Toshiba Satellite A665-S5176 Review
Toshiba Satellite A665-S5176
A relatively minor update to the Satellite A660/A665, the A665-S5176 offers a good overall value.
- Blu-ray drive
- Great keyboard
- USB 3.0
- No ExpressCard slot
- Weak screen protection
- Mixed performance compared to older models
Toshiba Satellite A665-S5176 Full ReviewToshiba recently released a refresh of the popular Satellite A665 notebook with the latest Intel Sandy Bridge processors and graphics. Is the new A665 a worthwhile upgrade to last year's laptop? Keep reading to find out.
Toshiba Satellite A665 (A665-S5176) Specifications:
- 15.6-inch 720p (1366x768) display with LED backlighting
- Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
- Intel Core i3-2310M (2.1GHz, 3MB cache)
- Intel HD Graphics
- 4GB DDR3 RAM (1066MHz)
- 500GB 5400RPM hard drive (Toshiba MK5065GSX)
- 802.11b/g/n wireless
- Blu-ray/DVD SuperMulti (+/- Double Layer)
- Warranty: 1-Yr Parts and Labor, 1-Year Battery
- 6-cell Li-ion battery (48Wh) and 90W power adapter
- Weight: 5.9 lbs
- Dimensions: 15 x 10 x 1.2-1.5 inches
- Price as configured: $799.99
I have something of a mixed opinion about the design of the new Satellite A660/A665 notebook. Since it's a "refresh" of the existing Satellite A660/A665 series the new A665-S5176 looks virtually identical to the A665 model we reviewed last year. The only significant changes worth mentioning are the use of a new Intel "Sandy Bridge" processor with improved Intel integrated graphics and a few subtle changes to the ports on the side of the notebook. The design of the A665 remains quite traditional with sculpted edges, a mixture of smooth and textured glossy plastics, and some attractive LED accent lighting. Although the design isn't particularly exciting, keeping essentially the same design makes production easier and cheaper for Toshiba ... meaning Toshiba can pass those cost savings to you.
The exterior of the A665 is covered in what Toshiba calls the "Fusion X2 Finish in Charcoal." As I said it my review of last year's A665, the finish is basically just black glossy plastic with a textured "chain" pattern imprinted in the surface to help hide fingerprints and dirt. Despite the silly marketing name for the finish, the texture is much better than a smooth glossy lid. The textured chain pattern gives you the modern look of the glossy plastics but doesn't look like a horrible magnet for smudges, dirt, or whatever a family member spills on the laptop.
Ports and Features
The new Satellite A665 features a few changes in the port layout. You now get three USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 "Super Speed" port instead of two USB 2.0 ports and a combo eSATA/USB 2.0 port. Unfortunately, these changes come at the expense of the ExpressCard slot, so if you're one of those people who likes using ExpressCard devices this isn't the laptop for you. The A665 also features dual video out ports: a VGA connection for old-school projectors and HDMI for new monitors and HDTVs. The A665-S5176 configuration also includes a Blu-ray drive so you can play your favorite 1080p movies on an HDTV or external monitor. All picture descriptions are left to right.
Front view: Memory card slot
Rear view: No ports
Left side: VGA, Ethernet, HDMI, USB3.0, USB 2.0
Right side: Audio jacks, two USB 2.0,
optical drive, power jack and lock slot
Toshiba Satellite A665-S5176 Keyboard, Touchpad, Screen and Speakers
Once again, little has changed since last year in the design of the A665. You still get the same full-size keyboard with dedicated number pad and Chiclet-style keys that are responsive and provide a little extra spacing to prevent typos. The keys are large and flat and have a glossy texture that shows smudges from your skin oils over time. There is no noticeable flex unless you apply significant pressure to the keys in the middle of the board. Individual key presses are quiet with virtually no "click-clack" noise while typing; making it an excellent choice for writing your term paper in the middle of the night without bothering your roommate.
Toshiba offers other configurations of the A660/A665 with a LED-backlit keyboard so that you can see what you're typing even in complete darkness. I would have liked to see a backlit keyboard on this notebook, but I can understand the use of a standard keyboard when the street price is less than $800.
Screen and Speakers
The A665-S5176 has a 15.6-inch diagonal display with LED backlighting and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The overall quality of the display is "very good" within the narrow vertical viewing angle sweet spot. The backlight is even and bright (216 nits according to our light meter), contrast is reasonably sharp (280:1) and colors are good though the colors are a little warm at the default settings. If there is a single obvious issue it has to be the narrow vertical viewing angles. While the horizontal viewing angles (side view) are nearly flawless, the colors become over exposed when viewed from above and significantly inverted and distorted when viewed from below. If you are using this laptop for color-accurate editing you will need to be certain you're viewing the screen from straight ahead.
The display's 1366x768 resolution is a standard resolution for mainstream notebooks. The horizontal resolution is adequate, however only 768 pixels of vertical space means a good deal of scrolling while surfing the Internet and only enough space to view about one-half of a page in a Microsoft Word. I'm sorry, Toshiba, but in 2011 the minimum resolution for a 15-inch screen should be 1600x900.
Toshiba Satellite A665-S5176 Performance and BenchmarksPerformance and Benchmarks
The Toshiba Satellite A660/A665 is available in a number of configurations that offer impressive performance thanks to the combination of Intel Core-series processors, plenty of RAM, and either Intel integrated graphics or Nvidia dedicated graphics. Our review sample comes equipped with the new Intel Core i3-2310M processor and Intel HD graphics.
The Core i3-2310M is a "Sandy Bridge" processor with a 2.1GHz clock speed and the newest integrated graphics offering significant video playback and gaming improvements compared to the previous generation of Intel integrated graphics. Although the new Intel HD Graphics performance has improved, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that last year's version of the A665 with Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics delivered essentially the same performance. Some of the benchmarks show the new A665 is superior while other benchmarks show the older A665 comes out on top.
The relatively slow Toshiba hard drive doesn't do much to help in terms of overall system performance. I wouldn't say that the hard drive is unacceptably slow, but it does limit the overall speediness of this laptop during startup and when you're launching applications. On a happier note, the hard drive access panel on the bottom of the laptop lets you replace the hard drive with a Solid State Drive (SSD) if you want extreme performance. Toshiba also offers pre-configured versions of the A665 with faster 7200rpm hard drives.
Wprime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
PCMark Vantage measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark Vantage measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test: