If you’re looking for a capable multimedia notebook to get you through school or work, the Toshiba Satellite P50 should definitely be in your sights, simply because it’s one of the first multimedia notebooks in the market to sport a fourth generation Intel Core processor.
Its design and build quality is also good, thanks to the use of aluminum on its lid and keyboard well - especially when you consider its reasonable price point of $1699. For that price you’ll also get a nice sharp full HD display (1920 x 1080 pixels resolution) as well as a basic mid-tier discrete GPU and a DVD optical drive. And you get all this in a much slimmer profile than was available previously. Its performance in terms of gaming and computing was also fairly decent, allowing you to indulge in the latest games (though at medium level settings). Multimedia performance was also positive with its quality, wide-angle friendly screen and its loud and clear Harmon Kardon speakers.
However there are certain things that users need to be mindful when getting the Toshiba Satellite P50. First of all, its battery life isn’t fantastic. It’s enough for casual usage when you’re out and about, but we don't recommend it for intensive usage when not plugged to the wall socket, such as gaming or video/graphics editing/rendering. Also note that there’s no removable battery, so battery swapping to solve its battery life woes is out of the question. Then there's the display which isn't a touch enabled, hence you cannot get the full Windows 8 experience that that ships with the notebook. And what good is a modern multimedia notebook without a Blu-ray drive? This machine only ships with a DVD drive by default.
Lastly, while the machine’s keyboard is great for people who like to type quietly and don’t expect a lot of feedback from the keyboard, those who prefer more key travel and a more resounding feedback, might want to have a quick test drive first to gauge your expectations. Otherwise, the keyboard is pretty usable and should appeal to most mainstream users. Also consider that it comes with LED-backlit keys and that the key well is a solid aluminum base that doesn't flex and you would most probably look forward to using this machine.
Now while all this sounds pretty reasonable for S$1699 price tag, the notebook would have had a much better value proposition if it didn't have the drawbacks mentioned above. As always, penny-pinchers can definitely find more affordable options in due-time if all they are concerned about is hunting specifications for as low a price point possible. However, the Toshiba Satellite P50 is for a different crowd who want a stylish, quality machine that they can rely upon, be it for work or entertainment with good multimedia qualities and doesn't cost a lot.
For users who need a machine with a touch display to make the most out of Windows 8, they can also opt for the Toshiba Satellite P50t, which looks the same but comes with a touch display. However, take note that while the P50t costs the same as the P50 (S$1699), but it's running an older Intel 3rd generation processor instead of the new 4th generation processor. If you're willing to wait, the P50t will be refreshed with a 4th generation Intel processor in August, but we can't be sure if it will be priced the same or cost more.