Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4050 14-Inch LED Laptop

The Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4050 14-inch LED laptop is another of Toshiba’s cheap laptops. Of course, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s not a good machine. It is a pretty solid laptop if you’re in need of portable computing for business or for college courses. It’s not, however, necessarily the laptop of choice for gamers.

The S4050 has a 2.2GHz AMD Athlon II Dual-Core Mobile Processor P340 under the hood. It has 1 MB of L2 cache memory and a 800 MHz front-side bus, both of which are good for multi-tasking. As far as budget laptops go, that’s actually a pretty good processor for the price. You’re only getting 3GB of DDR3 RAM here, though, not 4GB—that’s going to cause some slow down. The hard drive is also pretty average: 320GB that spins at 5400 RPM. Not bad, though, and more than enough for a few games. The laptop comes with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit version.

For loading your games, the S4050 comes with a 8x SuperMulti DVD drive that has double layer support and Labelflash printing, so you can make some really nice looking music CDs or data discs. Wireless-N WiFi is a nice addition, especially since some budget laptops limit users to b/g. A multi-format card reader lets you transfer data and images to a variety of media, and the 3 USB ports and 1 eSATA/USB combo port are very handy as well. There’s also a built-in webcam if you enjoy video chatting. Mic, headphone, and a VGA video out round off the ports. There’s no HDMI.

The graphics card in this laptop is an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250. It dynamically allocates shared graphics memory, so your 3GB of system memory is going to be further divided up. The card will allocate between 256MB and 1405MB. Resource-heavy games will, of course, eat up the top amount. The display has a native resolution of 1366 x 768 and supports 720p content, which is nice but it’s not 1080p hi-def. With no HDMI out, it will have to do.

The battery on the S4050 is a 6-cell lithium-ion battery that can get up to 3.75 hours of power in Power Saver mode. Gamers will need to recharge every hour and a half to two hours, of course.

Is this the best laptop for gamers? No, but it is a good choice if you’re on a budget. It retails for between $500 and $699.

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