Price is a sensitive issue when it comes to top products and it's no different with notebooks. It's in fact, a little more difficult when it comes to notebooks because the competition between brands that produce a line of similarly priced and spec'd notebooks is so hot that choosing between them is a painful task. Toshiba as a brand, isn't as popular among the public as say, a Dell, Lenovo or HP, but like we've seen in the past, there are products that can possibly match up or even be better than most of the mainstream products by popular brands available in the market. Toshiba's Satellite line of notebooks have been around in the Indian market for ages, and their M840 is their sub-45k offering, which we'll be reviewing today.
Design and build quality
The review unit we received, came in a unique greenish-blue colour, which I didn't partucularly like, but some at our labs sure did. The finish is glossy and it's predominantly plastic, so it doesn't have a premium, solid feel to it. The same finish is carried on to the front, along the trackpad and the panel below the keyboard, which doesn't really look nice. A slightly contrasting colour and finish would have been better.
A USB port on the left side
The look isn't the only problem, it's also the strength. It's not the sturdiest notebook of the ones that sells around the Rs. 45,000 mark, but it is lighter - much lighter. Most of the notebooks in this price range weigh around 2.4 to 2.6kg. The Toshiba Satellite M840 in comparison, is a mere 2.1kg. So, if you're looking for a light notebook specifically, this should be one to consider. It's also smaller and thinner, so putting it in a bag and carrying it around is easier than the larger 15-inch screen notebooks. This particular one comes with a 14-inch screen. The hinge that holds the screen up isn't particularly strong. It's decent but there's some wobbling that can be seen if you were to tap it a bit.
What the Satellite M840 lacks in build quality and design, it makes up in features. There’s a Core i5 2450M processor in place of the Core i3 processors that you find on notebooks priced around the Rs. 40,000 mark. This should help boost performance if you’re using applications such as image and video editing tools and if you’re going to be encoding lots of media. Unlike the more expensive ASUS K53S, the Satellite M840 only has a 500GB hard drive and no discrete graphics solution either, but then it’s also around Rs. 4,000 cheaper than the ASUS notebook. You also get USB 3.0 capability.
Audio and video connects on the other side
The keyboard layout is different from other notebooks. They aren't a major issues but something worth noting, if you're thinking of buying this notebook. The keys are spaced out quite a bit, and they are quite slim and thin. They lack a chunky feel to them and feel extremely light.
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