If you want to get a basic 15.6″ laptop, take a look at Toshiba C55-B5362. It costs around 300 bucks and comes with Intel Core i3 processor and Windows 8.1. Below, we’ll tell you how this notebook might actually help your computing efforts.
The main stuff
One of the most important aspects in computers is, and has always been, the processor. In this Toshiba it’s called Intel Core i3-4005U. It’s a dual-core CPU with 1.7GHz clock frequency, and the U suffix translates to an ultra low voltage setup. That should produce less heat and give longer battery life compared to regular CPUs, although also performance would be somewhat slower. This isn’t however a concern for most, since in general Core i3s are enough for your daily workload – be it text editing, movies or low-level gaming.
The memory configuration on Toshiba C55-B5362 is one 4GB DDR3L (low voltage) chip. According to Toshiba’s website the memory can’t be upgraded – keep that in mind if you’re planning to get a laptop that you want to upgrade in the future.
The storage is not disappointing but rather regular 500GB hard drive with 5400RPM speed. Half a terabyte HDD is a common sight in budget laptops but should nonetheless offer enough space for most. As a reference, a drive this big can host movies in low hundreds.
The 15.6″ non-touch display is also a regular screen, sporting a 1366×768 resolution which is rightly advertised as HD. However, it’s not a Full HD which many are after. That said, for basic use less than 1920×1080 should work fine – and for the price, it’s tough to complain.
Briefly on gaming
Many people are interested about gaming capabilities of cheap laptops. Well, it’s not usually good. The Core i3-4005U CPU contains a graphics engine dubbed Intel HD Graphics 4400. The benchmark tests suggest it can work for some gaming. For example, if you’re playing low-end – or pre-2013 – games, you can expect playable FPS (think of games like Sims 4, Fifa 15, World of Warcraft). Continuing the list, Battlefield 4 would give around 30 FPS on low settings, Thief probably less than 20.
Toshiba C55-B5362 has a connectivity one could expect from a budget notebook. It has three USB ports – one of them being USB 3.0. A true Toshiba, there are also outputs for both VGA and HDMI so you can connect the computer to basically any external monitor like a HDTV.
For Internet, both RJ-45 port (10/100Mbps) and WiFi adapter are installed. The laptop shouldn’t support Bluetooth because manufacturer’s webpage says so, although on Amazon’s product page the seller commented Bluetooth is supported.
Basic DVD burner and SD media card reader are available for transferring data. High-definition webcam with digital microphone are also there, so you can use the Toshiba for Skype meetings.
The operating system is Windows 8.1 (64-bit).
Toshiba C55-B5362 weighs 4.8 pounds, making it an average 15.6″ laptop in terms of weight.
The 4-cell battery’s life isn’t officially available, perhaps because it wouldn’t be an attractive amount. Usually those low-end batteries tend to last around 4 hours. The battery is non-user replaceable type.
One month trials for Microsoft Office 365 and Norton Internet security are included.
The non-backlit keyboard comes with 10-key pad on right – like virtually every laptop of this size.
Wrapping it up
To me, Toshiba C55-B5362 looks like a basic budget laptop, nothing standing out from the crowd in good or bad. The combination of i3 processor, 4GB RAM and 500GB hard drive are fine for home and small office users alike. Obviously for gamers, the laptop can keep up with frame rates if you reduce settings (close) to minimum. All in all, I’d say that getting this Toshiba for around three hundred dollars would constitute a satisfactory deal for people after a no-frills notebook.