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back to article Toshiba Satellite A660 16in laptop

Fitting a widescreen display into a laptop is all well and good, but it poses a problem: what do you do with all the empty space around the keyboard, now that the machines are so much bigger from one side to the other? Toshiba Satellite A660-15T Toshiba's Satellite A660-15T: looks only a mother could love? The original …

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Tim

For work

Widescreen laptops aren't ideal for business use really; every paper I write is usually taller than it is wide, so I end up wasting a ton of screen space (and battery) on useless white pixels containing no information. Same with coding.

A numeric keypad though, now that's useful. This could be a very workable compromise for people who spend all their time in spreadsheets.

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Go

Layout...

..I've an Probook with the same layout and the number pad is a godsend.

But then I work in telecoms, so I'm forever punching in numbers.

Also the lefty glide isn't a problem at all, but then 99% of the time I use a mouse.

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That trackpad would really annoy me

There should be a version for the right handed where the track pad is under the numeric pad. It would also then not get in the way while typing.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: That trackpad would really annoy me

You can turn the trackpad off - there's a handy button for this just above it. Assuming, of course, you don't also hit said button while typing...

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Happy

That feature sells it for me

I hate trackpads with a passion, as I'm always catching them when typing, so being able to switch the &*(((&&^%! thing off is great and more manufacturers should do it

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Overheat problem fixed?

I haven't purchased a Toshiba Satellite in 3 years, the last one I bought would overheat and shut down in 20 minutes. It needed a biscuit fan blowing on it to keep it working, which made it an expensive semiportable desktop. Toshiba wasn't interested in fixing it, so I haven't been interested in giving them more business. Have they gotten better?

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Stop

agreeing with other posters here

yes the numeric keypad is a godsend, even as a home user, adding stuff up, inputting numbers into hobby related applications (bowling league software for one) makes having a numeric keypad a must.

and as for the looks...whats wrong with it? it looks like it is meant to , it doesnt have any snazzy colours, or led's all over the place, but its pretty sleek, the keyboard is very comfortable having tried a similar design.

And its performance is upper mid-range, so the price isnt the worst either.

add to that the fact that Toshiba laptops for the main part are pretty rugged, it should last a good while.

Other manufacturers may make lighter better looking machines but the build quality isnt as good.

right I am off to get some Humbrol paints to make my Samsung more interesting :)

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Silver badge

Never buy consumer

I'm sorry, but this is a consumer notebook. Those typically are over-priced and under value. For example the display is shiny which is against regulations in the field of ergonomics.

If you want to buy decent laptops, you need to buy business. It's cheaper and you get better quality.

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Silver badge

Bl**dy widescreen

Hate it on a laptop... Just makes the things twice the size, and you still lose the far more useful vertical resolution.

16:10 and 16:9 are only really useful for TVs, and even then they are still a compromise when it comes to films which are wider still than 16:9, so you still end up with a letterbox!

I'm happily typing this on my aged ThinkPad R52 with its 15" 1400x1050 4:3 screen and suspect I'll still be using this in 5 years time... By which point it will have probably had a second hard drive transplant and be equipped with SSD.

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Boffin

widescreen=less surface

For same diagonal, a 16/9 has ~11% less surface than a 4/3. No wonder manufacturers were quick to push the format.

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What lousy specs

For 900 quid they couldn't even increase the resolution of the screen the tiniest bit? I haven't bought a new laptop in years because the trend has actually been toward increased dot pitch, not decreased. I also find 16:10 generally better for everyday tasks than either 4:3 or 16:9, hits the sweet spot somehow, but I must be in the minority. Too bad my choices have been effectively wiped out by profit mongering.

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Laptops these days require external keyboard and monitor

1) Widescreen laptops have their vertical pixels reduced to x768 where it used to be x800. This means a lot more downward scrolling. Waste of time. Also because the screen is more restrictive than the graphics card, to see in a higher resolution you need to plug in an external monitor.

2) Keyboards with Numeric Pads are not good if they result in more keys on the standard keyboard being doubled up requiring the Function Key to be pressed such as Home / End / Page Up / Page Down. Try positioning your cursor in an MS Word Document somewhere in the middle and selecting all the text to the bottom of the page. CTRL-SHIFT-END becomes CTRL-SHIFT-FUNC-END. What a joke. So you now need an external keyboard. (You'll also note that the Back Space, Enter and Right Shift key will be shortened - so when you use your little fingers on the right to hit the delete, you'll have more chance of missing the key.)

So the above two combine to slow down productivity on a laptop compared to previous generations.

Today's laptops are rubbish.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Laptops these days require external keyboard and monitor

<smug>

My 1440 x 900 15in MacBook Pro isn't rubbish. Oh no.

</smug>

:-)

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That's barely adequate specs

You used to be able to get PCs that put that to shame: 1920x1200 in 15". What happened? Was that just a seasonal fad, then people figured out that software hadn't quite caught up to the hardware, or OEMs had no idea how to preconfigure font scaling? (Though OS font scaling and browser pic scaling seems to work fine these days.)

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