Hands on: Toshiba Satellite A660 review

New processors, bigger power - but is this laptop a Satellite of love?

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The amount of laptops flooding the market at the moment means that companies really need a USP to make their product stand out from the crowd.

For Toshiba is seems to be functionality. Okay, so it may not be the sexiest adjective to describe a laptop, but it's one that sums up Tosh's latest multimedia lappie – the Satellite A660.

At the core of the A660's functionality is Intel's latest Core 'i' chip. Depending on how many paces you are thinking of putting the laptop through, you have the choice of Core i3, i5 or i7 processors.

What this chip provides is a turbo boost for your PC when you need it. The processors are essentially designed to hold a little bit back in the tank to use when you are completing more power-hungry tasks.

This is complemented by either 1GB or 512MB of nVidia dedicated graphics, which means that you'll be able to play most games on the laptop without the fear that it will wheeze and splutter like your granddad with a cold.

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First impressions of the A660 are decent. It's design shows off its main assets. The speakers on board are made by US sound boffins Harman Kardon and pump out an impressive weight of sound.

This is backed by Dolby Advanced Audio technology which smartens up your MP3 files so they can be played without the fear that the compression will muck up the sound.

After Toshiba's Blu-ray turnaround, it's not surprising that the A660 sports an optional Blu-ray drive. For those who want to do a bit of copying, Toshiba is also bundling Nero software with the laptop, so you can back up your data and the like.

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The laptop is also all about streaming – allowing connection to DLNA devices by way of Wi-Fi.

Intriguingly, the BBC iPlayer desktop app is also pre-installed on to the A660. Although this is something you can download yourself for free, it does show that Toshiba is begging you to use the laptop as a streaming device.

To make sure the picture quality is up to scratch, Toshiba has also added its Resolution+ technology to the laptop, something that has come from its TV range.

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The 16-inch screen is ample size for watching movies on and given that it has been primed with TruBrite HD LED backlight tech at 1366 x 768 resolution, picture quality looks very nice indeed.

To make sure you have enough space for all your media, there's a 640GB HD on-board.

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While there's nothing to make your jaw drop on the A660 range, Toshiba has made sure that the laptop ticks all the boxes it can for the multimedia user.

It may not turn heads, but those who put function over form factor will be well rewarded.

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The Toshiba Satellite A660 has a UK release date of June, with pricing to be announced. Go to www.toshiba.co.uk for more details.