On the right hand side of the machine you'll find a DVD drive that can handle any type of disc you can throw at it save for Blu-ray, while fixed storage comes from an average 5,400rpm 400GB hard disc, which should be more than enough for most local storage needs. An old-school modem and a Kensington lock make up the ports on the rear.
In terms of software you'll find a trial version of Office 2007 we'd uninstall that and download the beta of Office 2010 instead. Security is also provided by a system recovery utility, which is activated by hitting F8 on boot-up.
Toshiba also offers its own power saving eco utility, which usefully integrates itself into Windows 7 as a power profile. Out battery tests use Windows standard balanced setting, so the eco setting could improve on the singularly unimpressive one hour 14 minutes we obtained from the heavy use test, and the two hours 48 minutes we achieved in the light use test. Considering the size of the notebook and the beefy processor, unspectacular battery life was to be expected, but even so, these figures are disappointing.
The Toshiba's strength then lies as a straightforward, no frills, desktop replacement system, that's practical as long as you don't need to venture too far from a power plug. The highlight is the full-size keyboard, and the clear bright screen, but the low resolution and the lack of Gigabit Ethernet are low points you need to be aware of before purchasing.
The Toshiba is not a stylish machine, but it is solid, dependable and speedy, which for most companies will be a priority. The downsides are a relatively low screen resolution, and non-Gigabit Ethernet, but if you want an easy to read display, a full-size keyboard and plenty of grunt, the Toshiba Satellite Pro L500 1D6 delivers good value.
Processor: Intel Core2 Duo P8700 2.53GHz Memory: 4GB (2.96GHz addressable) Hard disk: 400GB Toshiba MK4055GSX Display: 15.6in 1,366 x 768 LCD Graphics: ATI Mobility Radeon HD4600 Series Optical drive: DVD Super Multi (Double Layer) drive, HL-DT-ST GT20N DVD-RAM, 8x DVD-ROM, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD-R, 8x DVD-RW Connectivity: 802.11n Wi-Fi, Fast Ethernet, Bluetooth Ports: 2 x USB 2.0, 1xHDMI, 1x e-SATA, headphone, microphone, VGA, SD card slot Extras: Kensington lock, volume control, OS: Windows 7 Professional 32-bit Dimensions: 383 x 259 x 35.5mm Weight: 2.72Kg
Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.
Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.