capsule review

Toshiba Satellite P205D-S7479 Desktop Replacement Laptop

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Toshiba Satellite P205D-S7479 Notebook

    PCWorld Rating

    Budget desktop replacement, despite short battery life, covers office duties with the promise of some after-hours gaming.

The 17-inch Satellite P205D-S7479 is on the slow side in office applications and suffers from short battery life, but it gets the daily-grind stuff done and is a pretty fast gamer. If a budget desktop replacement laptop capable of running decent big-screen shoot-'em-ups is on your list, this AMD-powered laptop is a nice choice at $1350 (as of November 16, 2007).

Equipped with a 2.2-GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual-Core TL-64 processor, 2GB of RAM, 256MB of discrete graphics memory, and a 4200-rpm 250GB hard drive, the P205D-S7479 earned a WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 68. That result is 16 percent behind the average score of 81 earned by 19 currently tested desktop replacement laptops, and 13 percent behind the average score of 78 earned by three notebooks with an Intel chip of the same speed (the Fujitsu LifeBook A6110, the HP Compaq 8710p, and the HP Pavilion dv9500t). Though neither gap is huge, the differences do show that the P205D will lag in some applications.

In our gaming tests, the P205D posted marks of 83 and 87 frames per second in Doom 3 and Far Cry, respectively, at 1024 by 768 resolution. Images looked good and played smoothly on the big, bright 1440-by-900-pixel screen; but our test unit, with its 256MB Radeon HD 2600 graphics card, performed just below average for the category. Keep the power adapter handy, regardless, because the battery lasted just 1.6 hours in our tests, 54 minutes shorter than the average battery life of currently tested desktop replacements.

At 7.9 pounds the P205D is a little heavy, but it's nice-looking if you don't mind the big Toshiba logo imprinted on its dark blue lid. The dropped-hinges design gives the rear of the laptop a sleek look. Aside from lacking Bluetooth wireless connectivity, it's also well equipped for the price, including six USB ports. The Del key is buried in the number pad, but otherwise typing is a breeze.

A set of CD and DVD control buttons and integrated Harman/Kardon speakers add to the P205D's attractiveness as an entertainment notebook. The case tends to vibrate a bit when the sound is turned all the way up, and the volume wheel is not very responsive, but those are minor complaints. The audio is rich and full.

It might not blow away the competition, but the Toshiba Satellite P205D-S7479 is fast enough for most types of work, it's well rounded, and it's priced right--and it's your ticket to some inexpensive after-hours gaming fun. There's still a chance that a 14-year-old in Florida with a bigger, meaner gaming rig will be talking smack after blowing you to smithereens, but at least you'll have a nice portable PC for your $1300.

--Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Budget desktop replacement, despite short battery life, covers office duties with the promise of some after-hours gaming.

    Pros

    • Lots of quick-launch buttons, number pad
    • Good screen, sound

    Cons

    • Short battery life
    • Lacks built-in Bluetooth
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