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Fusion X2, We Won't Miss You

Toshiba's Fusion and Fusion X2 finishes are long in the tooth, and unfortunately the Satellite P755D continues the trend with the Fusion X2. Texturing glossy plastic mitigates a lot of the issues with using the material in the first place, but the shell as a whole still looks very bulbous and busy, and Toshiba continues to use a glossy black plastic in (IMO) the worst place a designer can put it: the screen bezel.

Where Toshiba continues to do a decent job is with the keyboard, though. With the success of the Portege line, Toshiba started transitioning the rest of their notebooks to chiclet keyboards that are substantially improved over the flat glossy keycaps of their predecessors. While I'm still not overjoyed with the use of glossy plastic in the construction of these keycaps (or Toshiba's insistence that these are premium when the matte keyboards they use in less expensive notebooks are actually superior to the touch), the layout of the keyboard continues to be one of the more traditional (and one of the smarter) ones on the market. For some users the keyboard won't matter, but for others it will be a make or break experience, and as a more finicky user I can say the one Toshiba employs is definitely comfortable enough for regular use.

The P755D also enjoys a touchpad with dedicated buttons. The buttons themselves are large, but they do feel like there's a little bit too much resistance. It's a minor quibble in the scheme of things, and the surface of the touchpad itself is plenty comfortable to use. The touchpad can also be easily toggled on and off by pressing a button just above it.

As for the rest of the overall build quality, it's easy to say that Fusion X2's time has passed. Despite having a weight comparable to the Acer TimelineU "ultrabook" we recently reviewed, the P755D feels a lot bigger and bulkier. It continues to be a situation where, when recommending a budget notebook, I feel like I have to continually say "as long as you don't mind how it looks, Toshiba makes good budget machines."

Introducing the Toshiba Satellite P755D Application and Futuremark Performance
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  • mtoma - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    Hello!
    You keep saying that you put first a good display, an you show us many specific part numbers of some displays, and their respective manufacturer: AU Optronics, LG, Philips, and so on.
    Where you get those specific informations about the displays? How can I get the same info about my laptop/display?
    And, how/where I can calibrate some monitors (laptop/deskto, doesn't matter)?
    Thank you!
    Reply
  • jamawass - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    Ok, great progress with that reply. Also since the blu-ray rom is the selling point in this otherwise mediocre laptop could you have mentioned what blu ray software it ships with? I presume audio would be 2.0 and not 5.1/7.1 with bitstreaming over hdmi and what would be the options to upgrade to these capabilities? Is the picture quality over hdmi same as the reference platform? What's the battery life with blu ray playback? Thanks Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    See, now you're getting somewhere: specific questions that we could answer. I'll have to defer to Dustin here, but my guess is the software is an OEM tool, perhaps with tweaks. Toshiba in the past has had reasonable Blu-ray software when I tested an A660 series, but very likely you'd need to shell out for and/or download additional software to get full bitstreaming capabilities. I'm guessing that's what you're talking about with the 2.0 vs. 5.1/7.1 comment.

    For Blu-ray playback battery life, it will be quite a bit worse than our H.264 playback result as the spinning of a disc plus decryption tasks is far more demanding than straight H.264 decoding; Dustin didn't test this aspect AFAIK, but I'd be surprised if the P775D lasted more than two hours for Blu-ray viewing.

    Unfortunately, I'm not much of an A/V enthusiast so I don't have a home theater system for testing bitstreaming and such, and neither does Dustin AFAIK. On the hardware front, the Toshiba should perform just as well as Llano in general for HTPC scenarios (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4479/amd-a83850-an-h... We can't test every single scenario with every laptop or we'd never get any reviews finished, so we generally focus on the laptop-centric elements (build quality, display, battery life, and performance) and let others like Ganesh discuss how platforms stack up in the HTPC space.

    If you'd really like an answer to the above (e.g. you're not just trolling and posting flame bait), email Dustin and see if he'll run/test the other elements. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure you're firmly in the trolling category so I've likely wasted far too much time with my responses already.
    Reply
  • jamawass - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the response. I don't think questioning a review is trolling or flame baiting but since you're a journalist you probably know better. I won't bother Dustin with additional requests but would suggest that blu ray playback run time be included in future reviews in similarly equipped laptops. Probably A/V aspects of these laptops could be done in a seperate review? Reply
  • zorxd - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    "The Toshiba Satellite P755D is, first and foremost, a notebook for the budget consumer market. It's not necessarily meant to be a particularly exciting piece of hardware; it's meant to fill a niche,"

    Most people buy laptops in this price range or lower. The niche is the Anandtech editor who is paying $1000+ for a laptop.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    The niche is: I want a budget laptop, but I'm willing to pay more for a laptop with Blu-ray. And if you only buy $700 laptops, prepare to be disappointed repeatedly by cheap build quality and crappy displays. Reply
  • zorxd - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    90% of laptops out there must have cheap build quality and crappy displays then. $700 is probably more than the average paid for a laptop these days. It's like if you were saying that if I pay under $40k for a car, that I should prepare to be disappointed by build quality and comfort. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    I'd say it's more like 95% (or more!) of consumer laptops that have cheap build quality and crappy displays. Walk into Best Buy, and almost every Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Sony, etc. laptop is made of plastic and has a lousy low-contrast LCD. Business laptops on the other hand are built better (though many still have crappy displays), but you usually buy direct from Dell/HP/Lenovo for a business laptop.

    The car comparison incidentally doesn't work very well, as the difference between $20K and $40K cars is a couple orders of magnitude more than the difference between a $700 and $1000 laptop. Laptops are more in the range of disposable income, where cars are a long-term investment/purchase. Why not compare it to buying houses while we're at it? Anyway, if you want to talk cars, it would be better to say: If you buy a used car for $1500, you will likely end up with some serious compromises and reliability concerns. "You get what you pay for."
    Reply
  • mikato - Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - link

    I fully appreciate that it's natural for a good tech site like this to review high end laptops mostly. However I don't plan to buy a high end laptop anytime soon. I do game a lot but I definitely won't get a laptop for gaming! I am much more likely to recommend a laptop for my dad, my sister, or buy one for my wife and in that case I'd like to know more about $700 or even less laptops that are out there (I've done all that and never owned a laptop myself actually). I don't think I'm alone wanting more info on sub $1000 laptops. I see you said you don't get any i3s and such, but it would be great if Anandtech could find a way to do reviews or roundups like this, or just some general tips on things to look for. I enjoy reading up on AMD's current APU tech and Intel's on-die graphics as well. Reply
  • rootheday - Thursday, April 12, 2012 - link

    On page 5, the review says:
    "Llano presently remains your best option for gaming on the battery"

    Do you actually run the gaming performance tests on the battery? or while plugged in?

    My experience is that AMD down clocks their mobile GPUs while on DC by ~30% - something that Intel doesn't do. I wonder if your conclusion about Llano gaming experience vs Intel HD would be different for the "gaming on battery scenario"...
    Reply

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