Toshiba Satellite C55-B5302 being a very basic 15.6″ laptop might look like a tempting choice for many. But as always, there are things to consider about these budget notebooks before buying… you might find a catch or two here and there. This also applies to Toshiba Satellites – you’ll find our take on this computer below!
Toshiba Satellite C55-B5302 is powered by Intel Celeron N2840. That’s a processor usually seen in these rock-bottom notebooks. It comes with a dual-core setup and 2.58GHz clock frequency. The N2840 is alright for a Celeron, but that processor family is altogether slower than Core i3s and i5s found in laptops with a couple of hundreds heavier price. The N2840 model is nonetheless good for basic computing, including office work and YouTube streaming. Mainly demanding, CPU-intensive stuff like photo editing might be too a heavy task for that processor, though.
A 4GB DDR3L stick is installed in this computer, allowing for effortless use for most tasks. But unfortunately the bane of Toshibas, non-user replaceable parts, also applies here: you can’t install more memory even if you wanted to.
The storage consists of a 500GB hard drive. It’s a basic size good for all home and office users in my opinion (can host thousands of vacation photos, for example). A power user with lots of heavy files would be better off with a terabyte hard drive. Also the speed of 5400RPM isn’t on par with the fast SSDs but then again you have to remember the low price point here.
How about display and graphics?
The screen is a typical choice: a 15.6″ diagonal with 1366×768 resolution. Sufficient for everyday computing, probably not so much for professionals due to the resolution.
The graphics are handled by Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail) engine. It’s an integrated (= slow) chip which would run only older games fluently. An example would be CS: GO or World of Warcraft, which would get 50FPS on low settings and resolution. Minecraft should run on 30-40 frames per second. Many high-end titles like Risen 3 wouldn’t probably work at all with FPS dropping below 15.
Toshiba Satellite C55-B5302 has the usual three USB port setup: two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0. In addition, for extended video connectivity the laptop features HDMI and VGA outs. HDMI is good for HDTVs while VGA works for older monitors.
An SD media card reader and DVD writer are installed in this notebook.
HD web camera and microphone are there as well, letting you to Skype with friends and co-workers.
You can get network access through 100Mbps Ethernet port or single-band WiFi. Bluetooth is not supported.
Anything else to keep in mind?
The Toshiba contains a 4-cell non-user replaceable battery that should give 4 hours operating time to the laptop. The weight of 4.8 pounds is tad lower than with most 15 inchers which should please on-the-go people.
Windows 8.1 (64-bit) is the operating system. Some other programs are also pre-installed which are also known as bloatware. However, a one month trial for MS Office 365 is probably useful.
For convenient number key access, you’ll get the 10-key numeric pad on right hand side of the laptop. However, this also moves the actual keyboard and trackpad to left – which many indeed find inconvenient.
Toshiba Satellite C55-B5302 is a very affordable laptop. It also performs accordingly: a person with non-demanding use would find the Celeron processor adequate, whereas a serious gamer or IT professional might want to look for beefier options. I don’t see anything fundamentally wrong with the computer – and somebody who left bad reviews about it on Amazon probably had problems with his Internet connection, not the laptop itself. For web browsing I’d imagine this Toshiba would do a great job for excellent price.