Heat and Noise
The Toshiba L745D manages to stay extremely “lap friendly” even when you’re stressing the processor and graphics with things like HD video encoding or gaming. I suspect most of the credit for this laptop’s low external temperatures is due to the AMD E-350 processor inside. This processor was originally designed to fit inside smaller “netbook-sized” laptops, so when Toshiba put this AMD processor inside a larger 14-inch shell it left plenty of room for empty space and air flow. The self-adjusting fan will speed up when needed but the noise produced by the cooling fan is never loud enough to be disruptive. The exterior temperatures shown below are listed in degrees Fahrenheit.
In the “balanced” power mode with 75% screen brightness, the Satellite L745D-S4220 lasted for five hours and eleven minutes of non-stop use with wireless active and refreshing a page every 60 seconds. This is “okay” for a modern 14-inch notebook with a stock 6-cell battery and it’s happily very close to Toshiba’s advertised 5 and a half hours of battery life.
However, it’s worth mentioning that even some smaller notebooks like the HP Pavilion dm1z use 6-cell batteries with higher capacities than the battery in the L745D. The battery in this laptop is rated at 48Wh which is a surprisingly low capacity for a 14-inch laptop. The budget-priced L745D barely delivers more battery time than the HP ENVY 14 … and that laptop is using a powerful processor and graphics that consume more battery power.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
If you are currently in the market for a low-cost 14-inch laptop that has enough muscle to perform basic tasks (Microsoft Office work or light Photoshop editing) and has the graphics capability to play streaming HD video, then the Toshiba Satellite L745D might be a good choice.
Unfortunately, I have to stress the word, “might” in that previous sentence. The single biggest problem preventing the L745D from earning a stronger recommendation is that Toshiba might have cut too many corners on this laptop so it could be sold at a $500 or lower price. The AMD E-350 dual-core processor and AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics aren’t horribly weak in terms of performance, but if you pair them with an extremely slow hard drive and an average battery the end result is cheap laptop with subpar performance.
If Toshiba used a faster hard drive inside the Satellite L745D this notebook would have felt much “snappier” during general use and it would have performed as well or better than the HP Pavilion dm1z (which has similar technical specs). Likewise, a higher-capacity battery would have made this budget laptop really stand out for back-to-school buyers.
In short, if you buy the Toshiba Satellite L745D and plan to do more than surf the web or write school papers then we highly recommend that you also invest in a faster hard drive or solid state drive in order to give this laptop a much needed speed boost.
- Good HD video and light gaming performance
- Low cost
- Good keyboard and touchpad
- Horribly slow hard drive
- Thick with cheap plastics
- Low-quality screen