The Toshiba Tecra C40’s 14-inch, 1366 x 768 display output signals dim, dull pictures with minimal screen property. While common on low-cost notebooks, 1366 x 768 panel has 29 percent less space for seeing records and multitasking than the 1920 x 1080 displays on many opponents. So, if you get the C40, be sure to practice your two-finger scrolling, and forget about putting two full-size windows side by side. By comparison, the $499 Ideapad 300S comes standard with a 1920 x 1080 screen, while both the ThinkPad T460 and the Dell Latitude E5470 have total-High Definition panels as an alternative.
Despite the small variety of pixels, I could readily make out details on this screen, including the bushes and broken stone in the opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nevertheless, pictures were not especially brilliant, as the usually azure skies in the Dawn of Man sequence was left as a subdued blue. The Tecra C40’s panel is not especially precise at showing colours, either, as it notched a Delta precision score of 5.06. That pales in comparison to the thin-and-light class average the ThinkPad T460 and the Latitude E5470.
Do not anticipate a particularly bright display, either, as the Tecra C40 garnered a just satisfactory 205.4 nits of brightness, making it much more subdued than the Latitude E5470, the EliteBook 745 G3, the Ideapad 300S, and the ThinkPad T460. The Tecra C40’s front-mounted loudspeakers were loud enough to fill a conference room and sufficiently definite for spoken word programming, but too hollow for music.
As soon as I raised the voice, bass and treble in the preloaded DTS Studio Sound applications, the audio quality improved somewhat. The Tecra C40 has nearly every interface that company users could want, including VGA video out for firms with old computer screens and projectors. On its left side, Toshiba’s notebook has an SD card reader, a USB 3.0 interface, a Kensington lock slot and an optical drive. The VGA, HDMI, Ethernet and two more USB 3.0 interfaces are on the right. With an Intel Core i5-6200U central processing unit; 4GB of RAM; and 500GB, 7,200-rpm hard drive, the Toshiba Tecra C40 is fast enough for mainstream productivity jobs. Over a week of day-to-day company use, the system never locked up or lagged as I edited Excel spreadsheets, wrote e-mails and created demos.
Toshiba’s notebook scored 5,783 on Geekbench 3, a synthetic benchmark that measures general operation. The Ideapad 300S notched a similar score of 5,753. The C40’s 7,200-rpm, 500GB hard drive completed the Notebook Mag File Transfer Test, which calls for duplicating 4.97GB of miscellaneous files, in 3 minutes and 7 seconds. While sufficient for playing videos and using office applications, the Tecra C40’s integrated Intel HD 520 GPU is not quickly enough for gaming or serious graphics work.
The notebook scored 52,972 on the Ice Storm Unlimited evaluation, which is on a level with the Ideapad 300S (52,840) but lower than the 55,432 average. The laptops tapped out of our battery test (constant web surfing over Wifi at 100 nits of brightness) after 6 hours and 49 minutes. That is about on a level with the Tecra A40 (6:44) and marginally ahead of the Ideapad 300S (6:25), but way behind the group average (7:53) and the Dell Latitude E5470 (7:16).
With its extended battery, the ThinkPad T460 places Toshiba and Dell to disgrace, continuing 13 hours and 12 minutes on a charge. Nevertheless, you can swap out the Tecra C40’s batteries that are, if you are willing to fork over $100 for a replacement. Over a week of use, including a brief business trip, the Tecra C40 did not feel overly warm. Despite showing a peak temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit along the undercarriage, the chassis felt good on my thighs. The touchpad and keys were a cooler 84 and 88 degrees, respectively, which is below our 95-degree relaxation brink.