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I received this laptop as a birthday present before I started university in September 2010 - I'm not much of a computer nerd so I can't comment on the real technical stuff and I won't talk about operating systems as this isn't part of the computer itself. If you are interested, I use Windows 7 and it runs excellently on this computer.
The battery life has lasted very well - I know a lot of people whose battery life has decreased to about 20 minutes in less than three years. I've had the computer for a year and a half and battery life is still about an hour and a half. The charger it came with has a long lead which means it's easy to have plugged in.
The speakers have always been sufficiently loud for me to watch films/listen to music by myself or with a couple of other people and the quality is pretty good - there's no crackling as it gets louder. With more than 4 people some external speakers would probably be needed.
There's a slot for an SD card in the front which is very useful for uploading photos. There's two USB ports (although they are positioned a bit too close so sometimes you can't put two big devices in at the same time).
The mousepad has never caused me any problems - it's got exactly the right amount of sensitivity and the buttons are positioned in a good place for clicking while still holding the mouse in place.
It's a fairly hefty laptop - the specification says it weighs 2.72g and dimensions are 383 x 259 x 35.5 mm. So it's in no way a netbook - it's not great for transporting around, but it's still more portable than a desktop. It's easy to move around the house, but when leaving the house it's a bit too bulky. This can be seen as a pro also as it means it's great for viewing movies and pictures on the screen. I dropped it once from quite a height and the casing came apart a tiny bit, but I pushed it back together and that was the last of the problem! Pretty lucky escape for such an epic fail!
The webcam doesn't function too well in average lighting. When skyping people they always complain about the light. When using the webcam it really needs to be in natural light in front of a window or with a strong lamp carefully positioned. The microphone works quite well though.
=Would I recommend it=
Overall, yes, I would recommend the laptop for a student. However, I would also recommend investing in a good laptop bag as it's too big to fit in a rucksack if you need to carry it to the library.
For every other use I think it's perfect. The keyboard is fairly large so it's really easy to type on and it's got a numeric keypad. Memory is plenty big enough for me: 500GB. I don't really play any PC games so I can't comment on the speed, but I do find some graphically intensive applications a big lagging.
I have since parted ways with my laptop. I have switched to smaller laptop because I have needed to take it to campus almost every day.
The battery was continually decreasing in capacity, but was still over an hour. Batteries do tend to do this and I feel mine was as good as any.
I would still recommend it, but I really felt the 2 years that I had it were enough - it was definitely time for an upgrade.
This laptop is a laptop of outstanding organisation and order. It has a brilliant, big, easy to use keyboard along with a seperate number keypad at the right hand side. It has brilliant memory space, i have never had a problem with it before. Good quality well presented and specified product for the money paid excellent value. I have never had any problems with this laptop and would recommend to anybody as it is brilliant value for money.The only thing that has bothered me about this laptop is that there are too many pop-ups from toshiba. They should be all collected into some sort of in-tray.