AMD Ruby is smokin’, eh?
Toshiba Model S75D-7272 Specs:
AMD Quad-Core A10-5750M Accelerated Processor
Windows 8 (I tell you how to load Win7 below)
8GB DDR3L 1600MHz memory (I popped in 16GB of 1600/CL9)
1.0TB (5400 RPM, Serial ATA) (Replaced with SSD)
DVD-SuperMulti drive (+/-R double layer) (Replaced with SSD using a universal optical drive bay adapter)
Quick review and suggestions:
The good: The AMD APU is very fast, the display is clear and bright, and the full HD 1080P makes other laptops look cheap in comparison. Nice aluminum exterior – not plastic. The backlit keyboard is *awesome*!
The better: Popped the bottom cover off to reveal the hard drive. Pulled that out and put it in a USB3 external enclosure, and installed an SSD. This laptop is fully unleashed with an SSD. It has 8gb of RAM, but I swapped that out for 16gb so there is more for VirtualBox machines. There is an option in the BIOS to make the function “F” keys default to F1, F2, F3, etc rather than the other functions. This is a huge win on Toshiba’s part, as I hate pushing Fn + F# to do normal productivity tasks.
The best: A couple minor changes in the BIOS to switch from UEFI mode to legacy mode and Windows 7 installed without a hitch. Windows 8 is for tablets with touchscreens. This is neither. The drivers on Toshiba’s site worked just fine in Win7, though I went ahead and threw in the latest AMD mobility drivers directly from AMD, again without issue.
Issues: The laptop could use more USB ports, as it only has one USB2 and 2 USB3 ports. Battery life is around 4 hours when used for light tasks like web browsing and word processing. I was unable to find a higher capacity battery on Amazon or eBay. I’m hoping one becomes available soon. They forgot to include a hard drive activity LED – WTF?. The wireless card takes a relatively long time to connect when waking from standby. Also, I never get over 150mbps via my N router, whereas my Gateway notebook got 300mbps without any issue. And seriously, 10/100 Ethernet?!? My previous 3 year old laptop had gigabit…
I solved the slow 100mbps wired Ethernet issue by ordering the “UNITEK USB3.0 to rj45 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN” on Amazon. Now I have Gigabit LAN via the USB3 port. Also ordered a “iXCC ® 4 Port USB 3.0 Hub” and now have plenty of USB3 ports. Solved the lack of HDD LED with a freebie called ‘DiskLED‘, which puts a virtual HDD LED in the system tray.
WINDOWS 7 HOW-TO:
Press F2 when you see the Toshiba logo to access the BIOS. That screen sure is shiny, hugh? I miss the matte screens.
You will see this screen. If Windows starts to load, shut down and try again.
Go over to ‘Advanced’ and select ‘System Configuration’
Change ‘Boot Mode’ to ‘CSM Boot’. Look around in the menus for an option called ‘Secure Boot’ and disable that as well.
Put in your Windows 7 CD and install. Make sure you FORMAT the drive during installation to get rid of Windows 8.
Once Windows 7 is installed, installed the latest AMD Mobility Drivers (HERE).
Then you can install the Windows 8 drivers from the Toshiba site (HERE) without issue. Don’t install the AMD drivers from Toshiba, they’re old. You’ll want to grab these drivers: Atheros LAN, ELAN Touchpad, and Realtek Wireless. I don’t bother with any of the other stuff, as I prefer a clean system.
You can go into Device Manager and disable the web cam if you’re paranoid and also want to save battery. Also disable that 10/100 Ethernet controller too and if you need a wired connection grab the USB3 gigabit adapter mentioned above. It’s worth every penny.