Toshiba Satellite LX835-D3380 review: below average display, underperforming
The Toshiba Satellite LX835 starts at $1399.99, which doesn’t exactly put it in the budget all-in-one category (if such a category even exists). But you’d never know that by looking at it—thanks to its be-stickered bezel, unimpressive touchscreen, and cheap peripherals, it doesn’t exactly look like a top-of-the-line machine out of the box.
Our review model is the base $1399.99 model, and sports a third-generation Intel Core i7-3630QM processor, 8GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce GT630M discrete graphics card. It also has an impressively large (for the all-in-one category) 2TB hard drive, built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, and a DVD-RW optical drive. The LX835 runs Windows 8.
In PCWorld’s WorldBench 8 benchmark tests, the Satellite LX835 scores 67 out of 100. This means that the LX835 is 33 percent slower than our testing model, which has a third-generation Intel Core i5 desktop processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. This isn’t too surprising—although the LX835 is technically a desktop, it’s an all-in-one desktop with a fairly slim profile, and it has a less powerful mobile processor instead of a desktop processor.
In our individual performance tests, the LX835 lags behind other desktops. It starts up relatively quickly (22.8 seconds), which is about 10 seconds faster than our reference desktop. In our PCMark 7 productivity test, the LX835 scores 1433, which is very low compared to the reference system (4633), but not too bad compared to other desktops sporting i5 mobile processors, such as the Vizio CA24T-A4 and the Acer Aspire 7600U-UR308. Both of those desktops have i5-3210 processors and scored below 1000 on PCMark 7.
The LX835 has a discrete graphics card, so its gaming and graphics performance is actually quite good. In our Dirt Showdown graphics test, the LX835 managed 70.3 frames per second (maximum quality settings, 1366 by 768 pixel resolution), which is on par with other desktops in its class. Our testing model, which has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti graphics card, managed a frame rate of 117 fps on the same test, but it’s also got a desktop-class graphics card versus the LX835’s mobile graphics card.
Design and peripherals
The Satellite LX835’s overall design is pleasant, with premium touches (such as an edge-to-edge glass screen that covers the slim black bezel), and a sturdy stand. Unfortunately, Toshiba’s stuck at least five stickers on that pretty, glass-covered bezel, including a large sticker denoting the system’s specs in the upper right corner. The stickers are, of course, removable (but not easily so), but they still make the computer look more like a cheap HDTV than a trying-to-be-attractive all-in-one.
Stickers aside, the LX835 looks okay. The 23-inch screen is surrounded by a black bezel, which has rounded corners and a silver Toshiba logo at the bottom center. Below the screen are the speakers—silver in color and angled slightly downward. There’s a small power button in the lower right corner, located over the speaker mesh. The system sits on two small but sturdy-feeling legs, which prop the screen about an inch or two off of the desk.
There’s enough room to store the keyboard under the screen, but only partially—if you push it too far back, you’ll hit the picture frame-like stand that holds the system up. The stand, which is made of thick black plastic, is adjustable and feels very sturdy.
All ports and buttons (aside from the power button) are located behind the screen. On the left side are several buttons – screen on/off, change input, brightness up/down, and volume up/down. Below these buttons are several convenience ports, including headphone and microphone jacks, two USB 3.0 ports, and an SD card reader.
The right side of the system houses the tray-loading DVD-RW drive, and the rest of the ports are located on the back, in the lower left corner. Here you’ll find four USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI in port, one Gigabit Ethernet jack, and a lock slot.
The LX835 comes with Bluetooth peripherals. The keyboard is very basic, with black, island-style keys and Fn keys that double as media controls. It offers up somewhat weak tactile feedback and is a little loud, but is overall perfectly comfortable for typing on. The mouse is also basic—it’s a small, lightweight optical affair with two buttons and a scroll wheel. It’s accurate and smooth, but it feels a little cheap and flimsy. In fact, both the keyboard and mouse feel like they’re a little cheap.
Screen and speakers
The LX835’s 23-inch glossy touchscreen looks and feels mediocre. This TruBrite LED-sidelit display has a native resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels, and supports multi-touch gestures.
The screen is bright and fairly attractive, but there appear to be some rendering issues—even with static images. For example, in the default background image of a daisy, there was pixilation and anti-aliasing artifacting around the edges of the daisy (and this artifacting did not appear on other systems’ screens, which had the same default background).
Off-axis viewing angles are acceptable, with very little loss of contrast or brightness. Unfortunately, this doesn’t matter very much because the screen has no anti-glare coating, and so reflections are a big issue. The screen is bright enough that the lack of anti-glare is fine if you’re standing directly in front of the computer, but if you’re at even a slight angle it’s basically reflection city.
As a touchscreen, the screen is just average. Touches and swipes are registered accurately, but the screen sometimes lags just a split second. Multi-touch gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom, are very shaky and stilted.
Video looks surprisingly below-average on the LX835, despite its discrete graphics card. In my tests, HD streaming video showed a larger-than-average amount of artifacts (blocky objects in the video), especially in high-motion scenes. These artifacts, which normally only occurs excessively in darker scenes, also showed up in lighter scenes.
It sounds okay, however. The speakers, which are located below the screen, produce loud, pleasant-sounding audio with a decently full range. What’s nice is that the speakers get particularly loud, and with just a smidgen of distortion at the highest volume level.
Unfortunately, the biggest issue with this system is its screen. And, well, because the screen—the big, bright, 23-inch touchscreen—is still the main draw of an all-in-one system, this is a pretty big deal. Plus, it doesn’t help that the Satellite LX835’s performance is below par, even when compared with other 23-inch all-in-one computers. Let’s just say that the HP Envy 23 TouchSmart costs about $350 more than the Satellite LX835, and this is definitely a case in which “you get what you pay for.”
Copyright (c) 2013 PCWorld Communications, Inc.
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