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Toshiba Satellite L305-S5921: An Obsolete Laptop?

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  • Laptops
  • Toshiba
Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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May 14, 2009 6:48:15 AM

Yes, the Toshiba Satellite L305-S5921 is cheap. But it doesn't have dedicated graphics. And the 15.4" notebook is quite bulky. Looking through the specs made me realize, are those GPU-free desktop replacements now obsolete? I mean, if all you need is to surf and type out reports, a netbook would do fine right?

I'd rather buy a big laptop if it had powerful specs, especially since those extremely portable netbooks are priced similarly to laptops like the L305-S5921—but essentially do the same within a more portable package. Agree?

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a b D Laptop
May 14, 2009 4:22:16 PM

They have a niche for the people that like them. For example, imagine your grandmother trying to use a 7" or 9" screen. Some people like the screen size. Also, some netbooks may not have some capabilities that 15.4" notebooks do - watch DVDs/Blu-ray, output to an external monitor, output 5.1 audio, optical drives, etc. Some people may just want the bigger screen - it shows more things, and you can do work faster with less scrolling.
May 18, 2009 6:01:06 AM

^+1 Great points frozenlead! My mom recently wanted to buy a 17" desktop, even though I kept on telling her those kind of laptops are hernia-inducing. But she'd use it to watch DVDs, and really didn't like the small screen of my XPS. And personally, if those large so-called desktop replacements weren't so heavy, I'd get them for their large screens.
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June 8, 2009 5:35:13 AM

at 5 3/4 lbs, I'd hardly call it a so-called desktop replacement, really.
November 13, 2009 1:13:29 AM

Well I am a bit late in responding but I own one of these laptops.

My initial reason for buying was that I had some money, but not enough for a better laptop ( read I priced a good Asus with good discrete graphics at $800, but did not want to spend that much ). Said system also needed to use very little power as we're solar, and I would like it to run a much as possible. That was pretty much it.

The system came with Vista home premium, and since I beta tested Vista, I knew 4GB RAM was a necessity. So I ordered a 4 GB Crucial kit a long with the laptop. Total price $458.00 shipped.

I have played several games on this system, and even in Vista it is not too bad. Of course since we're talking Intel GMA 4500, we're not going to be playing any Directx 10 titles at huge resolution. Matter of a fact, newer games, may just barely run period. However, games like Titan quest, GTA San Andreas, Dungeon Lords, etc play just fine. GTA even plays maxed settings, with the exception of bit depth being set to 16bit. 1280x800 really is not that intensive after all.

In the last few days, I have retrograded to XP Pro, and Toshiba made this exceptionally easy by making all the drivers for XP available on their web pages. Everything works as before, except that I have had a problem getting the touchpad utility working ( app that senses if a mouse is plugged in or not, and shut off the touchpad ). So, for now, I am stuck with touchpad, and mouse. Not so much a problem now that I have a full sized keyboard plugged in.

Anyways, this laptop rocks for what it is. It has been very stable in either version of windows, and it keeps me entertained when we do not have enough power for me to run my 250W desktop beast ( that is how much power it actually uses from the wall while gaming ). Instead, this laptop uses only ~40W under full load. So, for $400, I got what I paid for. That is, a system that costs as much as the higher end netbooks, and performs probably 4-5x faster. I am perfectly satisfied. Well, except, It wont play Helllgate, or anything newer :( 
November 13, 2009 1:43:03 AM

frozenlead said:
They have a niche for the people that like them. For example, imagine your grandmother trying to use a 7" or 9" screen. Some people like the screen size. Also, some netbooks may not have some capabilities that 15.4" notebooks do - watch DVDs/Blu-ray, output to an external monitor, output 5.1 audio, optical drives, etc. Some people may just want the bigger screen - it shows more things, and you can do work faster with less scrolling.



Actually, this would make a perfect system for many professionals that needed a mobile system for work. I'd use it myself in the IT sector. One caveat however is that battery life is not exceptional. The battery will last all day if you're using it all day, for short spurts, and it goes into hibernation many times daily. Or, it'll last about as long as the typical DvD length movie if used all at once. Maybe 2.5 hours if you're lucky, and have it in low power mode ( screen brightness at 50% etc ).

The screen while not terrible does leave something to be desired. I find it difficult to browse certain web pages from time to time( lots of scrolling ), but I have this problem with 1440x900 as well. So, it is not perfect, but it does work. This resolution is fine for watching DvD movies though.

If I had to complain about this laptop; it would be about things I consider nitpicking. I say this, because I knew all this going in after doing research.

1) this laptop is a serious dust, and fingerprint MAGNET.

2) this laptop only has 3 USB plugs, and nothing else other than a cardbus slot.

3) this laptop only has VGA out. I would have prefered DVI, or HDMI.

4) While upgradeable ( read memory, and hard drive ), I am not quite sure you can upgrade the CPU. It uses the Micro 468 pin socket, so upgrade options are likely very limited. The Hard drive, and memory are very easily replaced though.

I could probably go on longer, but seriously, for $400, you get what you pay for.
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