Toshiba Satellite C55-B5142 Review

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February 6, 2015
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Toshiba Satellite C55-B5142 is a laptop with fast Intel Core i5 processor and solid amount of RAM. It also comes with a large terabyte hard drive and runs on Windows 8.1. Is this something you’ve been looking for? If so, read on, I’ll tell you if I would recommend this laptop to you!

Performance

Toshiba Satellite C55-B5142 comes with Intel Core i5-5200U CPU. If you’re aware of Intel’s naming conventions you know the processor is a rather capable one: dual core configuration and up to 2.7GHz clock frequency. The processor is very new, released in the beginning of 2015, so there are only a couple of benchmarks available. However, there’s no reason to believe it’s any worse than older i5s, with considerably better performance than mid-range i3 models. As a result, most programs – including multitasking – would work well with it.

The laptop has 8GB DDR3 low-voltage RAM installed. That much memory probably makes power users happy. The maximum supported RAM is not mentioned in the specifications, but I’d assume that you could increase it up to 16GB if you wanted.

A true Toshiba Satellite, the notebook features a large but slow hard drive. It’s 1024GB big, so there’s lots of space for movies, games and other small files at least in thousands. The speed is 5400RPM which is getting rather old compared to 7200RPM drives or SSDs, but it’s still an understandable choice for such an affordable laptop.

Screen and graphics

Toshiba Satellite C55-B5142 has the cookie-cutter 15.6″ screen with 1366×768 resolution. Some people accept nothing but a Full HD display, however at this price point 1920×1080 screen can hardly be a requirement. Keep in mind the display doesn’t have touch support, but using Windows 8.1 without one is no problem in my opinion.

The new Intel HD 5500 graphics chip is responsible for handling the games. As it’s integrated in a recently released processor, there are not many benchmarks available about the graphics unit, either. However, according to G3D Mark, this model and Intel HD 4400 are quite similar. As such, you can expect many new games run with playable FPS (~20) if settings are sacrificed. Most older games, including Minecraft, wouldn’t have any problem whatsoever, even if you kept on some eye candy and resolution.

Connectivity

I’ve reviewed bunch of Toshiba Satellites in the past, and all of them seem to come with the same connection set: three USB ports (of which one is USB 3.0) and HDMI & VGA outputs. The latter is blast from the past since not many people have VGA monitors anymore. Anyways, thanks to that, the laptop supports all kinds of external displays out of the box.

Networking consists of the basic 100Mbps Ethernet and WiFi adapter, with the exception that Bluetooth 4.0 is also available.

Optical drive is installed on the notebook so creating CDs and DVDs is possible. There’s also a media card reader that supports SD and MMC formats.

Attending video meetings works on this laptop, thanks to its HD webcam and microphone.

Miscellaneous

Toshiba Satellite C55-B5142 weighs 4.85 pounds. Most 15.6″ notebooks weigh a little more, a bit above 5 pounds. The 4-cell battery is nothing special and should allow three or four hours running time on browsing.

The keyboard is standard with no backlight. It has, however, a 10-key pad which means you’ll get fast access to number keys.

A bunch of Toshiba & third-party software and utilities are installed by default. This is a common but annoying thing in budget laptops. Just uninstall those programs if you feel they’re unnecessary.

Conclusion

Toshiba Satellite C55-B5142 offers solid performance with a reasonable price tag. It can work as a basic starter laptop, but somebody who can fully appreciate its powerful components would get best value for his money. You should also be able to play many current games on this notebook due to the new CPU and graphics engine, but be prepared to decrease settings and resolution. All in all, a pretty adept laptop which is worthy of buying, but I wouldn’t pay more than 450-500 bucks for it.


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