A budget laptop is perhaps enough if you’re not a power user or into multitasking. Toshiba Satellite C55-A5282 is such an affordable notebook with low-tier components like Intel Pentium processor and integrated graphics chip. The most interesting question is: Are the specs of this Toshiba adequate for you? Let’s try to find that out…
This laptop runs on Intel Pentium 2020M. That model’s base frequency is 2.4GHz and core amount is two. In general, Pentiums are faster than Celerons but can still be considered entry level processors – whereas Core i3s are Intel’s mid range CPUs. These Pentiums are fine for daily activities, such as web browsing and Netflix streaming. Problems would maybe happen if you used it for heavy software, like video processing, but budget laptops altogether are bad for those things.
Toshiba Satellite C55-A5282 has 6GB RAM installed, configuration 2 and 4GB chip. The laptop supports up to 16GB memory so you can add more if you require a performance boost. However, 6GB is very healthy amount, and certainly good value for this low price.
A 500GB hard drive is installed in this Toshiba. Its basic size is sufficient for most users, since storing (for example) an image collection of 10,000s photos is possible. As you can see, it’s indeed a hard drive, not a solid-state drive, so read/write speeds are not that great. But removing the HDD and installing SSD in place should work on this Toshiba.
The operating system seems to be Windows 8 (64-bit). It’s not the latest version, but upgrading to 8.1 is free.
Display and graphics
I can’t find anything special about the screen of Toshiba Satellite C55-A5282. It’s 15.6 inches big and has 1366×768 resolution. Pretty basic display, indeed, and should make all but Full HD purists happy.
Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge) is the integrated graphics chip of this computer. It’s one of the slowest Intel HD engines, capable of running only old or lightweight games well. Minecraft should be a smooth sail, as well as Trackmania and World of Warcraft. New games, like Assassin’s Creed IV would end up around or below 20 FPS, which I wouldn’t consider very playable.
This laptop includes connections typical for a cheap notebook. There are three USB ports in total, of which one is USB 3.0. A true Toshiba Satellite, there are both RGB (VGA) and HDMI outs so support for external displays (PC screen, HDTV etc.) is solid.
Networking is the usual: A 100Mbps Ethernet RJ-45 port and a 802.11b/g/n Wireless adapter. Bluetooth isn’t listed as supported, but can be installed with a cheap USB dongle.
An optical drive is available, so you can burn CDs and DVDs on this Toshiba. There’s also a media card reader for SD, SDHC, SDXC, miniSD, microSD and MMC formats.
The laptop has a HD webcam with microphone, good for Skype and other video software.
Anything else to keep in mind?
Toshiba Satellite C55-A5282 is as good or bad for portability as any 15.6″ laptop. It weighs 5.3 pounds and has a 6-cell battery with advertised battery life of 4.17 hours. That should be quite a realistic duration.
The non-backlit keyboard comes with a 10-key pad, like any keyboard on a 15.6 incher.
These cheap notebooks are known for their bloatware. I couldn’t find information whether this Toshiba comes with unnecessary software, but it’s safe to assume there is some. Naturally, uninstalling it is a very trivial task.
Toshiba Satellite C55-A5282 is a budget laptop with performance enough for casual users. It can be used for variety of tasks, including entertainment use, but I’d say serious gaming is off-limits for it. It’s still faster than a mere Celeron-based rig, and the current price point is rather reasonable. All in all, I don’t see anything really wrong about the notebook. Chances are you’d find it an useful tool, too.