If you don’t want to pay much for your laptop and a basic system is enough for you, here’s an idea: Toshiba Satellite C55-C5379. It’s a 15.6″ notebook with 5th Generation Core i3 processor, 8GB RAM and integrated graphics card for lightweight gaming. This kind of system works for some people, but there surely are some bad things about it as well…
For the money, the processor in Toshiba Satellite C55-C5379 isn’t bad. It’s the Intel Core i3-5005U, a dual-core chip with 2.0GHz clock speed and no turbo. The popular benchmark CPU Mark gives it ~3000 points which means things like web surfing, YouTube, paper writing are a piece of cake here. Running very heavyweight programs on a daily basis would be too much, for that you’d need a more expensive laptop.
Another thing I’d consider good, especially knowing the cheap price of this unit, is the 8GB DDR3L-type memory. If you want to upgrade it, it might be possible: manual says the RAM is not user upgradeable, however I think the RAM sticks can be changed if you know what you’re doing.
Other components are pretty good in Toshiba Satellite C55-C5379, but the storage is lacking. It’s a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive, nothing more than that. It’s not horrible; to be honest many casual users are good with it. But power users definitely want a faster drive, an SSD. Luckily with some technical skills you can remove the current drive and put in such a solid-state drive.
Quite obvious for this price, the laptop is not the best choice for gamers. It has Intel HD 5500 as the graphics card, it’s just an integrated unit with limited performance. People have been successfully playing even GTA 5 on that, but low settings and 720p resolution would give around 25 frames per second. Not ideal, but quite playable. On the other hand, casual games like Minecraft and League of Legends will run much better than that.
Other noteworthy things
The screen is pretty basic, but what can you expect from a budget notebook? The diagonal is 15.6 inches, resolution is 1366×768 and there’s no touch support.
Toshiba Satellite C55-C5379 includes an alright connectivity, starting with the three USB ports of which two are USB 2.0 and one is USB 3.0. There’s a dedicated HDMI video output for plugging in HD television or a regular desktop display. Network connections include a 100Mbps RJ-45 port and 802.11n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter.
The laptop includes a DVD burner, an important thing for many – although a lot of software and content can be downloaded from Internet anyway. Also SD/MMC card slot is available.
The keyboard keys won’t light up, you’d need a more expensive model to get a backlit keyboard.
Running time will be around 4 hours, the included 4-cell 45Wh battery will be good for that.
If you only look at the specs you don’t probably find Toshiba Satellite C55-C5379 an exciting laptop. But combined with the price, it’s a real deal. It costs just pennies but in exchange offers basic performance good for home users, students or even smaller office work. If your expectations are not too high, I’m sure you’d be only happy with this simple Toshiba.