Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 (Windows 10) Review

July 30, 2015
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Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 is basically the same computer than C5240, the only difference being operating system: this version is pre-loaded with the latest Windows 10 while the older one has Windows 8.1. Interesting, yes, and in this review I’ll answer to questions you might have about this new laptop…

What software does the laptop run fluently?

The vast majority of applications should work fine on Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241. The processor is Intel Core i5-5200U, a new low voltage, dual core unit with 2.2Ghz clock speed and 2.7GHz turbo. The average CPU Mark score is ~3500. So, starting from the lightest programs, web browsers, MS Office (or similar) and HD video services are a piece of cake for the said processor. I’d say also some simpler type of image editing can be done here, although if you’re a graphics professional or even better, a gamer, the CPU might begin to feel too slow. But indeed, the software most people use run smooth and clean here.

There’s 8GB memory (DDR3L 1600MHz) installed by default. This should suffice for many, and people have been reporting that upgrade is possible – even though Toshiba says it’s not. So 16GB should be the maximum RAM this system supports. Upgrading the RAM might make sense for power users, resulting in better performance for more demanding programs. If you want to add more, you’ll have to take screws out and remove the bottom.

Hard drive comes in 1TB size, and that terabyte is something most people are happy with. But another less useful thing is the speed (5400RPM). I’ve seen users complaining about slow hard drive transfer rates – not particularly on Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 but in general. The cure is simple: You take the SATA hard drive out and put in a new one, this time a solid-state drive. Just like the memory upgrade, swap for an SSD will make the computer feel faster to operate. I don’t recommend this for a “common” laptop user, but perhaps a professional with heavy applications might benefit from the SSD upgrade.

Are any games playable on it?

Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 is not a great gaming machine because it has no dedicated graphics. However, the integrated Intel HD 5500 can surely take many games you throw at it, but in exchange the slow engine requires you to reduce settings a lot. Here are some examples:

– GTA 5, 720p and medium, 15-20FPS
– The Witcher 3, 720p and medium, less than 10FPS
– Minecraft, 1080p and medium, 30-40FPS
– League of Legends, 1080p and medium, 30-40FPS

So yeah, if it’s new and fancy games you’re into, there’s a problem. Types like Grand Theft Auto and The Witcher 3 won’t be enjoyable here. But those “everyday” games, like League of Legends, will run without lagging.

Does the screen have good image quality?

You can’t expect miracles from a 1366×768 15.6″ display. But user reports suggest it’s at least decent and should be alright for most. The screen supports no touch, but with the new Windows 10 that should not be an issue – Microsoft seems to have made their latest OS more friendly to keyboard and trackpad users.

What peripherals may I plug in?

Starting with the most important, Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 features three USB ports. Just one of them is USB 3.0, the other two are much slower USB 2.0. One way to combat the issue is to get USB 3.0 hub, that will essentially give you more of those faster ports for very affordable price (~20 bucks).

The laptop also has a full-size HDMI out (but no VGA out). You can utilize that to connect a HD television or another display, such as your desktop monitor. That might make sense in case you’d like to view 1080p content, the notebook’s own screen outputs only 1366×768 resolution.

An optical drive is included, it will burn and read CDs and DVDs. There’s also slot for SD, SDHC, SDXC, miniSD, microSD and MMC cards.

Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 has both Ethernet and WiFi adapters, although the Wireless supports only b/g/n (no AC) standards. The Ethernet RJ-45 port is limited to 100Mbps speed. Bluetooth 4.0 is enabled.

In the display bezel there’s a HD webcam with microphone, you can attend video meetings using programs like Skype.

Any other things to keep in mind?

The system weighs 4.85 pounds, so it’s in the same category than an average 15.6″ notebook (which is more or less 5 pounds).

The 4-cell 45Wh battery lasts around 5 hours under light load. If you’re playing games, expect to get around 3 hours. The battery can be changed, you just need to take out a couple of screws, not a hard task at all.

Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 has a normal keyboard without backlit keys. Numeric keypad, as you can see from the photos, is installed on the right side.

The laptop is made of plastic.

Summing it up

Like its predecessor, also the Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 is good for people with some power user tendencies. There’s a capable trio of Core i5 CPU, 8GB memory and terabyte hard drive ready to run most programs – including ones like Netflix, Photoshop and even VirtualBox from the more exotic lot. Graphics are not really the laptop’s forte, you might want to keep low settings – or even choose entirely another system – if you wanted a real gaming notebook. The most essential thing is Windows 10, as there are not many user reviews available yet, you have to take “shot in the dark” here. So if you want to learn something new, what would be a better way to do that than this Windows 10 loaded Toshiba laptop.

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