May 19, 2011
- Portable, attractive design
- USB 3.0 port
- Very good audio quality
- "Sandy Bridge" Intel CPU
- Strong performance
- Very glossy screen
- Ethernet is 10/100 only
The Toshiba Satellite M645-S4118X is a strong performing 14-inch laptop with a new "Sandy Bridge" Intel CPU with TurboBoost, 6GB of RAM and a 720p HD display. It also has the latest USB 3.0 port and Bluetooth 3.0 wireless, which help put it at the top of its game.
In total, the Toshiba Satellite M645-S4118X weighs 5.4-pounds and measures 13.3 x 9.0 x 1.4-inches (wdh), which makes it extremely portable and definitely easy to carry around with you throughout a long day's use. The design of the laptop is quite nice and the charcoal-colored finish makes it look sleek. The lid and deck have a matte finish, which doesn't show fingerprints or smudges like a glossy finish would.
The keyboard is an island-style design that provides a comfortable typing experience, especially since the keys are well-spaced and offer nice tactile feedback. Another bonus is that the keyboard is backlit, so typing in the dark is also comfortable. The 3.3 x 2.0-inch touchpad offers a smooth surface that also supports multitouch gestures.
The 14-inch widescreen LED-backlit display has a native resolution of 1366 x 786-pixels, which means it's just above 720p high-definition quality. The screen is quite glossy, so ambient light reflections are shown in the screen fairly easily. We also found that if you don't use the brightness at maximum or near maximum, the user's reflection gets in the way of comfortably viewing the screen.
Toshiba includes Harman Kardon stereo speakers, which are embedded right above the keyboard. We found the audio to be of very good quality and definitely above average compared to other similar laptop computers.
In terms of ports and connectivity, you'll find one USB 3.0 port (sleep & charge compatible), 2 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out, VGA out, a multi-format memory card reader, Ethernet (10/100 only) and microphone/headphone jacks. We really liked the USB 3.0 port and its ability to charge/power a USB device while the computer is asleep or powered off. However, the Ethernet port is 10/100 only and not 1000 compatible, which limits your local network transfer speeds. There is also a feature that allows you to plug in an MP3 player into the microphone jack and listen to music via the computer's speakers without having to turn on the computer.
In addition to the above connectivity features, there is also 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 wireless connectivity on the Toshiba Satellite M645-S4118X.
The internal specifications include an Intel Core i5-2410M "Sandy Bridge" dual-core CPU (2.30GHz& TurboBoost up to 2.9GHz), 6GB of DDR3 RAM, a 640GB 5400RPM hard drive, Nvidia GeForce GT 525M video card with 1GB dedicated memory and a Blu-ray optical disc drive with DVD+/-RW. We really liked Toshiba's decision to include the updated Sandy Bridge dual-core CPU from Intel and 6GB of RAM to back it up.
Performance with the Toshiba Satellite M645-S4118X is definitely admirable and near the top of its class. Multitasking is a breeze, video encoding is a snap and streaming online HD video is speedy and works without any issues. 3D gaming is even possible thanks to the discrete graphics card and 1GB of dedicated video memory. Playing a really high-end game, however, might require you to dial down the graphics settings just slightly for optimum performance.
Battery life is about on average with other comparable laptops. Expect to get about 4:30-5 hours of battery life depending on your usage.