There are some manufacturers that are often regarded as cheap. In my opinion, Toshiba is one of them. They create affordable laptops, and in truth, that’s exactly what many of their competitors also do. But what is more, those inexpensive Toshiba notebooks actually work – there doesn’t seem to be many complaints about their products around the Internet. Indeed, we were very curious to see whether this was true for Toshiba Satellite C55-C5240, a new model of theirs, as well.
The processor of this Toshiba is called Intel Core i5-5200U. The model number 5xxx indicates it belongs to Intel’s 5th generation processor family. This particular unit comes with two cores and 2.2GHz clock speed, although you’ll get quite an increase to 2.7GHz with turbo boost. Compared to the i5-4200U from the older 4th generation line, the i5-5200U should have about 10% increase in performance. Considering the low price of this laptop, that processor is darn good. Most programs – including your favorite web browser and video streaming services – are piece of cake for the i5-5200U, and for the whole notebook for that matter.
Again, for the price, the amount of RAM is excellent. There’s 8GB memory installed in Toshiba Satellite C55-C5240, ensuring smooth operations for multitaskers and power users. The information is not available yet, but I’m pretty sure 16GB is the maximum RAM this unit takes. The official company policy is “non-user upgradeable RAM”, but I’ve read posts from similar Toshiba Satellite users stating otherwise. So it might be upgrading the memory yourself is possible with this model as well.
There’s a mechanical hard drive for storage so you’ll get a lot of space, one terabyte to be exact. You’ll be getting a disk that spins at 5400RPM speed, too. That’s not so great if you compare it to solid-state drives. Customizing this notebook afterwards shouldn’t be a big issue, although you’d have to take out either the hard drive or the DVD drive if you want to put an SSD in.
The laptop has Windows 8.1 (64-bit) as the operating system.
Screen and graphics
Even though performance of Toshiba Satellite C55-C5240 is top-notch, the screen looks like an average one. If it was great as well, the product price would be much higher. The display is 15.6″ diagonal with a basic 1366×768 resolution. It’s not a touchscreen – which is however not a problem for most.
The laptop can be used for gaming if you don’t mind minimum settings and resolution. See, for such a low-cost computer a true gaming card would be unheard of. Instead, there’s the processor-integrated Intel HD 5500 responsible for your games. It’s better than previous HD 4000 and HD 4400 models, and should net you decent ~30FPS on Battlefield 4 with eye candy turned off. If you enjoy older games, such as Skyrim, you’ll get smooth 50+ frames on low details. The popular Minecraft, League of Legends and Sims 4 will work without issues.
There seems to be three USB ports in Toshiba Satellite C55-C5240 which is the standard amount for 15″ laptops. One of those, marked with a blue connector, is USB 3.0. Its neighbor, the HDMI output, can be used to connect this laptop to a PC display or HDTV.
Networking consists of a 100Mbps Ethernet RJ-45 port, 802.11b/g/n Wireless adapter and Bluetooth 4.0. A DVD burner is fixed on the left side. SD card slot is available, too.
A webcam is installed on top of the screen, so fire up Skype and you’re good to attend video chats.
Other noteworthy things
Toshiba Satellite C55-C5240 weighs 4.8 pounds, not more than its competitors. The average battery life is 7 hours, but I wouldn’t quite expect that much in real life. Around 5 hours web browsing is your best bet with a single charge.
The keyboard doesn’t look like a backlit one which is understandable for this price. Product images reveal there’s a numeric keypad on the right hand side.
Summing it up
I think Toshiba Satellite C55-C5240 has an excellent price-performance ratio. For a very reasonable amount of money, you’re offered a laptop with new Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 1TB hard drive. That’s really something, although the other aspects (screen & connections) seem to be just average. But because the big three – CPU, memory and storage – are great for the price, I think getting this Toshiba is totally worth it.