- Review Date: 02/27/2013
- Bottom line: With its admirable performance, large display, and affordable price tag, the Toshiba Satellite C875-S7340 laptop gives budget-conscious users an opportunity to jump into Windows 8 without having to break the bank or settle for a bare-bones system.
- Pros: Affordable. Full-size HDMI. Decent multimedia capabilities.
- Cons: Mediocre battery life. Uncomfortable keyboard. Only one USB 3.0 port. Bloatware.
Design and Features
Measuring 1.3 by 16.2 by 10.6 inches (HWD), the Satellite C875-S7340 isn't exactly a petite laptop, but its slim profile helps reduce unnecessary bulk. Moreover, its weight of 5.49 pounds is relatively light for its size. This can be attributed to its all-plastic chassis, which is decked out in what Toshiba dubs "Mercury Silver." Its glossy lid and textured palm rest make for an interesting visual contrast.
The black keyboard and touch pad, meanwhile, complement the silver finish. Rather than sporting the island-style keys that are currently en vogue, its raised keys abut one another in a manner reminiscent of older keyboards. While the absence of backlighting is forgivable at this price point, the same can't be said of the keyboard's shallow travel and noticeable flexing. Taken together, the effect makes for a less than ideal typing experience, especially if you need to type something longer than a quick email like, say, a term paper. On the plus side, though, the keyboard is offers plenty of real estate, so much so that it even includes a dedicated numeric keypad. The touchpad sports the same textured finish as the palm rest and supports the usual pinch, swipe, and rotate functions.
The Satellite C875-S7340's 17.3-inch LED backlit display has a maximum resolution of 1,600 by 900, making it capable of supporting 720P content. All said, the display is easy on the eyes, and its glossy coating lends itself to bright colors and crisp text. Speakers housed in a horizontal grille directly above the keyboard don't go too loud, making them adequate for one to two people in small room. If you plan on listening to dialogue closely in an area with some background noise, though, you're better off using headphones. The Satellite C875-S7340 features a tray-loading DVD burner.
The I/O port selection on the Satellite C875-S7340 is on par with what you'd expect at this price. Like the Acer Aspire V5-571-6891, it only has one USB 3.0 port, which can be found on the right side of the system alongside a USB 2.0 port, VGA and HDMI outputs, an Ethernet port, and headphone and microphone jacks. The left side, meanwhile, houses another USB 2.0 port next to the system's DVD burner, and a memory card reader is housed in the front of the system.
The Satellite C875-S7340's 640GB 5,400rpm hard drive offers ample storage space. It does, however, come with a sizable serving of preloaded software that you'll need to wade through. It ranges from useful (Microsoft Office Starter 2010, a full version of Origin) to delete-on-arrival bloatware (WildTangent Games, Microsoft Essentials, links to eBay and Netflix). There's also a large amount of proprietary software (Toshiba BookPlace, Toshiba Media Player, Toshiba Disc Creator, Toshiba Video Player, and so on) and trial software (30-day trial of Norton Online Backup and 60 days of Norton Internet Security). While this slew of included software is forgivable since it ultimately contributes to the Satellite C875-S7340's affordable price tag, be prepared to cordon off a block of time to shovel through everything if you prefer starting with a clean slate. The Satellite C875-S7340 is covered by a one-year limited warranty.
With its 2.4GHz Intel Core i3-3110M processor and 6GB RAM, the Satellite C875-S7340 churned out solid scores on our benchmark tests. Its PCMark 7 score of 2,503 points outperformed the rest of its class like the Asus U56E-BBL6
The Satellite C875-S7340 displayed surprising agility in our multimedia tests. It completed our Handbrake video-encoding test in a brisk 1 minute 28 seconds, easily outpacing the Aspire V5-571-6891 (1:57) and, to a greater extent, the Asus VivoBook X202E-DH31T (2:15) and VivoBook S400CA-UH51 (3:00). Similarly, it breezed through our Photoshop CS6 test (5 minutes 47 seconds), nearly forty seconds faster than the VivoBook S400CA-UH51 (6:28) and almost two minutes quicker than the Aspire V5-571-6891 (8:43). The Satellite C875-S7340 also did fairly well on our 3DMark 11 benchmark tests (1,102 points in Entry-level settings and 204 points in Extreme settings), pulling ahead of the Asus S400CA-UH51 (1,101 and 187 points, respectively). All said, the Satellite C875-S7340 demonstrated a moderate capacity for media creation, so while you won't necessarily be able to make a living as a graphic designer, you can still tinker with Photoshop and convert movie files.
With its integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU, it didn't come as a surprise that the Satellite C875-S7340 was unable to produce a playable frame rate in our gaming tests. Accordingly, its performance in Aliens Vs. Predator (12fps with medium-quality settings in 1,366-by-768 resolution; 5fps with maximum-quality in 1,600-by-900 resolution) landed in the same ballpark as other systems toting the same GPU, like the Aspire V5-571-6891 (10fps and 6fps, respectively) and VivoBook S400CA-UH51 (10fps and 5fps, respectively). The same can be said of its performance in our Heaven benchmark tests (11fps with medium-quality settings in 1,366-by-768 resolution; 4fps with maximum-quality in 1,600-by-900 resolution).
Without a doubt, the Satellite C875-S7340's Achilles heel is its removable 48Whr battery, which lasted for only a paltry 2 hours 39 minutes on our battery rundown test. This came nowhere near the VivoBook X202E-DH31T (3:50), the Aspire V5-571-6891 (4:07), or the VivoBook S400CA-UH51 (4:18). Forget getting through an entire day of work on a single charge – you'll be lucky to get through more than two episodes of Homeland. In other words, be sure no to stray too far from a power outlet if you plan on getting work done.
The Toshiba Satellite C875-S7340 is a solid entry-level laptop that gives budget-conscious users an opportunity to jump into Windows 8 without having to break the bank or settle for a bare-bones system. It goes beyond merely having the capability to perform day-to-day functions by letting users also dabble in media creation. Still, it's not nearly as good a value as the Acer Aspire V5-571-6891, which offers a similar feature set for over $100 less. Nor is it as future-proofed as the Asus VivoBook S400CA-UH51, an entry-level ultrabook with a touch screen that only costs $80 more. That said, though, the Satellite C875-S7340 is still worth checking out thanks to its affordable price tag and ability to perform day-to-day functions as well as moderate media creation.
This review is in partnership with PCMag.com.