Toshiba Satellite C850/02D

By itself, Toshiba's Satellite C850/02D does OK; however, AU$100 more will get you better battery life, build quality and gigabit Ethernet from its competitors.


6.5
CNET Rating
7.0
User Rating

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CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


If you're into big, black and old school, Toshiba has you covered with the Satellite C850/02D. While the external is gloss coated with a grid-like texture underneath, the inside presents a matte, textured surface, which keeps the fingerprints away, but it won't be to everyone's taste. We're not too fussed, but the textured touch pad does feel a little odd.

Connectivity

  • USB 3.0: 1
  • USB 2.0: 2
  • Optical: DVD±RW
  • Video: VGA, HDMI
  • Ethernet: 100Mbps
  • Wireless: 2.4GHz 802.11n

The 15.6-inch, 1366x768 TN LG screen is passable, and, while the sound can get loud, the speakers are quite cheap and they lose plenty of the detail in the audio — try to use headphones only, if possible.

The keyboard flexes a little when typing, but this doesn't impact speed or accuracy. It doesn't offer much resistance or feedback when typing, though, with the net effect being that it feels "dead" compared to other keyboards. Like a few vendors these days, Toshiba inverts the function keys — that is, they adjust brightness, volume or perform other functions as default, with F1-F12 being accessible by holding down the Fn key first. While this isn't usually an issue, we found that Alt+F4, the shortcut for closing programs in Windows, didn't function when we had to hold down the Fn key to activate it.

The touch pad is simply standard Synaptics and, as tends to be the case with cheaper laptops, has two separate physical buttons below the pad, which is something that we prefer to the current trend of all-in-one click pads.

Toshiba carries on the annoying habit of putting port labels under the laptop, making them useless. It makes this even worse by etching them rather than colouring them, creating a black-on-black effect that's difficult to see. Still, it should be pretty easy to determine what's what, given that Toshiba colours its USB 3.0 port blue.

Yes, although the standard these days is two USB 3.0 ports, Toshiba's only given one here, supporting it with two USB 2.0 ports instead. You also get separate headphone and microphone jacks, HDMI and VGA out, 100Mbps Ethernet, a DVD±RW drive, 2.4GHz 802.11n and Bluetooth for connectivity.

Toshiba has kept the price low by making the Satellite C850/02D a last-generation part — that is, it features Intel's Core i5 2450M @ 2.5GHz. Keeping it company is 4GB of RAM, a 500GB mechanical hard drive and an AMD Radeon HD 7610M.

Application performance

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia

Handbrake encoding (in seconds)

  • 352
    HP dm4 3114TX (Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7570M)
  • 353
    Asus K55V (Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Nvidia GeForce 610M)
  • 378
    Acer Aspire V3-571G (Core i5 2450M, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, GeForce GT 630M)
  • 380
    Toshiba Satellite C850/02D (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7610M)
  • 386
    Sony Vaio E SVE14A15FGB (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7670M)
  • 541
    HP Envy 6 1010TU (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 4GB SSD cache)
  • 763
    Dell Inspiron 13z 5323 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD)
  • 766
    Dell Inspiron 14z 5423 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 8GB SSD cache)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)


No surprises for the hardware involved; the AU$899 C850/02D jostles shoulders with the similarly specced Sony Vaio E and Acer Aspire V3. Both of its direct competitors do offer better build quality and gigabit Ethernet, though.

Gaming performance

Batman: Arkham Asylum
Playable on:
MEDIUM
settings
FPS
Max Avg Min
125 86 46
1366x768, 4x AA, Detail level: Medium, PhysX off.
Metro 2033
Playable on:
VERY LOW
settings
FPS
Max Avg Min
59 32 9
1366x768, DirectX 9, 0x AA, Quality: Low, PhysX: Off.
The Witcher 2
NOT
PLAYABLE
FPS
Max Avg Min
26 19 12
1366x768, low spec.
Skyrim
Playable on:
VERY LOW
settings
FPS
Max Avg Min
60 40 31
1366x768, low detail.

The low-level Radeon HD 7610M is well suited to the resolution involved, but it's not a gaming GPU by a long shot.

Battery life (time)

  • Heavy battery test
  • Light battery test
  • 4h 15m6h 11m
  • HP dm4 3114TX (Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7570M)
  • 3h 34m5h 10m
  • HP Envy 6 1010TU (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 4GB SSD cache)
  • 3h 25m5h 0m
  • Sony Vaio E SVE14A15FGB (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7670M)
  • 2h 37m4h 9m
  • Acer Aspire V3-571G (Core i5 2450M, 8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, GeForce GT 630M)
  • 3h 13m4h 7m
  • Dell Inspiron 13z 5323 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD)
  • 2h 51m4h 3m
  • Asus K55V (Core i5 3210M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, Nvidia GeForce 610M)
  • 2h 54m3h 49m
  • Dell Inspiron 14z 5423 (Core i3 2367M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 8GB SSD cache)
  • 2h 36m3h 32m
  • Toshiba Satellite C850/02D (Core i5 2450M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 7610M)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)


This is where Toshiba comes undone — for just AU$100 more, Sony and HP offer significantly better battery life, not to mention build quality.

Conclusion

By itself, Toshiba's Satellite C850/02D does OK; however, AU$100 more will get you better battery life, build quality and gigabit Ethernet from its competitors.



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Trish_not_luvin_toshi_C850 posted a comment   
Australia

This laptop is a pile of CRAP and I would seriously warn anyone against getting one. It is absolutely hopeless and for sure the worst lappy I've ever used (and I own at least two a year, so I consider myself to be a reasonable judge of laptops). The keys fall OFF, the keypad is unresponsive and unpredictable, the CPU seems to get completely overwhelmed with the simplest of cross-program tasks... I could go on for a while. basically it is simply hopeless and not worth the $500 I paid. FALSE ECONOMY!

 

dosia011 posted a comment   
Australia

oh, and if you didn't know.. it will give you a black screen every so often and if you will attempt to remove the batteries to fix that, you will break your nails in the process.... great!!!!

 

dosia011 posted a comment   
Australia

the worse laptop i have ever got stay away from it!!!!

jhudson2971
9
Rating
 

"Good for price"

jhudson2971 posted a review   
United Kingdom

The Good:Price, Bluetooth, USB 3.0

The Bad:Can be a little bit slow on some games

After reading some reviews I purchased this laptop from my local computer shop http://www.computaplace.com/pcs/laptops/lap-113, they charged 287.99. I had my data transferred as well from my old tower and considering they didn't charge extra I think I did well out of that

TreeHugger
6
Rating
 

"lightweight and illogical in design"

TreeHugger posted a review   
Australia

The Good:familiar - used older Toshiba Satellite 585 prior to this one

The Bad:power cord input on the left. USB ports tight. Flimsy DVD tray

just bought mine from ecom computers in Sydney. My second Satellite, this one is disappointing with the rough touchpad, power cord port on the LEFT - illogical to me - and the USB ports are tight, making it difficult to remove the USBs. DVD tray looks flimsy. Overall not as well made as my old Satellite 585. Feels lighter and not as solid. Unfortunately I was not able to test it before I bought it, just went by the image and specs on ebay

 

RobB2 posted a comment   

I dont want you to suffer like I did if you find having to press fn and the number, just search HWSETUP and change the keyboard setting to standard. Heres the guide http://aps2.toshiba-tro.de/kb0/HTD2503B90001R01.htm

RobB2 Facebook
6
Rating
 

"ok"

RobB2 posted a review   

The Good:I love the power in the proccessor and the graphics card.

The Bad:The screen has poor viewing angles and there are many flaws in the manufacturing.One of my touchpad buttons is loose and one of the usb ports is not working. the speakers are also very bad and lack quality

Only buy it if it is cheap or on sale

 

RobB2 posted a comment   

got mine cheap! for 548 aus dollars at dick smith. Its pretty cool i use it to play minecraft and thats it.

SampsK Facebook
7
Rating
 

"We got ours with 8GB RAM for $785 from Harvey Norman."

SampsK posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Excellent value for money

The Bad:Tinny speakers and difficult to read port functions, for periphials.

We got ours with 8GB RAM for $785 from Harvey Norman. Unfortunately, whilst we have fibre, we are in a new subdivision and Telstra wont upgrade the switch because of the NBN. I will have been through another couple of laptops by the time we can get ADSL2 , so the connection isn't an issue.




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User Reviews / Comments  Toshiba Satellite C850/02D

  • Trish_not_luvin_toshi_C850

    Trish_not_luvin_toshi_C850

    "This laptop is a pile of CRAP and I would seriously warn anyone against getting one. It is absolutely hopeless and for sure the worst lappy I've ever used (and I own at least two a year, so I consi..."

  • dosia011

    dosia011

    "oh, and if you didn't know.. it will give you a black screen every so often and if you will attempt to remove the batteries to fix that, you will break your nails in the process.... great!!!!"

  • dosia011

    dosia011

    "the worse laptop i have ever got stay away from it!!!!"

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