April 16, 2012
- Affordable price
- Nice-looking display
- Solid performance
- Slightly thicker than others
- No USB 3.0
The Toshiba Satellite L745-S4130 has a 14-inch display that is backed up with good performance thanks to the Intel Core i3 CPU and 4GB of RAM. While it is slightly thicker than some other 14-inch laptops, it has a really great-looking display that makes it stand out from the rest.
The Toshiba Satellite L745-S4130 has an all-plastic body, which would typically make it seem cheap, but it doesn't. The lid has a silver diamond pattern that is very shiny and stylish without drawing fingerprints when touched. The keyboard deck also has the same pattern but has a black finish instead of silver. In total, it measures 13.3 x 9.1 x 1.5-inches (wdh) and weighs about 4.5-pounds, so it's about the same weight as other 14-incher notebooks, but a little thicker at the same time.
Toshiba includes a 14-inch LED-backlit display with a native resolution of 1336 x 768-pixels. We found it to be exceptionally bright and displayed vivid colors when viewing both images and streaming HD video off the Internet. Viewing angles were also very wide too, which is always a plus when more than one person is around. The display is quite glossy, so it does show a lot of reflections unfortunately.
Typing on the L745's keyboard provided an overall a decent experience with only a little flex noticeable. The matte black keys are not backlit, which is a downside. The touchpad supports multitouch gestures, but it's a tad too small for our liking, especially when you need the room for those gestures. However, the sensitivity was nice and provided accurate responses.
The port selection includes three USB 2.0 ports (one is a Sleep and Charge port), HDMI-out, VGA-out, Gigabit Ethernet, the usual audio ports and an 8-in-1 memory card reader. Noticeably absent is USB 3.0, which takes this computer down a notch in our minds because it leaves out future peripherals. There is built-in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and a DVD SuperMulti DVD+/-RW optical disc drive.
The Toshiba Satellite L745-S4130's internal components include an Intel Core i3-2350M CPU (2.3GHz), 4GB of RAM, a 640GB 5400RPM hard drive and Intel integrated graphics. As a result of its specs, it performed reasonably well in our use. The PCMark07 benchmark resulted in a score of 2,098, which is about on par with the category average.
Graphics performance with the integrated Intel Mobile HD graphics system does well for the usual computing tasks and watching HD video, but gaming is out of the question. Upgrade to a laptop with discrete graphics or dual-graphics to really do any 3D gaming.
Performance is comparable to the Lenovo IdeaPad V470, which also lacked USB 3.0 connectivity but offered an affordable price. For slightly better performance, but again lacking USB 3.0 and also HDMI-out, the Lenovo ThinkPad T420 has very good battery life and mobile broadband.
Battery life is an area where notebooks can be made and broken. The Satellite L745-S4130 lasted about 5-hours, which is right on-target with the category average.