Toshiba Satellite L735-S3220RD Review: A Good Deal on a Budget Laptop?

by Amber Riippa Reads (40,539)
Editor's Rating
6.43

TG Ratings Breakdown

    • Software & Support
    • 7
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 5
    • Usability
    • 7
    • Design
    • 6
    • Performance
    • 7
    • Features
    • 6
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 6.43
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Good performance
    • Satisfactory port selection
    • Comfortable, easy to use keyboard
    • Stylish design

     

  • Cons

    • About 3.5 hours of battery life
    • Below average build quality
    • Easily smudged up: glossy surfaces everywhere

Quick Take

An affordable laptop that mixes good performance and attractive design with poor battery life and mediocre build quality.


On the bright side, the Toshiba Satellite L735-S3220RD is an entry level notebook with good performance thanks to the Intel Core i5-2410M dual-core processor and enough memory. It also has a fashionable design that’s light enough to travel with. On the other hand, the notebook was only able to provide about three and a half hours of battery life and has an all-plastic, somewhat flimsy construction.

Build and Design
Like most of the entry level notebooks in the Toshiba Satellite series, the new 13.3-inch Satellite L735-S3220RD is made almost entirely out of molded plastics and has the familiar rounded clamshell construction on the display lid and around the chassis. This notebook sports a red and black dot matrix design with a glossy Toshiba Fusion finish. The glossy finish embodies the display cover, screen surround, keyboard, and palmrests. To add a touch of style, the area just below the LCD has a bumpy textured feel to it along with the dot matix design. The overall dimensions are 12.95” x 8.7” x 1.10”~1.45”, and it weighs 4.6 pounds without the battery. This notebook is meant to appeal to those who want to have a travel-friendly notebook with a slightly bigger screen size than your typical ultraportable netbook.

All in all, the structure and design of the Toshiba Satellite L735-S3220RD is made to fit the average budget-conscious consumers’ needs while on the go. The design is quite stylish, even though the glossiness tends to collect fingerprints easily almost entirely throughout. Our only question now is, how will its build and construction hold up while traveling?

Pressing down with a good amount of pressure in the center of the keyboard resulted in the chassis giving way; this is due to the all-plastic construction. Although it didn’t dip down horribly, it was certainly still noticable and might be a problem with users who normally press down hard while typing. The area above the keyboard and beneath the display gave way even more when we pressed down on it, which may cause problems while traveling. Likewise, the display lid flexed too much for comfort and caused “ripples” when bending the corners inward. The palmrests and bottom of the notebook were the only areas with firm construction. Overall, though, the build quality is not what we would call travel-friendly and it is of questionable durability–the notebook could be easily scratched or beaten up if you are a heavy traveler.

The L735 is somewhat upgradeable and getting to the hardware that you can upgrade is simple: remove two screws and pull upward on the access panel and you can remove the Toshiba hard drive and RAM. The L735 has two RAM slots for up to 8GB of memory.

Ports and Features
The ports and features selection on the L735 is considerably above average. It has HDMI, VGA, three USB 2.0 ports, and an 8-in-1 memory card reader (not to mention a Blu-ray player). On the downside, it does not has a USB 3.0 port or eSATA. The memory card reader supports SD, SDHC, SDXC, miniSD, microSD, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, and Multi Media Card formats. Strangely enough, you will not be able to notice the memory card reader unless you lift the notebook up…it’s nearly beneath the chassis.

Front: Activity lights

Back: Screen hinges

Left: AC adapter, USB 2.0 x2, 8-in-1 memory card reader, Blu-ray disc player

Right: Headphone and microphone jacks, USB 2.0 ‘sleep and charge’ port, HDMI, Ethernet, VGA, exhaust vent, lock slot


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