Notebookcheck

Review Toshiba Satellite L830-15L Subnotebook

Florian Glaser (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 04/25/2013

Small, white and glossy. Toshiba's product line features an interesting subnotebook dubbed Satellite L830-15L. The buyer not only gets a 13-inch HD screen but also an energy-efficient ULV processor for just under 640 Euros (~$834). We were especially curious about the graphics card's performance. Can the Radeon HD 7550M also cope with computing-intensive 3D applications.

Toshiba Satellite L830-15L

For the original German review, see here.

Toshiba currently lists two versions of its Satellite L830 on the German homepage. The L830-13L entry-model sports a Core i5-3317U, which is a swift 1.7 - 2.6 GHz dual-core from Intel's current Ivy Bridge generation. It also features a DVD burner, eight GB of DDR3 RAM (1600 MHz) and a 640 GB HDD (5400 rpm). The manufacturer opted for Windows 8 64-bit as the operating system.

Our tested Satellite L830-15L is largely identical with the aforementioned model. In addition to a larger, 750 GB hard drive, the 15L features a somewhat stronger processor. The Core i5-3337U clock rate ranges between 1.8 and 2.7 GHz during load. Both devices have a 13.3-inch glossy screen with 1366x768 pixels. The recommended price is 799 Euros (~$1041), although the devices are sometimes much cheaper on the open market.

Case

The glossy lid features a line pattern
The glossy lid features a line pattern

Considering only the looks, Toshiba has not modified anything since our last review. The 13-incher's size of 329 x 221 x 32 millimeters (~13.0 x 8.7 x 1.3 inches) cannot be compared with that of a slim ultrabook; nevertheless, it is pleasant to carry around. This high portability is also due to the relatively low weight of 1886 grams (4.16 pounds), which was almost unthinkable in the 15-inch category.

The case makes a decent quality impression. Apart from a matte black base, the L830 gleams in an intense white. Contrary to the manufacturer's information, the plastic surfaces are not matte but glossy.

We would normally count this as a drawback due to its extreme sensitivity. However, the Satellite L830 is an exception because its light color conceals smudges like fingerprints, etc. This and the trendy line pattern on the lid and wrist rest results in rather unique looks. The subnotebook will definitely prove to be an eye-catcher.

The workmanship is overall on an average standard. Minor flaws, such as a somewhat protruding battery or a not completely flush maintenance cover, are common in this price range. The rigidness is also in the upper midfield. In addition to the drive and HDD area, the keyboard yields under high force particularly in the space bar's center area. Like in most laptops, the lid can be warped significantly.

In return, the hinges do a good job. The device can be opened with one hand, although the base unit lifts slightly at most. The lid remains stably in position on vibrating surfaces.

Connectivity

Interfaces

The connectivity is more than decent for a 13-inch subnotebook. The buyer does not get FireWire, eSATA or a DisplayPort. However, three USB ports (2 support USB 3.0), an HDMI and VGA out, a multi-in-1 card reader (SD, SDHC, SDxC, MMC) and two audio jacks (microphone + headphone) should satisfy most users.

Internet access is possible via either Wi-Fi or the RJ-45 Gigabit LAN port. The device can also be secured against theft via a Kensington lock. Apart from that, the device also features an HD webcam and integrated microphone.

In our opinion, the interface positioning could be improved. Annoying collisions and space problems could evolve when using an external mouse because the right-handed ports are placed very close to the front. The elbowroom on this side is very restricted depending on the amount of connected cables.

Wireless Communication

The wireless module proves to be rather ordinary. A Qualcomm Atheros AR9485WB-EG is installed in our test device. Its Wi-Fi range is good despite the somewhat poor specs of only 150 Mbit/s and no 5.0 GHz support. The Satellite L830 also supports Bluetooth 4.0.

Left: Power-in, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, card reader, optical drive
Left: Power-in, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, card reader, optical drive
Right: Headphone, microphone, USB 3.0, HDMI, RJ-45 Gigabit LAN, VGA, Kensington lock
Right: Headphone, microphone, USB 3.0, HDMI, RJ-45 Gigabit LAN, VGA, Kensington lock

Maintenance

The maintenance options comply with the current laptop standards. The hard drive (2.5-inch slot) and both working memory modules (DDR3 RAM banks for a maximum of 16 GB) can be easily accessed after removing two Phillips screws from the base unit. An SSD upgrade would definitely be worthwhile for practical use. However, more than eight GB of RAM should not become necessary in the next few years.

Software

Installed software
Installed software

As the screenshots below show, several tools are installed in the system. We will only mention the most important programs in view of the quantity. Besides the clearly arranged "PC Health Monitor" that displays the status of some components, such as fan speed, CPU temperature, battery status, etc., the so-called "eco Utility", which provides information about power consumption, is also worth mentioning.

However, we most liked the tool "System Settings". It enables managing HDD protection and the USB 2.0 port's sleep & charge function, among other things. Most software elements are summarized in the "Desktop Assist" program. It is praiseworthy that the operating system can be backed up on external data carriers via "Recovery Media Creator" (three DVDs needed).

Accessories

Toshiba does not include many accessories. The buyer will only find a safety manual and warranty information besides a quick start guide. The removable lithium-ion battery weighs a bit less than 300 grams (~0.66 pounds) and the small, 105 x 45 x 30 mm (~4.1 x 1.8 x 1.2 in.), 65-Watt power supply unit weighs approximately 250 grams (~0.55 pounds).

Warranty

The warranty includes a two-year international bring-in service. The warranty can be upgraded free of charge when the product is registered. For example, German and Austrian customers receive a pick-up & return service.

System Settings (HDD)
System Settings (Keyboard)
System Settings (sleep & charge)
eco Utility
PC Health Monitor
PC diagnosis tool
Recovery Media Creator
Service Station
TEMPRO
Desktop Assist
A lot of Toshiba tools

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keyboard is quite satisfactory. Toshiba opted for a chiclet design that is characterized by separate keys with big gaps. Although it does not feature a dedicated number pad or backlight, we could work perfectly with it. The well-defined pressure point and stroke lead to a usable typing feel.

Even the F row with its practical special functions appealed to us despite its low height. The functions range from controls for volume, brightness, multimedia (play/pause, forward, rewind) up to touchpad and Wi-Fi de- and activation. The special functions are started without the simultaneous use of the FN key in state of delivery. This behavior can be changed to the classic mode in "System Settings".

Most users should not have problems with the layout and average key size of 15 x 13.5 millimeters (~0.59 x 0.53 inches). It is however unfortunate that the keyboard is installed relatively close to the lower edge. We soon found ourselves wanting a larger wrist rest.

Touchpad

The silver rim and clear lowering of the Synaptics V7.2 touchpad with a size of 89 x 46 millimeters (~3.5 x 1.8 inches) enable finding it in all situations. In our opinion, the lightly roughened surface provides a great compromise of feedback and gliding resistance. The touchpad was quite accurate in the test. Except for rotating, the supported gestures were detected reliably. Zooming and scrolling were very pleasant to use. Users who dislike the newer touchpad models, like in Asus' U38DT, will also be pleased about the dedicated keys.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

High expectations should not be placed on the screen. We would classify the installed LG Philips LP133WH2-TLL3 screen as a typical mainstream model. This statement is also based on the moderate brightness. An average of 210 cd/m² is not much compared with a few other competing products. The illumination of almost 83% is also not very satisfactory.

222
cd/m²
221
cd/m²
222
cd/m²
203
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
211
cd/m²
190
cd/m²
195
cd/m²
195
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 230 cd/m²
Average: 209.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 230 cd/m²
Black: 0.56 cd/m²
Contrast: 411:1

We deem the relatively high black value of approximately 0.6 cd/m² particularly adverse because dark content looks grayish. Thus, it is not very surprising that the contrast does not achieve top rates. Our gauge measured an average of only 410:1. Premium TN screens easily reach twice as much.

The color reproduction also disappointed us. The Satellite L830 failed to cover the sRGB color space. The picture looks more vivid in other glossy models. The screen's resolution is a matter of taste. While some users appreciate slightly larger menu items, etc., others will be annoyed about the limited suitability for working. 1366x768 pixels are too little for decent multi-window use.

Toshiba Satellite L830-15L vs. sRGB (grid)
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L vs. sRGB (grid)
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L vs. AdobeRGB (grid)
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L vs. AdobeRGB (grid)
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L vs. Satellite L830-10F (grid)
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L vs. Satellite L830-10F (grid)
Calman 5.1 software: Grayscale
Calman 5.1 software: Grayscale
Calman 5.1 software: CMS Calibration
Calman 5.1 software: CMS Calibration
Calman 5.1 software: Saturation Sweeps
Calman 5.1 software: Saturation Sweeps

The Satellite L830 generally cannot be called an outdoor laptop. The glossy surface already partly causes intense reflections indoors. The eyes are naturally strained even more outdoors. The displayed content looks extremely dark depending on the sun or light incidence. Traveling-eager users should definitely choose a laptop with an AR-coated screen.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L outdoors

As can be seen on the screenshot below, the vertical viewing angles are very tight. The screen has to be frequently readjusted in order to prevent distortions. The screen's horizontal viewing angles are better but it cannot be called good.

Viewing angles: Toshiba Satellite L830-15L
Viewing angles: Toshiba Satellite L830-15L

Performance

Ivy Bridge
Ivy Bridge

Processor

Matching the portability concept, an energy-efficient ULV processor is under the hood of the Satellite L830-15L. In contrast to the standard dual-cores from Intel's Ivy Bridge family, the Core i5-3337U is specified with a TDP of 17 rather than 35 Watts.

This does not mean that the CPU can only cope with undemanding applications. The 22 nm model delivers decent power due to its automatic overclocking function, aka Turbo Boost, and the Hyperthreading technology that supports every physical core with a virtual one. The speed of single programs could also be due to the L3 cache.

Compromises only have to be made in the clock rate. With 1.8 - 2.7 GHz, the Core i5-3337U is slower than many of its 35-Watt counterparts, such as the Core i5-3230M with 2.6 - 3.2 GHz. However, the user will not notice much of a difference in routine use. The Ivy Bridge model has enough power for most tasks.

Surprisingly, the HD Graphics 4000 chip, which has a much lower default clock in ULV CPUs (350 vs. 650 MHz), is inactive in the Satellite L830-15L. Toshiba intentionally omitted graphics switching. We can at least understand this decision to an extent seeing that AMD's Enduro technology does not always work flawlessly.

System info CPUZ Cache
System info CPUZ Mainboard
System info CPUZ RAM
System info CPUZ RAM SPD
System info HWiNFO
System info GPUZ (state of delivery)
System info GPUZ (after driver update)
System info HDTune
System info DPC Latency
System info CPUZ CPU
System information: Toshiba Satellite L830-15L

Turbo Boost

The Core i5-3337U's good Turbo behavior indicates an adequate cooling system. While the processor ran with 2.5 - 2.7 GHz in single-core load, it was a stable 2.5 GHz when all cores were loaded. Full load did not cause the CPU to change its 2.5 GHz either. The graphics card did not show any irregularities. The GPU-Z tool always displayed the maximum clock rates in 3D operation.

Single-core rendering
Single-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
Multi-core rendering
CPU & GPU load
CPU & GPU load

CPU Performance

The CPU benchmarks confirm the Core i5-3337U's good performance. With 4686 points, the ULV processor places itself exactly between the 2.4 GHz Core i3-3110M (4250 points @ Lenovo ThinkPad X230i) and the 2.5 - 3.1 GHz Core i5-3210M (5265 points @ Asus P55VA).

The differences are similar in multi-core rendering. 9741 points equal an advantage of 6% on the Core i3-3110M (9191 points). The popular midrange Core i5-3210M has a lead of 10% with 10916 points.

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Intel Core i5-3337U
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L
2.51 Points ∼14%
AMD A10-4600M
HP Pavilion g6-2253sg
1.99 Points ∼11% -21%
Intel Core i3-3110M
Lenovo ThinkPad X230i-NZC7PGE
2.4 Points ∼14% -4%
Intel Core i5-3210M
Asus P55VA-XO011X
2.88 Points ∼16% +15%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Intel Core i5-3337U
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L
1.08 Points ∼58%
AMD A10-4600M
HP Pavilion g6-2253sg
0.71 Points ∼38% -34%
Intel Core i3-3110M
Lenovo ThinkPad X230i-NZC7PGE
1 Points ∼54% -7%
Intel Core i5-3210M
Asus P55VA-XO011X
1.24 Points ∼67% +15%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
4686 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
9741 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6640 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.51 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.08 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
22.02 fps
Help

Graphics Card

GPU info
GPU info
Clock behavior
Clock behavior

The Radeon HD 7550M is a low-end graphics card from AMD. Unlike the Radeon HD 8550M successor, it is not based on the new 28 nm GCN architecture but still on the Terascale 2 architecture manufactured in the 40 nm build.

The DirectX 11 model features a total of 480 Unified Shaders and 716 million transistors. The small memory interface proves to be one of the biggest drawbacks. The 1024 MB DDR3 video memory (900 MHz) is only connected with 64 bits. For comparison, midrange GPUs usually have a 128-bit pipeline and 256 bits in the premium range. The Radeon HD 7550M in the Satellite L830-15L has a core clock of 500 MHz.

Owing to the integrated UVD 3 video decoder, the GPU accelerates various HD formats directly. It is also possible to transmit a high-quality image and audio signal to external devices via HDMI. According to AMD, the HD Audio Controller supports 7.1 surround sound output.

Note: The graphics driver 8.982.7.0 installed on the test device was updated to version 8.982.10.6000 during a Windows update. Our measurements are based on the latter.

5.1
Windows 8 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
6.9
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
7.5
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
5.1
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6.4
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9

GPU Performance

The scores of the synthetic graphic benchmarks are rather sobering. Although the Radeon HD 7550M noticeably surpasses Intel's HD Graphics 4000 in a few cases (see chart), AMD's GPU is usually insignificantly, if at all, faster.

For example, with a GPU score of 569 points, the Satellite L830-15L is only 8% faster than Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet (531 points) in the Fire-Strike test of the latest 3DMark (1920x1080). The Radeon HD 7550M does not even come close to Nvidia's successful moneymaker GeForce GT 630M (706 points @ Schenker Xesia M501).

We also used the Unigine Heaven 2.1 benchmark (1280x1024, high, default tessellation) as another DirectX 11 test. While the GeForce GT 630M accomplishes around 16 fps (16.4 fps @ Dell Vostro 3460) here, the Radeon HD 7550M only manages a 50% lower 8 fps. Nvidia’s entry-level competitor, the GeForce GT 620M, also wins this match (9.1 fps @ Lenovo ThinkPad Edge S430). The improvements of the new GCN architecture become obvious in the Radeon HD 8550M. Almost 14 fps equal a plus of 75% (Asus VivoBook U38DT).

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
AMD Radeon HD 7550M
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L
764 Points ∼5%
Intel HD Graphics 4000
Schenker Xirios S402
522 Points ∼3% -32%
Nvidia GeForce GT 620M
Acer Aspire V5-471G
933 Points ∼6% +22%
AMD Radeon HD 7660G
Pumori Platform
1056 Points ∼7% +38%
Nvidia GeForce GT 630M
Dell XPS 14-L421X
1051 Points ∼7% +38%
3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
4932 points
3DMark Vantage2927 points
3DMark 11856 points
3DMark Ice Storm37741 points
3DMark Cloud Gate3573 points
3DMark Fire Strike545 points
Help

Storage Devices

CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark

750 GB should supply most users with enough room to store data. The MQ01ABD075 is an HDD from Toshiba's own production line. The performance of the slim, 9.5-millimeter SATA II model is located in the upper range.

Although the HDD "only" spins at 5400 rpm, the Satellite L830-15L accomplishes a sequential read and write rate of approximately 90 MB/s. The 750 GB Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3 from Western Digital (Asus N56VB-S4050H) supplies somewhat better results with both small and large files.

Toshiba's HDD does a decent job as long as no heavy-duty multitasking is expected from the system. Of course, the 5400-rpm drive cannot compete against a solid-state drive.

TOSHIBA MQ01ABD075
Transfer Rate Minimum: 54.3 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 100.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 80 MB/s
Access Time: 18.1 ms
Burst Rate: 73.5 MB/s
CPU Usage: 3.3 %

System Performance

The subnotebook's system performance is neither particularly good nor bad. 2046 points in PCMark 7 is on a par with cheaper 15-inch devices, such as HP's Pavilion g6-2253sg (A10-4600M + Radeon HD 7660G/7670M) or Sony's Vaio SV-E1511V1EW (Core i5-3210M + Radeon HD 7650M).

PC Mark
PCMark 72046 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Modern games only playable with restrictions
Modern games only playable with restrictions

The Satellite L830-15L is unsuitable for eager gamers. Although the Radeon HD 7550M powers some tracks decently even in high details and enabled anti-aliasing (e.g. Counter Strike: Global Offensive and FIFA 13), the performance is often only enough for medium or low detail levels. Extremely computing-intensive games, such as Crysis 3Alan Wake or Battlefield 3, do not run smoothly to start with regardless of the settings.

The Radeon HD 7550M places itself just above Intel's HD Graphics 4000 depending on the game. The distance to popular midrange models, such as the Radeon HD 7670M or GeForce GT 630M, is often gigantic. Toshiba could have omitted the dedicated GPU considering the minor added performance and increased power consumption. The advantages of AMD's card, for example better driver support, are moderate.

low med.high ultra
Battlefield 3 (2011) 24.916.412.4fps
CoD: Modern Warfare 3 (2011) 130.453.126.5fps
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 37.722.715.3fps
Anno 2070 (2011) 61.822.714.6fps
Alan Wake (2012) 18.111.7fps
Mass Effect 3 (2012) 29.521.8fps
Risen 2: Dark Waters (2012) 21.714.611.2fps
Diablo III (2012) 58.138.130.6fps
Dirt Showdown (2012) 65.439.625.9fps
Max Payne 3 (2012) 25.525.48fps
Darksiders II (2012) 26.6fps
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 43.732.811.8fps
Counter-Strike: GO (2012) 133.37556.9fps
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 55.917fps
F1 2012 (2012) 724530fps
Borderlands 2 (2012) 30.323.216.6fps
Fifa 13 (2012) 180108.381.2fps
Dishonored (2012) 3728.825.5fps
Medal of Honor: Warfighter (2012) 2717.613.8fps
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) 30.818.111.7fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (2012) 47.230.413.9fps
Hitman: Absolution (2012) 30.418.47.3fps
Assassin´s Creed III (2012) 24.217.8fps
Far Cry 3 (2012) 32.117.610.1fps
Dead Space 3 (2013) 76.428.822.7fps
Crysis 3 (2013) 19.711.77.5fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 50.923.814.4fps
SimCity (2013) 38.715.911.6fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 189.639.319.8fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 40.720.416.6fps

Emissions

System Noise

The noise development does not give much reason for complaint. While the subnotebook runs with just audible 32-33 dB(A) when idling (fan + HDD), it gets louder during load. However, the reached 37 - 42 dB(A) is not distracting. Consequently, the 13-incher ranges within laptop average.

Users who want a virtually silent device during basic work such as MS Office or Internet should however look around for another laptop. The optical drive was quite unobtrusive in the test. Approximately 37 dB(A) while playing a movie is typical for a DVD burner.

Noise Level

Idle 31.8 / 32.1 / 32.8 dB(A)
DVD 37.0 / dB(A)
Load 36.7 / 41.6 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test (Furmark & Prime)

The temperatures are not excessively high. The laptop's surfaces settled to moderate 28 °C (82.4 °F) after two hours of idling. An average of 38 °C (100.4 °F) during load is also acceptable. However, the chassis reached up to 50 °C (122 °F) in a few spots.

The fan's positioning makes a rather mixed impression. The gaming-vital WASD area always stays fairly cool because the fan is located in the right area. However, users who work with a mouse on the right side will have to tolerate the fan's entire waste heat.

We cannot make a general verdict about the components either. Our one-hour stress test using FurMark and Prime only increased the GPU's temperature to 73 °C (163.4 °F). In return, CPUID Hardware Monitor recorded up to 90 °C (194 °F) in the processor, which is quite high. The hardware temperatures however never reached disturbing temperatures.

Max. Load
 31.8 °C42.7 °C49.8 °C 
 31.2 °C42.5 °C47.8 °C 
 26.9 °C34.3 °C37.7 °C 
Maximum: 49.8 °C
Average: 38.3 °C
49.3 °C39.0 °C30.5 °C
50.6 °C39.0 °C28.8 °C
34.4 °C33.4 °C26.4 °C
Maximum: 50.6 °C
Average: 36.8 °C
Power Supply (max.)  43.7 °C | Room Temperature 22 °C | Voltcraft IR-550

Speakers

SRS Premium Sound HD
SRS Premium Sound HD

Despite the decent maximum volume and SRS Premium Sound HD support, the sound quality is rather poor. Both speakers, located above the keyboard behind a grille, render audio content relatively tinny and unclear.

The sound cannot be described as balanced, precise or rich. Particularly the bass is neglected like in most laptops. Consequently, headphones or external speakers should be connected when required. The Satellite L830 sound quality is far from that of the Asus N56VB.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The omitted graphics switching is also ultimately noticed in power consumption. The 13-incher's idle consumption of 11-20 Watts is on a par with much stronger midrange laptops that can dynamically switch between an integrated and a dedicated GPU. For example, Lenovo's 15-inch IdeaPad Z500 (Core i7-3632QM + GeForce GT 645M) consumes a comparable 8 - 22 Watts.

The Satellite L830-15L proves to be quite restrained during load. Not quite 33 Watts in 3DMark 06 and 56 Watts during the stress test are absolutely acceptable. Lenovo's device consumes almost twice as much with 59 - 88 Watts.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.4 Watt
Idle 11.1 / 13.7 / 20.2 Watt
Load 33.4 / 55.6 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

Classic Test
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Reader's Test
Maximum battery runtime (Reader's Test)

The battery runtimes are relatively short for a laptop featuring a ULV processor. The Satellite L830-15L only lasted for three hours in our standardized Wi-Fi test, which we perform with a brightness of approximately 150 cd/m². 2.5 hours of DVD playback are not compelling either.

We ascertained the minimum and maximum runtime using the Battery Eater tool, as usual. While the Classic test recorded a poor 1.5 hours, the Reader's test still managed five hours. The Satellite L830-10F (Core i3-2367M + HD Graphics 3000) lasted 1-2 hours longer on average.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
4h 56min
WiFi Surfing
3h 06min
DVD
2h 25min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 26min

Verdict

Toshiba Satellite L830-15L
Toshiba Satellite L830-15L (Herstellerfoto)

Regrettably, the 13-incher did not earn the label "fully recommendable". The display, in particular, gets the most criticism due to its reflectiveness and poor viewing angles. Why Toshiba installs a glossy screen in a laptop designed for mobility is beyond us.

The omitted graphics switching is noticed in power consumption and battery runtime. A maximum runtime of five hours is rather short for a portable device. The poor sound quality and suboptimal interface placement add to that. The 3D power is also disappointing. The Radeon HD 7550M's gaming performance does not fulfill the hopes that its name awakes.

On the other hand, we have to emphasize the light although not particularly slim casing, the good input devices and well-designed cooling system on the positive side. Basically, the pros and cons are fairly balanced. Users looking for an attractively priced and unique looking subnotebook and who can live with a second-rate glossy screen could certainly give the Satellite L830-15L a chance.

The author of this review would personally prefer the Asus U38DT (AMD A8-4555M + Radeon HD 8550M). The 800 Euro (~$1042), 13-inch rival scores better in most categories.

Courtesy of ...
static version load dynamic

Comment this article:

In Review: Toshiba Satellite L830-15L, courtesy of:
In Review: Toshiba Satellite L830-15L (Herstellerfoto)

Specifications

Toshiba Satellite L830-15L

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM76 (Panther Point)
:: Memory
8192 MB, 2x 4096 MB SO-DIMM DDR3-RAM PC3-12800 (1600 MHz), 2 slots, max. 16 GB
:: Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon HD 7550M - 1024 MB, Core: 500 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, DDR3, 8.982.10.6000
:: Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, LG Philips LP133WH2-TLL3 (LGD02C0), TN LED, diagonal: 33.8 cm, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
TOSHIBA MQ01ABD075, 750 GB 5400 rpm
:: Soundcard
Conexant Cx20590 @ Intel Panther Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller [C-1]
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: headphone, microphone, Card Reader: SD,SDHC,SDXC,MMC,
:: Networking
Atheros AR8151 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.30) (10MBit), Atheros AR9485WB-EG Wireless Network Adapter (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GU70N
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 32 x 329 x 221
:: Weight
1.886 kg Power Supply: 0.248 kg
:: Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4200 mAh, 10.8 V, 0.295 kg
:: Price
640 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD (1280 x 800), Speakers: 2.0 (SRS Premium Sound HD), Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, PSU: 65 Watt, quick start guide, safety instruction manual and warranty information, Nero 12 Essentials, Microsoft Office 2010 trial, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
White laptops are a rare species.
White laptops are a rare species.
The warm air is discharged out of the casing's right side.
The warm air is discharged out of the casing's right side.
Only a normal screwdriver is needed to open the maintenance cover.
Only a normal screwdriver is needed to open the maintenance cover.
The HDD and RAM are easily exchanged.
The HDD and RAM are easily exchanged.
The large 750 GB hard drive spins with 5400 rpm.
The large 750 GB hard drive spins with 5400 rpm.
4096 MB are inserted in both DDR3 slots.
4096 MB are inserted in both DDR3 slots.
The L830-15L is a member of the Satellite family.
The L830-15L is a member of the Satellite family.
Great: the battery can be removed.
Great: the battery can be removed.
48 Wh are relatively sufficient for weaker components.
48 Wh are relatively sufficient for weaker components.
Toshiba specifies a HD webcam.
Toshiba specifies a HD webcam.
Some shops sell the device for less than EUR 700.
Some shops sell the device for less than EUR 700.
The build quality justifies the laptop's price.
The build quality justifies the laptop's price.
The glare screen tends to be extremely reflective.
The glare screen tends to be extremely reflective.
The L830-15L only weighs 1.9 kilograms...
The L830-15L only weighs 1.9 kilograms...
and can be carried around comfortably due to its moderate size.
and can be carried around comfortably due to its moderate size.
The 13 inch screen has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels.
The 13 inch screen has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels.
The working memory and hard drive can be accessed via a maintenance cover.
The working memory and hard drive can be accessed via a maintenance cover.
Buyers should not expect an extremely thin chassis.
Buyers should not expect an extremely thin chassis.
The maximum opening angle is neither particularly wide nor narrow.
The maximum opening angle is neither particularly wide nor narrow.
Glossy surfaces are usually a guarantee for marks.
Glossy surfaces are usually a guarantee for marks.
However, smudge is not much of an issue due to the light color.
However, smudge is not much of an issue due to the light color.
A gray Toshiba logo adorns the lid.
A gray Toshiba logo adorns the lid.
Both stereo speakers are beneath a grille.
Both stereo speakers are beneath a grille.
The keyboard does not give much reason for complaint.
The keyboard does not give much reason for complaint.
The subnotebook regrettably does not feature a backlight.
The subnotebook regrettably does not feature a backlight.
A dedicated number pad is absent for space reasons.
A dedicated number pad is absent for space reasons.
The touchpad is lowered noticeably.
The touchpad is lowered noticeably.
The wrist rest could have been a bit bigger.
The wrist rest could have been a bit bigger.
Two dedicated audio jacks are not a matter of course.
Two dedicated audio jacks are not a matter of course.
Some right-handed users will be upset about the fan's positioning.
Some right-handed users will be upset about the fan's positioning.
Toshiba's device features three USB ports, two of which support USB 3.0.
Toshiba's device features three USB ports, two of which support USB 3.0.
The 65 watt PSU is amazingly small.
The 65 watt PSU is amazingly small.

Similar Laptops

Devices with the same GPU

» Review Samsung Series 5 535U4C Notebook
A-Series A6-4455M, 14.0", 1.84 kg

Devices with Same Screen Size and/or Weight

» Acer Aspire V3-371-55GS Subnotebook Review
HD Graphics 4400, Core i5 4210U
» HP Pavilion 13-a000ng x360 Convertible Review
HD Graphics 4400, Core i3 4030U
» Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2 Chromebook Review
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), Tegra K1
» HP Split x2 13-m210eg Convertible Review
HD Graphics 4200, Core i5 4210Y

Links

Compare Prices

Pro

+Useful application performance
+Moderate emissions
+Optical drive
+Good input devices
+Compact PSU
+Lightweight casing
 

Cons

-Unfavorable interface positioning
-Disappointing battery runtime
-Low-grade HD screen
-Weak 3D performance
-Glossy surfaces
-Moderate speakers

Shortcut

What we like

Toshiba demonstrates courage for unique design.

What we'd like to see

A longer battery runtime would be nice.

What surprises us

A glossy screen in a subnotebook? Not a good idea.

The competition

Not overly expensive 13-inch devices, such as Asus' VivoBook U38DTAsus' VivoBook S300CAAcer's Aspire S3Fujitsu's LifeBook UH572 or Lenovo's IdeaPad U310.

Rating

Toshiba Satellite L830-15L
04/17/2013 v3
Florian Glaser

Chassis
82%
Keyboard
80%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
68%
Weight
89%
Battery
79%
Display
70%
Games Performance
70%
Application Performance
89%
Temperature
82%
Noise
84%
Add Points
78%
Average
80%
81%
Subnotebook *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Toshiba Satellite L830-15L Subnotebook
Author: Florian Glaser, 2013-04-25 (Update: 2013-06- 6)