The L500's screen is impressive and the numeric keypad's large keys would suit number-crunchers, but there are better value alternatives.
Toshiba's Satellite L500-19Z has a smart, wavy pinstripe pattern on the glossy lid, and a silver keyboard panel. The 15.6in 16:9 display means there's enough room to squeeze in a numeric keypad next to the keyboard without compromising on the layout of either. Only the Enter key seems a bit narrow, but it's great to see large 0, Enter and + keys on the numberpad. This will please those who do a lot of spreadsheet number-crunching.
With a dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM, the L500 is well-suited to this type of office application. It scored 66 overall in our benchmarks, which is fine for undemanding work, but heavy multimedia editing might tax this laptop too much. An integrated Intel graphics chipset means that 3D gaming is also off the menu, although older or less graphically-intensive games should be playable.