It’s difficult to stand out from the crowd in the budget laptop market. Because the selection is so darn big. One clever way to do this is through software. For example, by including Windows 7. Indeed, in this post we’ll examine Toshiba Satellite C55-B5350, a laptop sporting Microsoft’s older but still very functional operating system.
Let’s begin with hardware. The Toshiba runs on Intel Core i3-4005U processor. A 2013 release, its clock rate is 1.7GHz and core amount is two. Core i3s are way better than lower tier Pentiums and Celerons. They are great for running most applications – including complex stuff like programming and image editing. Core i3s also have an upgraded graphics engine for some gaming (elaborating that below).
Toshiba Satellite C55-B5350 has 6GB DDR3L memory. It’s noted on the manual that it’s not user upgradable. But from what I’ve seen you actually can upgrade it, it just takes some work to remove the bottom case and get to the memory slots. With that being said, basically everyone who’s planning to get this laptop should be good with the installed 6GB.
A 750GB hard drive is your storage option on this computer. It’s a happy medium between a 500GB and terabyte drive, capable of hosting thousands of small files and movies in hundreds. Just don’t expect exceptional booting or operating times since the drive runs on regular 5400 revolutions per minute – it’s not a lightning fast solid-state drive for which you’d have to pay more.
The operating system is indeed Windows 7 Professional (64-bit). Many probably consider this as an advantage because they find Windows 8 inconvenient to use.
Screen and graphics
The screen of Toshiba Satellite C55-B5350 is 15.6″ diagonal, advertised as HD but definitely not Full HD. The 1366×768 resolution with native support for 720p content would work for me, but I understand if you’re used to higher resolutions. The dilemma here is the price: you can’t find a Full HD laptop normally with this price.
The graphics unit is called Intel HD Graphics 4400. Its little brother Intel HD 4000 is usually seen in budget laptops, with the HD 4400 model being available on heftier Core i3 notebooks. Its performance is definitely enough for most older games, including Minecraft. Also Battlefield 4 should run on around 30 FPS if you strip eye candy and reduce resolution to minimum.
The laptop has three USB ports. One of them is USB 3.0. A feature of Toshiba Satellites, there’s also a VGA-out in addition to the usual HDMI port. As such, legacy screens and newer monitors (including HDTVs) are supported.
A 10/100Mbps Ethernet and WiFi adapters are both available, although Bluetooth is not. You can fix that by getting a budget USB dongle.
For people still using discs Toshiba Satellite C55-B5350 has a 8X DVD burner. A memory card reader for SD, SDHC, SDXC, miniSD, microSD and MMC is also installed.
If you’re into video meetings you’ll be happy to know the laptop has an integrated HD webcam and microphone.
Anything else to keep in mind?
Toshiba Satellite C55-B5350 has portability comparable to other 15.6″ laptops. It weighs 5 pounds and 4-cell battery should give maximum 4 hours running time.
Like other budget laptop brands, also Toshiba has its share of bloatware. There might be some diamonds in the rough, like the 30-day trial for Norton anti-virus program.
Ten-key numeric pad is located on the right hand side of the keyboard.
Toshiba Satellite C55-B5350 offers solid Core i3 level performance adequate for casual users and many power users alike. That said, the operating system choice of Windows 7 is the only thing that really makes the notebook stand out from the crowd. If you’re after Win 7 (I know many of you are!) getting this laptop is probably worth it. At the current price it’s an OK deal, if there’s a discount going on I would consider this a good value.