Toshiba Satellite Radius P55T-B5262 Review

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Laptop News, Toshiba Laptops

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Toshiba has been building solid laptop computers for thirty years. The question about the new P55T-B5262 models is whether they’ll be worthy of the Toshiba Satellite name. One thing that name implies is longevity, and it’s too soon to tell whether the P55T-B5262 will be as durable as older generations of Satellites. For now, here’s a review of what people are saying about using their shiny new P55T-B5262’s.

Specifications

Weight: 5.6 pounds

Processor: 4th Gen Intel Core i7-4510U Processor 2.0GHz

Display Size: 15.6 inch

RAM: 12 GB SDRAM DDR3L 1600 MHz (not subject to upgrades by user)

OS: Windows 8.1

Graphics: Intel HD

Features

* Graphics: 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon™ R9 M265X

* Graphics Card: Ram Size 2048 MB

* 1.0TB (5400 RPM, Serial ATA)

* Blu-ray Disc™ Rewriteable (BD-RE) and DVD SuperMulti drive

* Maximum Screen Resolution 3840×2160 pixels

* Hard Drive 1000 GB SATA
* Wireless Type 802.11bgn

* Number of USB 3.0 Ports 4

* Battery Type: Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)

* Average Battery Life (in hours) 3 hours

* Webcam: Yes

* Color: Aluminium (“silver”), Gold

If you like Windows 8…

The P55T-B5262’s tested come with Windows 8.1. If you prefer a less obtrusive App Store, “cloud” storage for everything, and a default to voice-activated operation, you can upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge.

Some users did, however, like Windows 8.1. “Great RAM & SSD & Win 8.1,” concedes the reviewer at C/NET [http://www.cnet.com/products/toshiba-satellite-p55t-b5262-15-6-core-i7-4710hq-windows-8-1-12-gb-ram-1-tb-hdd/user-reviews/]. For one thing, Windows 8.1 will work with the external disk drive (sold separately for an extra $100, but it lets you burn CD’s and DVD’s). Personally, I like that extra bit of security. Some things that work better on a computer than on paper don’t need to be in the cloud.

“Resolution Revolution!”

Walmart.com [http://www.walmart.com/ip/Toshiba-Satin-Gold-15.6-Satellite-P55T-B5262-Laptop-PC-with-Intel-Core-i7-4710HQ-Processor-12GB-Memory-Touchscreen-1TB-Hard-Drive-and-Windows-8.1/37016442] thinks the P55T-B5262’s main selling point is super-high resolution for pictures on screen. With 282 pixels per inch and “an indium(In)-gallium(Ga)-zinc(Zn) oxide (IGZO) display,” the visual display is Technicolor Color Certified.

Touch screens

That’s Hollywood movie quality pictures…as long as you keep your hands off the screen. But you won’t, because so many Windows 8 features involve touching the screen. If you’re so conditioned to avoid leaving fingerprints on the screen that you’ve been restarting Windows 8 any time a touch screen graphic popped up, this personal luxury computer will spoil all those years of good manners. You’ll spend a lot of time either cleaning the screen, looking at gorgeous pictures through fingerprints, or restarting your laptop.

Four out of five Walmart.com shoppers love being spoiled. Amazon shoppers are perhaps more conservative; although the P55T-B5262 gets an average of 3.7 out of 5 stars, it gets more 4-star than 5-star ratings, and eight out of twenty-seven Amazon reviewers didn’t like this laptop overall [http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Satellite-P55T-B5262-15-6-Inch-Touchscreen/product-reviews/B00KDIT95G/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_summary?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=byRankDescending].

Price

Since when was the Toshiba Satellite a budget computer? It’s meant to be a luxury computer, and if it does perform up to older Toshiba Satellites’ standards, the $1499 price tag will be reasonable. At least, if Hollywood movie quality pictures, touch screens, cloud storage only, company-forced upgrades only, and Cortana the Voice-Activated Virtual Secretary are features you want in a laptop.

Cortana

Microsoft’s virtual secretary became the default for Windows 10 because many users find “her” lovable. If you work on a computer all day and rely on it for entertainment after work, there’s a lot to be said for being able to use the computer while resting your tired eyes. Cortana, like Siri, was made for blind people and may keep other people from going blind.

However, Cortana is not always discreet and can be hard to shut up. If you don’t decide to disable Cortana permanently, be sure to teach “her” to address you as something like “Owner,” because, if you give her your real name, nickname, or screen name, she’s likely to blurt it out in public. She may blurt out information about what you’re doing, too.

What people love (besides the pictures)

* Easy to use. “Instructions couldn’t have been more user-friendly.”

* A real mouse, sold separately, is easy to plug in. “It didn’t even go through the ‘found new hardware’ thing…mouse was working within two seconds.”

* Sound: Lifelike, and “so loud my wife screams from the other room.”

* Backlit keyboard. You can see the keys while typing in the dark.

* “Windows 10 has been the most fun to make my own and play with,” says a Walmart.com shopper who identifies as “senior.” I’d be happier, reading his review, if he hadn’t mentioned “doing the checkbook and paying bills.” Bank information is not something you want to store in the cloud, especially “in retirement.”

Mixed reviews

The Toshiba Satellite Radius P55T-B5262 gets mixed reviews on several points. For a majority of users, either these features work as well as expected, or they exceed expectations. Considering how few user reviews are available for this product, the company seems to have shipped a lot of “lemons.”

* WiFi issues. The worst rating I found for this product was at C/NET, where the one user reported that the company offered to try to fix his WiFi, online, for an extra $70. Not surprisingly, that’s the only user review at C/NET. Amazon and Walmart shoppers who reported WiFi issues don’t mention any extra fee for repairs or improvements, so it could be that the C/NET customer lives in a WiFi trouble zone.

* Touchpad issues. Several users say their touchpads are excellent; some say theirs aren’t very good.

* Connectivity issues. The P55T-B5262 is designed to connect with phones, printers, cameras, etc., up to four at a time, and most users say whatever they’ve connected so far works well. Some don’t.

* Touch screen issues. Some people just don’t like touch screens, some say their touch screens work well, and some say theirs don’t work.

What you won’t love

* Expected battery life of three hours. Your mileage may vary and, while one user reported up to four hours between charges, most reported less than two…sounds like the 1980’s. Not only has there been no improvement in battery life, there’s been a downgrade–the P55T-B5262 isn’t even designed for quick replacements, even assuming you’re willing (or able) to carry around three or four extra batteries in order to use your laptop on the road. And the battery still seems to heat up fast.

* No provisions for upgrading or adding memory. If this model serves as well as earlier Toshiba Satellites did, you will eventually regret that. A good laptop becomes part of your life: you might want to upgrade it; you don’t want to lose it.

* Guarantees don’t last long enough or cover enough for this kind of price, and by now we already know that Toshiba does not support its laptops for as long as the laptops could easily last.

Conclusions

If you get one of the good ones, the Toshiba Satellite Radius P55T-B5262 should deliver enough of what you’re paying for to justify its price. “Lemons” seem to be numerous but can be exchanged.

Microsoft Aims to Replace the Laptop With its New Surface Pro 3

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Laptop News, microsoft laptops

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It appears that engineers at Microsoft may have understood the reviews for its previous products, as the Surface Pro 3 addresses many past customer issues. This tablet has many improvements, and most customers have expressed their approval, despite a few drawbacks. There is also buzz about this tablet actually replacing the traditional laptop in the near future. This assertion may be hype, as this tablet does not have all the features that would make it a great buy for people seeking a fully functioning laptop. For many others, the Surface Pro 3 is an exciting next-generation device that is thin, lightweight, and has many features needed for work as well as entertainment. There is a breakdown of price and review details at [http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/pc-mac/tablets/microsoft-surface-pro-3-1249750/review].

Surface Pro 3 Features and Benefits

The initial noticeable features about the Surface Pro 3 are its external dimensions. At about a third of an inch, it is very portable in almost any bag or briefcase. Microsoft also decided to improve the display of the Surface Pro 3 with an expanded 12-inch screen. This increase in length and width is one design feature that makes it so thin, as its electronic components are now spread out over a larger plane rather than stacked, as in the previous generations.
The larger screen allows for a much better viewing experience over the 10.6-inch display of its predecessors. This amounts to a pixel increase from 1920 x 1080 to 2160 x 1440, allowing for better graphics and a more useful device. Microsoft also redesigned the Surface Pro 3 to be more rectangular with an aspect ratio of 3:2 where the previous versions had a 16:9 design. This ratio makes it feel more like working on a standard notepad when using it in portrait mode. Additionally, the Surface Pro 3 may actually be able to display more content than the MacBook Air, which has a 13.3-inch display and a 16:10 aspect ratio.
At 1.8 pounds, the Surface Pro 3 is very light for its size, and that greatly adds to its intended portability. Its weight and dimensions make it a wonderful device for businesses that are constantly mobile as well as professionals who process and print forms while on the road. Where a laptop would be cumbersome, such behind the wheel of a delivery truck, the Surface Pro 3 would fit right in while meeting the needs of nearly anybody on the go.
The Surface Pro 3 includes an improved stylus that has been designed to feel like a traditional writing pen. One click on the top button and the tablet will activate with One Note loaded. The drag while writing or drawing is very similar to pen and paper, which is a significant improvement over the slick feel of many other tablets. Additionally, the Surface Pro 3 has a palm rejection feature that ignores a hand resting on the screen while writing.
While watching videos or listening to music, most tablets do not produce great sound because the audio ports are located behind the device. However, the Surface Pro 3 has addressed this issue by relocating them to the bezel, thereby sending speaker output toward the user. The audio ports do not appear to take space away from the display or add to the device’s length in any significant way, which is nothing short of brilliant.
Microsoft offers a new keyboard with many improvements over previous versions. The keys have a deeper travel with a better response, and it also has a redesigned touchpad that clicks when it is pressed. A new feature is a magnetic strip that allows the keyboard to attach to the tablet’s bezel in a way that angles the typing surface in a similar fashion to a laptop. It is somewhat perplexing to many users that Microsoft made the decision to not include this needed tool with the Surface Pro 3. Look up this site for a detailed review of the Surface Pro 3 and its keyboard. [http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/23/surface-pro-3-review/]

Surface Pro 3 Drawbacks

Reportedly, Microsoft has been working to produce a device that will replace the laptop. While their Surface Pro 3 is a step closer, decisions made at the company have made this device fall short of that goal.
The biggest issue is the decision to have customers pay extra for the keyboard. Even the highest priced Surface Pro 3 model does not include a keyboard, and that is unfortunate because it is a redesigned, much improved accessory that might have made this tablet a good replacement for some laptops.
Although the keyboard has been greatly improved, it cannot compare to those on larger laptops. People who type aggressively may have issues with its light-duty, some would argue flimsy design. The keys are gathered together on a smaller plane, so fast typists accustomed to large keyboards will likely make mistakes on this tool.
If you need a laptop and you run Microsoft Office, you will probably be disappointed to learn that it is not included with the Surface Pro 3 software. It can be easily installed after purchase through the Windows Store, but it will be a $250 expense over the cost of this device.
To read some great customer comments compiled from different retailers, go to [https://www.google.com/shopping/product/11138195311823132168?q=Microsoft%20Surface%20Pro%203%20Review&rlz=1C1DVCB_enUS336US607&oq=Microsoft%20Surface%20Pro%203%20Review&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8&prds=hsec:reviews].

Review Highlights

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 is a great device, with a bright screen, a thin profile, large display, and an improved keyboard, but it is not the laptop replacement that the tech giant claims it to be. Many users have expressed praise for its versatility, portability, and power as compared to their previous devices. A few customers have commented that it has fallen short of their requirements, as they were hoping for a full sized laptop in a small case. The Surface Pro 3 has gotten great reviews, but many customers have also expressed the wish that they were offered at a lower purchase price.