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Toshiba Satellites are often featured on vendors’ websites. This usually means they are actually so good they’re worthy of featuring over competing models. One example was Toshiba Satellite C55-B5201, a notebook that caught my eye for good reviews and budget price. It’s indeed a known fact that good and cheap hardly exist together. So let’s see if this laptop would make that rare thing come true!
The main specs
Toshiba Satellite C55-B5201 has Intel Celeron N2830, a typical low-budget processor with 2.16GHz speed and two cores. There’s also a turbo feature which gives you up to 2.4GHz clock speed, but according to professional benchmarks even that doesn’t help much. Celeron is a Celeron, it won’t change and magically give you top dog performance. For CPU-intensive tasks, like many modern games or power user stuff like video encoding that processor is inadequate. However, for simpler tasks a home user might do the processor does its job very well.
The RAM situation is arguably better. There’s 4 GB memory installed which is amount one can appreciate in budget laptops. You won’t need more for web browsing and such, and even tougher stuff (like Photoshop) is possible with it. The RAM is not upgradeable, though, so you have to settle for 4GB even if you for some reason needed more.
There’s nothing spectacular about the hard drive of Toshiba Satellite C55-B5201. It’s 500GB big and runs on 5400RPM. Chances are it’s large enough for your everyday tasks, for downloading lots of stuff from Internet not so much. But keeping the price of this laptop in mind, the hard drive is a logical choice.
The operating system is Windows 8.1 (64-bit edition).
How about graphics?
Intel Celeron N2830 also contains a graphics engine called Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail). A sad thing, its performance is very poor and only suitable for simple tasks. That’s fine if you’re not serious gamer or power user, but indeed titles like Risen 3, latest Wolfenstein or Battlefield 4 are not playable with it.
Manufacturers usually make compromises in budget laptop displays. No exception here, the screen of Toshiba Satellite C55-B5201 is a 15.6″ non-touch LED-backlit display with 1366×768 resolution. It does its job alright, but Full HD resolution must be left for more expensive laptops.
Toshiba Satellite C55-B5201 features 2 USB 2.0 ports and 1 USB 3.0 port. Both HDMI and RGB (VGA) ports are also there, so you can operate this notebook through a larger, external monitor like HD television.
Network connectivity of the Toshiba is alright. You’ll find both Ethernet (10/100Mbps) and WiFi adapters installed. Bluetooth isn’t supported by default.
The Toshiba features an optical drive, so burning DVDs is possible on it. HD Webcam and microphone as well as a media card reader are also installed.
Anything else to consider?
Weight of Toshiba Satellite C55-B520 is pretty decent at 4.9 pounds. It’s not bad weight for 15.6″ budget laptop, and taking it on your travels with you shouldn’t be too big a hassle. With that said, the battery life is just average 4 hours, and the battery is not user replaceable type.
The keyboard is non-backlit and has 10-key pad on right hand side.
To my eye, Toshiba Satellite C55-B520 looks exactly like I would imagine a sub 300 dollars notebook to look like. It’s very much a home or student laptop, for which affordable price matters more than a low end Celeron processor. If you don’t intend to play lots of games on it, there’s no need going for anything more expensive than this Toshiba.