Toshiba Satellite Pro R850-16H review
Pleasant to use and with some excellent features, the Satellite Pro is a great mobile computer for the classroom
Review Date: 1 Mar 2012
Reviewed By: Terry Freedman
Price when reviewed: £476 (£571 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
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.
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.
Author: Terry Freedman
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