall it (with great difficulty) when they try and get me to pay for it. There are plenty of free antivirus programs that do the job. The only other bad thing - not Toshiba's fault, is the email program. Microsoft should be shot for this and I still haven't figured out how to deal with it. (Any suggestions welcomed)*

I spent two days glued to the internet in an attempt to get the best value for money and to have a laptop that did not make me think I had made a big mistake. I do not regret my choice at all.

All in all, if you are on a tight budget, this laptop is a strong contender. I only give it four stars because of Windows 8 and the rotten bloatware.

Update at 23rd April. After struggling with Windows 8.1 mail program,I decided to install my preferred mail platform - Windows Live Mail 2012. (This can be downloaded from Microsoft)Finally, I have my contacts and groups under control and Live Mail automatically updated everything and no data was lost.

Update at 29 May, 2014: I forgot to mention how quiet it is.
It is still a marvelous machine.
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on 27 January 2014
I bought this laptop as an updated version of a previous Toshiba laptop. I like the layout , finish and tile keys, however I don't like the latest version of windows which is of no fault of Toshiba, I think windows are producing inferior programmes in their haste to improve.
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on 25 July 2014
It's so fast The screen quality is very good and the screen is a very good size but the sound isn't good, which is slightly disappointing.

When you listening to something the sound is quite hollow and there's no base but after messing around with the DTS sound settings it's seems better, make sure you turn off EQ it's sounds better with it off.

I'm disappointed in the build quality it's made completely out of plastic so it makes it look cheap and it makes it feel cheap too and it's a fingerprint magnet it's not worth £400 so I wouldn't buy this unfortunately but if you ok with having the build made of plastic and the price then I would get this if not it's not worth it.

I'm a bit of a expert with computers so I thought Windows 8.1 wouldn't be a problem for me but It's was a bit confusing coming from coming from a windows 7 laptop but I've already got used to it after 3 days! plus it's 8.1 so it's easier then Windows 8

Plus it's fast for gaming so I don't have any problems with playing heavy intensive games

Battery life is good it's lasts about 4 hours and the computer is always nice and cool.

Make sure you call Toshiba to activate the warranty!
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on 13 May 2014
I'm using this for development and it's good enough to comfortably run Eclipse and an application server. The only other thing I do with it is stream movies on netflix and amazon.
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on 4 June 2014
I chose this laptop to replace my old HP Pavilion, which also gave me chance to upgrade my software from XP to Windows 8.1.
The specification appeared to offer the best speed and performance in comparison to other similarly priced laptops. Since it arrived on time I have found that it has more than lived up to expectations as a good all round performer and would recommended it to novices and experienced users alike. The only downside I have experienced, is that Windows 8.1 is not compatible with my 7 year old Lexmark 4300 printer, but I can still use my old laptop for that purpose until I get round to upgrading my printer.
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