Toshiba Satellite C55-B5170 Review

March 1, 2015
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Don’t you want to pay over 500 bucks for a laptop? No problem, you have many decent models to choose from. Like perhaps Toshiba Satellite C55-B5170. It’s an affordable 15.6″ notebook with Core i3 processor and Windows 8.1. Read on to find more about its suitability for you!


There’s a CPU called Intel Core i3-4025U in Toshiba Satellite C55-B5170. It’s a 2014 release for the budget laptop market, with clock speed of 1.9GHz and core amount of two. In general, casual users will find every Pentium or Core i3 processor sufficient for their needs, while professionals should get i5 or even i7 CPU. So decide which you are, but I can say for everyday home computing this model is all you need.

The laptop enjoys good 8GB RAM, installed (as far as I know) on two 4GB modules. Toshiba says in the specifications the memory can’t be upgraded on their Satellite C55 models, but many people say this is indeed possible but it requires tinkering. Other option is to take the laptop to a Toshiba tech support if you want to add more RAM but don’t know how to do that. But don’t worry about it, eight gigabytes is plenty and I’m sure 99% of users won’t ever need more.

At 1024GB the hard drive size is huge, especially for this price. You sometimes see only half a terabyte drives in much more expensive models than this. And if you want more speed (this drive is only 5400RPM), you should be able to remove the HDD and install a solid-state drive instead.

Pre-installed Windows 8.1 (64-bit) is the operating system of this laptop.

Screen and graphics

The non-touch display in cheap Toshiba Satellites tends to be just average. This one is 15.6″ diagonal, offering basic 1366×768 resolution. Power users can right away see it’s nothing special, although I dare to say for a common home laptop the resolution is fine.

Toshiba Satellite C55-B5170 has a graphics unit called Intel HD 4400. It gives better performance than the (in)famous HD 4000 model, so some gaming is indeed possible. On lowest settings, Battlefield 4 should give playable 30 frame rate rates. Sports games would run much smoother than that, also Minecraft and League of Legends.


There are two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports in Toshiba Satellite C55-B5170, an average amount for a cheap notebook. RGB (VGA) and HDMI outputs are available for external monitors.

A 10/100Mbps Ethernet RJ-45 port and single band 802.11b/g/n wireless card are installed for networking. Bluetooth is not, but you can use an USB dongle for that.

The notebook features a DVD burner and media card reader (SD/MMC) for additional storage and data transferring. Video chatting is possible with the HD webcam and microphone.

What else to consider?

On the listed weight for Toshiba Satellite C55-B5170 is 7 pounds. That’s not right, the real weight is 4.85 pounds which is actually quite good for a 15.6″ notebook. There’s a 4-cell battery giving you power, good for probably three or so hours on a single charge.

No backlit keyboard is installed in a cheap model like this. However, numecic keypad is found on the right.

The notebook comes with many Toshiba utility programs installed which can cause slowing down of the system. If this happens, just uninstall the bloatware and you’re good to go.


Toshiba Satellite C55-B5170 is a laptop for casual users and perhaps small offices not running heavy programs. The Core i3 processor and 8GB RAM offer good enough performance for most people, be it web surfers or movie watchers. Gaming is limited to old or otherwise lightweight titles. The price is very reasonable, so I have a reason to recommend this laptop for everyday computing.

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