Toshiba Satellite Pro R850-16H review

1 Mar 2012

Pleasant to use and with some excellent features, the Satellite Pro is a great mobile computer for the classroom

Toshiba Satellite Pro R850-16H
Price when reviewed 
571
5

Toshiba’s Satellite Pro R850 has a lot to recommend it. The screen is bright with excellent definition, and with viewing angles wide enough that two or more pupils can watch together side-by-side. Play DVD or HD video content through the preinstalled Toshiba video player, and your pupils are bound to be impressed.

The keyboard is also a high point. The island-style keys feel firm, the layout doesn’t include any nasty surprises – important when young fingers are learning where things are – and there’s a light on the Caps Lock and Num-lock keys that lets you know when they’ve been switched on.

We also liked the laptop’s ReelTime software. This application presents a graphical history of files opened and web pages accessed. Teachers, let alone pupils, sometimes find it a challenge to locate items on the hard drive or on the web, so this might be a real boon. Meanwhile, the webcam captures high-quality video, and the software to use it boasts some nice effects.

Toshiba Satellite Pro R850-16H

The Toshiba incorporates a health monitor, and an eco mode that enables you, at the press of a button, to get optimal battery usage. There’s also a message that informs you every time you have moved the laptop – you can disable this if it becomes irritating!

With a Core i3 2110M CPU and 4GB of RAM, performance is fine for general classroom use – the Toshiba scored 0.53 in the PC Pro benchmarks – although 3D performance won’t impress. Battery life is impressive: in typical classroom use, the Satellite lasted for 3hrs 34 mins; in our more intensive tests it managed just over two-and-a-half hours. This, combined with the software already mentioned makes the Toshiba a strong contender for general classroom use.

Some aspects give us cause for concern, particularly the smooth trackpad and tinny sound. We’d also like to see fewer shortcuts to games on the desktop, and a shorter start-up time. Up to 1min 10secs can seem like an age with some classes. Otherwise, however, the Toshiba Satellite Pro R850-16H is a great PC for schools.

Details

Price ex VAT £476
Price inc VAT £571
Overall rating 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5
Performance 4

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 379 x 252 x 25mm (WDH)
Weight 2.890kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i3-2110M
RAM capacity 2.00GB

Screen and video

Screen size 15.6in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics 2000
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1

Drives

Capacity 320GB
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes

Other Features

USB ports (downstream) 3
eSATA ports 1
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.3mp

Battery and performance tests

Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.53

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
OS family Windows 7