REVIEW: Toshiba Satellite S40t Touchscreen Laptop under RM2000

Toshiba Satellite S40t laptop
Toshiba Satellite S40t laptop
Toshiba Satellite S40t laptop

Toshiba Satellite S40t is not expensive laptop with fastest processor and graphic card, nor it is lightweight ultrabook which can fit in a file. S40t is marketed as “entertainment laptop” with an affordable price tag and practical features. Read on my review for Toshiba Satellite S40t specs, features and performance.

Hardware

The loan unit I received is Toshiba Satellite S40t-AS107. It is powered by Intel Core i3 3227U 1.90 GHz CPU and 4GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM (expandable to 16GB). 500GB SATA hard disk.

Display size is 14.1-inch LED display (1366×768 pixels) with 10-point multi touch. Computer graphic is powered by Intel HD Graphics 4000.

Toshiba Satellite S40t laptop - input/output ports
Toshiba Satellite S40t laptop – input/output ports

S40t has a DVD-RW drive on the left side, along with a USB 2.0 port and RJ45 (LAN port). On the right side, there are 2x USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, D-Sub (VGA) port, headphone and mic jacks. SD memory card reader is located at the front. It supports WiFi, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, too.

Toshiba Satellite S40t uses 43Wh battery and weight starts from 2.15KG.

Toshiba S40t Review

Toshiba Satellite S40t is pre-installed Windows 8 (64-bit); a touchscreen display is recommneded for Windows 8 computer. S40t display is 14.1-inch 10-point multi touch. Like all the glossy displays, you have to bear with the glare and smudges. The good news is that S40t touch screen is responsive, no lag nor sluggish; the display colour is bright and sharp.

Also, I would like the lid has bigger adjustable angle. The lid’s current maximum angle is not comfortable to use the laptop on laps.

Toshiba Satellite S40t laptop - large trackpad
Toshiba Satellite S40t laptop – large trackpad

Toshiba Satellite S40t has a big button-less matte surface trackpad. You press it down on left/right side to simulate left/right mouse click.

The trackpad supports Windows 8 gestures; one-finger-swipe out from left edge return to previous application; one-finger-swipe out from right edge calls out Windows 8 charm bar. Two-finger gestures are supported too for page scrolling.

Unfortunately, the page scrolling gesture is not smooth, such as: it can not keep up my gesture movement and stopped scrolling while I was still swiping with two-finger. Also, I kept getting unintended Windows 8 charm bar pop-up because the trackpad registered my two-finger swipe as one-finger. I could not find the trackpad gesture setting to disable it.

Here is a tip to reduce the gesture error: keep your fingers in the middle of the trackpad, reserves the left and right area for Windows 8 gestures.

S40t notebook uses tiled full-size-like keyboard with glossy frame. The keys are actually smaller than full-size keyboard. The glossy keyboard frame looks gorgeous at first but you will notice smudges after a while. Personally, I think S40t keyboard key press is a bit soft, not enough tactile feedback.

Toshiba Satellite S40t laptop with DTS sound
Toshiba Satellite S40t laptop with DTS sound

What I like most about Toshiba Satellite S40t is its great sound output. The built-in Onyko speakers with DTS sound located right under the display. The speakers are very loud that the sound can fill your whole room (surround sound). Speech is clear; treble is good, but I like to have more bass.

Performance benchmarks

First of all, Toshiba Satellite S40t boot-up in seconds that it uses SSD! Credit to Toshiba HDD Accelerator technology, perhaps. Not performance related, but I want to mention that I like the light ring around power button.

Overall, I did not notice performance problem. My usage mainly web browsing, writing, streaming online music and tested some Windows 8 small games.

The loan unit I received uses Intel HD Graphic 4000. If you are into 3D gaming or photo/video editing, you would like to upgrade it to the optional dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT740M with 2GB RAM. Otherwise, the shared graphic is capable to handle your daily home/work usage.

I did not notice laptop heat problem. The palm rest is cool; laptop bottom is a bit warm but not hot.

In order to have a better performance overview, I ran FutureMark professional benchmark softwares on Toshiba Satellite S40t-AS107:

  • PCMark 7 (basic edition): 2,640
  • PCMark 8 (Home*): 3,642
  • 3DMark (CloudGate): 3,070

*PC Mark 8 (Home) tests includes web browsing, writing, photo editing, video chat and casual gaming

For laptop battery life, S40t could last up to 4 hours in my usage: writing, web surfing, streaming online music. I also used FutureMark’s PowerMark to benchmark the battery life:

For “balanced” usage (even splits between web browsing, word processing, video and gaming workloads), S40t last 3 hours 7 minutes. For “multimedia” test (includes video and gaming workloads), the battery last 2 hours 16 minutes. Just enough to finish watching a movie.

Photo Gallery

Price & Availability

Toshiba Satellite S40t-AS107 retail price in Malaysia is RM 1,999 (Intel Core i3) and RM 2,499 (Intel Core i5). Other S40t configurations are also available, such as Intel Core i5 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M dedicated graphic card, and 750GB hard disk.

Please visit Toshiba Malaysia for more information and where to buy.

LiewCF’s Buying Advice

Toshiba Satellite S40t is an affordable Windows 8 laptop with multi-touch display, many input/output ports, and great sound output.

I would recommend S40t for most home users whose main computer usage is writing, surfing, playing videos and some games. It is a desktop replacement laptop and entertainment hub for most families.

Pro: great sound output; good touchscreen display; full array of buil-in ports; affordable price.
Con: trackpad gestures are not smooth; not comfortable use on laps.
Rate: 4 out of 5

I would like to thank TOSHIBA for the opportunity to review Toshiba Satellite S40t. This is a free product review with honest write-up. Interesting to send your products for review? Get in touch with me.

Dell Malaysia Announces Alienware 14 & 17 Gaming Laptops with 4th Generation Intel Core Processors

Model pose with Alienware 14 laptop
Model pose with Alienware 14 laptop

Alienware 14 and Alienware 17 gaming laptops (and X51 gaming desktop) have been released in Malaysia by Dell. Read on for the high-end specs and prices.

The first thing you’ll notice about Alienware 14 and Alienware 17 is the colourful LEDs all over the laptop body. Alienware Command Center 3.0 pre-installed software allows you to create your own customize laptop’s LEDs colours and effect.

Both gaming laptops are powered by 4th generation Intel Core processors, featuring an “anodized aluminum shell and magnesium alloy body” (read: durable but heavy). The keyboard is protected by a underneath steel plate, with key travel and responsiveness designed for gamer’s need.

Alienware 14 and Alienware 17 features an anti-glare LCD display. The Alienware 17 has an optional 3D panel for 3D gaming (3D glasses required). Both are powered by Klipsch Audio and speakers certified by Klipsch engineers.

Alienware 14 specs and price

Here is the default configuration for Alienware 14 (price RM 4999):

  • 4th Gen Intel Core i7–4700MQ
  • Windows 8 (64-bit)
  • 14″ WLED Full HD (1920×1080) anti-glare display
  • 8GB 1600MHz Dual Channel DDR3L
  • 750GB 7200RPM HDD (SATA 3Gb/s) + 64GB mSATA SSD Caching
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M with 2GB GDDR5
  • 3x USB 3.0 (1x with PowerShare), Gigabit Ethernet, Mini-Display port, HDMI output, 9-in–1 media card reader
  • 2x Audio Out ports (one compatible with inline mic headset)
  • 1x Line-in microphone port (retaskable for 5.1 analog audio output)
  • Slot-loading 8x SuperMulti Drive (DVD±R/RW)
  • Weight 2.77KG

With additional RM 1000 (RM 5999), you can configure Alienware 14 with the following upgrades: Intel Core i7–4800MQ, 16GB RAM, Dual layer Blu-ray reader (BD-ROM, DVD±RW, CD-RW), and Broadcom 4352 802.11 ac 2×2 and Bluetooth 4.0.

Alienware 17 spces and price

Alienware 17 basic configuration starts from RM 6699.

  • 4th Gen Intel Core i7–4700MQ
  • Windows 8 (64-bit)
  • 8GB Dual Channel DDR3L at 1600MHz
  • 750GB 7200RPM HDD (SATA 3Gb/s) + 64GB mSATA SSD Caching
  • 17.3-inch WLED Full HD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare 220 Nit Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M with 2GB GDDR5
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 4x USB 3.0 ports (one with PowerShare), Mini-Display port, HDMI output/input, 9-in–1 media card reader
  • 2x Audio out ports (one compatible with inline mic headset)
  • Line in Microphone port (retaskable for 5.1 analog audio output)
  • Slot-loading 8x SuperMulti Drive (DVD±R/RW)
  • 802.11n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0
  • Weight: 4.15KG

Alienware 17 is configurable up to Intel Core i7–6800MQ, 16GB RAM, 400 Nit Display with 3D bundle, GeForce GRX 770M with 3GB GDDR5, and Blu-ray drive. By the way, Dell Malaysia no plan to bring in Alienware 18 for Malaysians.

Alienware X51 Gaming Desktop

Alienware X51 Gaming Desktop
Alienware X51 Gaming Desktop

Also available is Alienware X51 gaming desktop (RM 2988) for those who want to play games on big HDTV at home.

  • 4th generation Intel Core i5–4430
  • Windows 8 (64-bit)
  • 8GB Dual Channel DDR at 1600MHz
  • 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 645 with 1GB GDDR5
  • Slot-Loading Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD±RW, CD-RW) (Standard)

Add-on RM 1000, you can upgrade the system to Intel Core i7–4770 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 with 1.5GB GDDR5.

Event’s photo gallery

Visit Dell Malaysia for more information.

ASUS Transformer AiO is All-in-One Windows 8 PC cum Supersize Android Tablet

ASUS Transformer AiO P1801 is all-in-one Windows 8 desktop PC with standalone Android tablet
ASUS Transformer AiO P1801 is all-in-one Windows 8 desktop PC with standalone Android tablet
ASUS Transformer AiO P1801 is all-in-one Windows 8 desktop PC with standalone Android tablet

ASUS Transformer AiO P1801 is world’s first Windows 8 desktop PC with standalone Android tablet. How is it possible? Read on to find out.

ASUS Transformer AiO consists of two parts: a) PC dock station and b) a detachable 18.4-inch tablet. The tablet itself is a Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) tablet powered by NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-core processor. Inside the PC Station are Intel Core processor and other computer hardware to run Windows 8.

Read moreASUS Transformer AiO is All-in-One Windows 8 PC cum Supersize Android Tablet

Buying a Cheap Windows 8 Touchscreen Notebook Under RM2000

Erin and her Acer Aspire V5

ACER Aspire V5
ACER Aspire V5

This is a true story. I helped my cousin-in-law to buy a Windows 8 touchscreen notebook under RM2000 budget.

My 21-year-old cousin-in-law, Erin, was looking for a new notebook after her ex-notebook’s AMD CPU burned. Knowing I am a tech blogger, she sought for my advice on buying a notebook.

What’s your notebook budget and usage?

When buying a computer, my advices are setting a budget, listing down your computer usage and the “good-to-have” features.

Erin’s budget is under RM2000 (~USD666). She will use the notebook for light tasks such as web surfing, listening music, watching video, plus some office works. A slim and lightweight notebook (Ultrabook) is preferable. Card reader and DVD drive are good to have. Touchscreen is a bonus.

Windows 8 tablet under RM2000

Erin was checking out Windows 8 tablet. Two Windows 8 tablets that’s under RM2000 in Malaysia are Dell Latitude 10(RM1980) and ACER Iconia W5 (RM1699, without keyboard dock).

I don’t recommend Windows 8 tablet to her because, according to her usage, a 13-inch notebook with faster CPU and more disk space is more value for money and more suitable to her.

RM2000 Windows 8 notebooks

We spent hours at Plaza Low Yat surveyed many notebook models of different brands (HP, DELL, ACER, ASUS, LENOVO, etc).

With RM2300, you can buy a decent Windows 8 notebook with Intel i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB hard disk + 32GB SSD, and dedicated graphic processor.

That would be the basic of my ideal Windows notebook, but RM2300 has exceeded Erin’s budget. Passed.

There are quite a number of notebooks under RM2000 (Windows 8 and Windows 7) as well. Generally, they have cheaper CPU (AMD, Intel i3, Intel Pentium) and don’t have dedicated graphic processor.

ACER Aspire V5

In the end, Erin decided on ACER Aspire V5. I can felt that she fall in love to the notebook at the first sight. ;)

The notebook is in silver color, it is not metal but feel more tough than cheap notebook plastic body. The keyboard is backlit!

ACER Aspire V5 has a few models. The one I refer here is V5–471P–33214G50Mass (what da genius model name!). It is a slim profile 14-inch Windows 8 notebook powered by Intel Core i3 CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB hard disk. Complete with HDMI port, 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.0 ports, VGA and network combo port. Weight about 2.1KG.

Despite the slim body, ACER Aspire V5 has build-in DVD drive! The real surprise is.. dang! dang! 10-points touchscreen! So far, this is the only notebook under RM2000 we checked comes with touchscreen.

You really like to have a touchscreen for Windows 8 user interface.

We bought ACER Aspire V5 (model: V5–471P–33214G50Mass) at RM1900. We also paid RM50 for Acer SuperCare 2-year Extended Warranty (total 3 years warranty for the notebook).

The extended warranty pack priced over RM100 but the shop sold to us at only RM50… That’s a steal!

LiewCF’s Two Cents

Since the Windows 8 release in November 2012, many Windows 8 devices are now available in the market, from budget to luxury.

I was wrong. Windows 8 notebook is not expensive at all.

In this example, the ACER Aspire V5 is basically perfect for students and home users. The touchscreen feature in a budget notebook really make the model stand out from the crowd. Thumb up for ACER!

For myself, I would spend RM300 more to get a higher specs notebook, even it does not have a touchscreen. Notebook with touchscreen is fun but it does not help to improve my productivity like the better hardware.

Have you buy a Windows 8 notebook? Which model and how much? Tell us in the comment.