Toshiba is hitting the ground running with Windows 8 notebooks. In this review, we take a look at the Toshiba Satellite S955, a relatively slim and light 5 lb. 15.6" laptop that ships with Windows 8. The machine lists for $749 and you can order it from Toshiba's website or look for it in stores on October 26 when the new OS from Microsoft officially launches.
The S955 is a bit of an anomaly: it's a full size 15.6" notebook with a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U ULV CPU usually found in Ultrabooks. The upside is that the machine runs quiet and cool and has strong battery life. It's perfectly adequate for web, email, MS Office, light to moderate Photoshop and general home/small business use. But unlike most 15" notebooks with full mobile Intel CPUs or AMD processors, it's not the best choice for HD video editing, serious 3D gaming or other heavy computational tasks. The S955 is available with Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics.
The base configuration ships with 8 gigs of DDR3 RAM and a 750 gig 5400 RPM HDD. It has a full keyboard with number pad, a webcam, removable battery and easily accessible internals for upgrades. Our $749 base machine has single band Atheros WiFi and no Bluetooth (a bit of a disappointment at this price). The 1366 x 768 is better than average with decent viewing angles, saturated colors and average contrast.
The Satellite S955 has two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port with sleep-and-charge, HDMI, 3.5mm audio, an SD card slot and an internal DVD writer.
In this video review, we take a fairly deep look at Windows 8 on a non-touchscreen laptop. You're probably wondering if you should grab a closeout Windows 7 machine or give Windows 8 a try. You get the Modern UI (formerly called Metro) with Live Tiles and the traditional Windows 7 desktop, minus the chrome and UI busyness. Windows 8 is noticeably faster than Windows 7 (and particularly Vista), and it simply flies here.
Here's our Toshiba Satellite S955 Windows 8 Laptop video review: