- Blu-ray drive
- Great keyboard
- USB 3.0
- No ExpressCard slot
- Weak screen protection
- Mixed performance compared to older models
A relatively minor update to the Satellite A660/A665, the A665-S5176 offers a good overall value.
Toshiba recently released a refresh of the popular Satellite A665 notebook with the latest Intel Sandy Bridge processors and graphics. Is the new A665 a worthwhile upgrade to last year’s laptop? Keep reading to find out.
Toshiba Satellite A665 (A665-S5176) Specifications:
- 15.6-inch 720p (1366×768) display with LED backlighting
- Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
- Intel Core i3-2310M (2.1GHz, 3MB cache)
- Intel HD Graphics
- 4GB DDR3 RAM (1066MHz)
- 500GB 5400RPM hard drive (Toshiba MK5065GSX)
- 802.11b/g/n wireless
- Blu-ray/DVD SuperMulti (+/- Double Layer)
- Warranty: 1-Yr Parts and Labor, 1-Year Battery
- 6-cell Li-ion battery (48Wh) and 90W power adapter
- Weight: 5.9 lbs
- Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 1.2-1.5 inches
- Price as configured: $799.99
Build and Design
I have something of a mixed opinion about the design of the new Satellite A660/A665 notebook. Since it’s a “refresh” of the existing Satellite A660/A665 series the new A665-S5176 looks virtually identical to the A665 model we reviewed last year. The only significant changes worth mentioning are the use of a new Intel “Sandy Bridge” processor with improved Intel integrated graphics and a few subtle changes to the ports on the side of the notebook. The design of the A665 remains quite traditional with sculpted edges, a mixture of smooth and textured glossy plastics, and some attractive LED accent lighting. Although the design isn’t particularly exciting, keeping essentially the same design makes production easier and cheaper for Toshiba … meaning Toshiba can pass those cost savings to you.
The exterior of the A665 is covered in what Toshiba calls the “Fusion X2 Finish in Charcoal.” As I said it my review of last year’s A665, the finish is basically just black glossy plastic with a textured “chain” pattern imprinted in the surface to help hide fingerprints and dirt. Despite the silly marketing name for the finish, the texture is much better than a smooth glossy lid. The textured chain pattern gives you the modern look of the glossy plastics but doesn’t look like a horrible magnet for smudges, dirt, or whatever a family member spills on the laptop.
The plastic construction of the A665 is very good with a durable main chassis that doesn’t squeak, creak, or flex even under significant pressure. The screen hinges on this model are tighter than the A665 we reviewed last year, meaning you can still open the laptop with one hand but the screen won’t accidentally move if you bump the laptop. While we’re on the topic of the screen, the screen lid still doesn’t provide as much protection as we’d like. If you press on the back of the screen while the laptop is running you’ll see obvious distortions on the screen itself. In addition, placing more than one heavy textbook on the screen lid causes the lid to bend inward sharply toward the screen … suggesting that the screen lid doesn’t offer much protection during travel.
The bottom of the notebook includes two access plates for the RAM and the hard drive. Despite the fact that most consumers buying this type of general purpose or light multimedia notebook don’t perform upgrades, Toshiba engineers made is very easy to get inside this laptop. You only have to remove one screw to access the hard drive and one screw to get to the RAM.
Ports and Features
The new Satellite A665 features a few changes in the port layout. You now get three USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 “Super Speed” port instead of two USB 2.0 ports and a combo eSATA/USB 2.0 port. Unfortunately, these changes come at the expense of the ExpressCard slot, so if you’re one of those people who likes using ExpressCard devices this isn’t the laptop for you. The A665 also features dual video out ports: a VGA connection for old-school projectors and HDMI for new monitors and HDTVs. The A665-S5176 configuration also includes a Blu-ray drive so you can play your favorite 1080p movies on an HDTV or external monitor. All picture descriptions are left to right.
Front view: Memory card slot
Rear view: No ports
Left side: VGA, Ethernet, HDMI, USB3.0, USB 2.0
Right side: Audio jacks, two USB 2.0,
optical drive, power jack and lock slot