Toshiba Satellite M840 Review

After using my Toshiba Satellite M840 for one full week, I’d like to share my review on this laptop.


The spec is identical to Satellite M840-1001XG on toshiba-asia.com except I’m running Windows 8, though I’m not sure if this is exactly the model. Firstly I’ll list my specs below.
PROCESSOR: Intel® Core™ i7-3612QM processor (6M Cache, up to 3.1GHz) with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
MEMORY: 4096MB DDR3 1600MHz SDRAM
DISPLAY SIZE: 14.0″ WXGA HD Clear SuperView LED Backlight TFT display (16:9)
RESOLUTION: 1,366 x 768
GRAPHICS: AMD Radeon™ HD 7670M
HARD DISK DRIVE: 640GB (SATA) with shock absorbers
OPTICAL DRIVE: DVD SuperMulti Double Layer Drive (DVD±RW/RAM)
INTERFACES: 2xUSB 3.0 (Sleep&Charge), 1xUSB 2.0
SOUND SYSTEM: Stereo Speakers, 16-bit Stereo with SRS® Premium Sound HD™
CAMERA: Built-in HD Web Camera
BATTERY: 6-Cell Lithium Ion (47.5 Wh as said by Windows)
WEIGHT: Starting from 1.99kg

Things I like:
– comfortable typing, including the way Home, PgUp, PgDn, End arranged at the right of the keyboard: convenient and I can memorize where they are.
– Quad-core i7 third gen processor & dedicated videocard: I’m able to play a number of games even though I’m not a typical gamer.
– USB ports on both sides of the laptop.
– Temperature is alright for normal usage.

Things I don’t appreciate:
– by default, important F-number keys such as F4, F2 especially are used for functions like switch screen and dim. I’ve switched it in BIOS thus I don’t have to press “Fn” key to use them. Later on I may find a way to hack and remap the funtion keys to those I’ll never use, such as the idiotic Fn-F1(Help).
– The Fn-Space to switch resolution is an annoying function also as I sometimes hit Fn key wrongly when I want to switch language inputs (Windows+Space).
– The DVD tray at the left side of the laptop is too easily hit to pop out.
– Battery life is only about 3 hours under wifi&office usage.
– 1366×768 HD display may not be enough for programmer’s tight IDE layout.

*Battery life is obtained using Windows command: powercfg /batteryreport ,
Battery Life Estimates given by Windows: 2:50:00 hours at design capacity.
On my own calculation, it’s about 3:10:00 hours at design capacity.
This 3&1/2-months old laptop has its battery capacity shrunk from 47,520 mWh to 42,120 mWh.

T-Clock 2010: Tweak your Windows Clock on Taskbar

T-Clock 2010 with my custom format for time display

T-Clock 2010 Official Website: http://www.stoicjoker.com/tclock/
Current Version installed: T-Clock 2010 (build 95)


When I choose “Use small taskbar buttons” (from Taskbar Properties), the Date/Time display on the right end of taskbar became single-lined, and date went missing.

I’ve tried to hack the LogPixels value under HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIGSoftwareFonts in Registry Editor, as suggested on Internet. It worked (values I used were between 84 and 72). However it led to undesirable blurry fonts in Chrome, and I found no working solution to it. Thus I reverted back to original 96 dpi.

That was when I came across T-Clock 2010.

T-Clock 2010 is able to customize the way which Time and Date displays on Taskbar. It is a simple zip download from the developer’s website. Unzip x64 if you are using a 64-bit Windows, otherwise Win32 will do. Put it in any folder that is easy to access (but probably avoid Program Files or Windows). Start the Clock.exe in the folder, it is up and running.

Through T-Clock Properties (Right click on T-Clock area), much customization can be done. You should at least let this program run automatically upon starting Windows: tick the tick in the About tab of the Properties.

To re-imitate the default Windows Date/Time look, the following is to be put in Custom Format under Time Format:

TIMEnDATE

I found myself enjoying customizing the way it looks, so it took me further and I eventually came up with what you see in the screenshot at the top. The documentation in the T-Clock Help.rtf is quite comprehensive, except that it didn’t tell you how to make the preceding ‘0’ appear in hms of the system uptime. Sdd, Saa, Shh, Snn, Sss are the hhmmss corresponding version of the system uptime.

My custom format set for T-Clock 2010 is:

SaaSnnSss ddeddmmeyyyy”№”Ww”W-“hhttnn@@@.@

The font used is Calibri Light, ClearType Natural, Size 12.
For Clock size and Text Position, I have Vertical as 1.

I love the way it looks now.