For some reason, my porch, as of late, has been bereft of packages containing products so epic that they require a review. Although reviewed, the Ed Hardy beer was anything but epic, but that is beyond the point. Anyway, since no one is sending me crap to review, I thought I would take this time to spin a yarn about a semi-recent purchase of mine.....
Earlier this year, I was in need of a new computer for work. Since I would be using the computer both in the office and at home, I decided to get a laptop. All I needed was something with a decent processor, a bunch of RAM, cheap, and was Linux friendly. Well, three out of four isn't that bad.
Unfortunately, I missed the one day of the week that the local computer recycler was open so I had to buy a new machine. After driving far too many miles to a home electronics store, I purchased a Toshiba Satellite L455-S5000 on sale for about $160 below the suggested retail price.
What I like about the laptop:
- Cheap: the thing was just under $400 after taxes
- Decent enough processor: the 64 bit 2.0 GHz Celeron is adequate for my needs
- RAM: while others may scoff at 3GB, my old laptop had 256MB so this is a big improvement
- The Screen: a widescreen 15.6 inch display gives me plenty of viewable space
- Weight: this thing is surprisingly light for it's size
What is adequate about the laptop:
- installing Linux was simple: through no fault of Toshiba's the machines internals work well with Linux ( with a few exceptions I'll discuss later )
- The six cell battery has about 2 hours of life while sitting idle: actually, that's crap battery life.
The computer seems to be a glorified protable DVD player with web browsing capabilities.
That's about the end of the nice things that I will say about the Toshiba.
Here is the laptop displayed with a standard sized CD and a US size 9.5 shoe. Look at the wear on that stinky shoe. Now look at the wear on the laptops trackpad and button. That is a year and a half on the shoe, and 3 months on the laptop. That stinks!
The reason this laptop was so inexpensive is that, in my opinion, it is a cheap plastic machine.
What I don't like about the laptop:
- The casing and the trackpad have the same texture: by feel I can't tell the difference between the two without looking where my fingers are.
- The keyboard feels soft while typing: I would much prefer a more tactile response in a keyboard
- the lousy Phoenix bios is not Linux friendly and most of the Fn keys don't work
What I really don't like about this laptop has more to do with Toshiba than the actual hardware. For various reasons, I use Linux as my preferred operating system and while it is quite easy to purchase a Microsoft-free desktop system, it is nearly impossible to purchase a Microsoft-free laptop, and Toshiba laptops are no exception to this rule.
Here is the highlighted portion of the big sticker that was on the wrapping that the computer was packed with. The wording is clearly in regard to Toshiba's refusal to refund the Microsoft Tax. In light of this business model as well as flaws in the machine itself, I can not recommend this product to anyone unless they are in the market for a cheap plastic laptop that will run Windows.
Bonus?: Since Toshiba adheres to this policy and Toshiba also insists on advertising "Windows. Life without Walls. Toshiba recommends Windows 7." on all of their product pages, I can only assume that Google (with their No Windows policy) will no longer be considering Toshiba products when it comes time to purchase new hardware. To which I say a resounding "That's Awesome! But what are you selecting instead?"
The review in a nutshell: decent enough hardware (mostly), but complete crap when letting the customer decide which operating system to install.
Now quit reading, and find out what kind of non-apple laptops are Google approved ( and then send me one to review. Ha!)