A brand new laptop isn’t always the best option. If you’re willing to take the risk you can also go for a refurbished one. They generally offer better value for your money. Toshiba Satellite BC55-B5299 is such a notebook, and in this post we’ll let you know its good and bad sides.
It’s bit tough to find, but the processor of Toshiba Satellite BC55-B5299 is Intel Celeron N2830. It’s a 2014 dual-core model, running on 2.16 – 2.41 GHz (latter is burst frequency). Celerons are the low-end processors of Intel, but are very sufficient for daily activities. It’s only heavy, professional use where they would be quite inadequate.
The notebook contains two gigabytes DDR3 memory. I’m almost 100% sure that you can actually swap that for a larger chip. That might be a smart move because 2GB RAM is definitely on the low side these days – especially when the computer is running on Windows 8.1, operating system known for its high system requirements.
A 500GB hard drive is available for your storage needs. It’s a typical size, good for storing vacation photos in tens of thousands for example. The speed is regular 5400RPM which makes it lots slower than a quick (but small in storage size) solid state drive.
Display and graphics
Nothing special can be said about Toshiba Satellite BC55-B5299’s screen. It’s a basic 15.6″ display, sporting a 1366×768 resolution which tends to make professionals sad. But you won’t find a Full HD laptop for this price. And in my opinion, the 1366×768 resolution is alright for a 15 inches display as long as you’re not a graphics designer or a devout gamer.
Speaking about gaming, you can do only some on this rig. It contains Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail) chip which is unfortunately the slowest graphics card in the Intel HD series. It’s good for less demanding games like CS: Go and World of Warcraft where frame rates should be at least 30-40 on low settings. Minecraft should work too, but heavier 2014 titles (like BF4) are something you should stay away from.
Toshiba Satellite BC55-B5299 has one USB 3.0 port, the bare minimum if you have some peripheral you’ll actively use. Two USB 2.0 ports are also there, but those are quite slow compared to USB 3.0.
Using the notebook with an external monitor is possible because it features HDMI and VGA outputs.
10/100Mbps Ethernet port and 802.11b/g/n WiFi are the networking options on this laptop. Bluetooth is not supported but that can be fixed with a simple USB stick.
One thing this notebook doesn’t have is the optical drive. That is, a built-in version. You can of course use an external DVD drive and connect it to USB 3.0 on the laptop. For some data transferring you can still use the SD media card reader.
A HD webcam and microphone are installed, allowing for video meetings.
Anything else to keep in mind?
The notebook weighs 4.85 pounds and has a 4-cell 32Wh battery. You’ll reach around 4 hours battery life on a single charge.
The basic non-backlit keyboard has 10-key pad on the right hand side.
You’ll find bunch of software pre-installed when you fire up the Windows. There is also at least one gem: a 30-day trial for Norton anti-virus program. The rest can of course be uninstalled from Window’s Control Panel if you want.
Summing it up
Toshiba Satellite BC55-B5299 is certainly not a powerhouse. It’s a starter laptop for somebody keen on simple stuff like web surfing, some YouTube streaming and perhaps browser gaming. So its best thing is not the performance, but the price, and getting this laptop for ~200 dollars is quite a good deal. The disadvantage is obviously the refurbished nature, but from what I know these models don’t show visible wear and tear. If you want a basic laptop for little price you don’t really need anything fancier than this little Toshiba.