Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5102 is one of the more inexpensive laptops in the market. This undoubtedly attracts people. Of course, a low price always means reduced performance with computers. In this Toshiba, the core components are AMD A8 processor and 4GB RAM – nothing very powerful indeed. You might wonder if this cheap notebook can really work for your use, or does it end up slowing too early and too much? Well, let us address this concern below!
Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5102 relies on AMD A8-6410 processor. It’s a quad-core chip from 2014, offering a 2.0GHz base speed and 2.4GHz turbo frequency. Despite having four cores, it reaches similar performance to dual-core mobile i3s – around 2500 in CPU Mark test. Hence I wouldn’t call it a very powerful processor, but keeping the low price of this computer in mind I’d say it’s good value for the money. No common program would be an issue for the A8-6410, some older games will also run (I’ll elaborate this below).
The laptop has 4GB DDR3L 1600MHz memory installed. That is not the maximum RAM, the system supports up to 16GB on its two memory slots. However, the rumor is these Toshibas can’t be upgraded by yourself but must be sent to manufacturer for RAM expansion. I think this is true if you’re not tech savvy, but somebody who likes to tinker can probably upgrade the memory himself.
The hard disk drive offers a full terabyte storage. For the price of Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5102 it’s an excellent amount, often this kind of budget laptops have just a 500GB drive. Thus, running out of space is unlikely to happen. But the sluggish performance of a mechanical hard drive might become a nuisance. Installing a solid-state drive should help, this system indeed supports SATA 2.5″ SSDs.
Screen and graphics
Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5102 features a 15.6″ widescreen display with 1366×768 native resolution. Somebody said the picture is clear and sharp, although I’ve witnessed these cheap screens usually have inferior quality. Touch is not supported here, so no matter how hard you press the display won’t recognize your finger.
You must settle for integrated graphics card if you go for a cheap laptop. In this model, the graphics unit is Radeon R5 (Beema), a chip with similar performance to legacy Intel HD engines. Heavyweight titles will lag quite much, GTA 5 for example will have less than 20FPS on lowest possible settings. In my opinion, playing in such a choppy environment is not enjoyable at all. But if you prefer simpler games like Minecraft you’ll reach much better frame rates – especially if you use the Optifine mod. FPS will also be smooth for games like Dirt 3, Sims 4 and World of Warcraft.
You can enhance Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5102 with some peripherals, the laptop has two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port for that. Plugging in a monitor (or even HDTV) is possible with the HDMI and VGA outputs.
Networking interfaces are nothing fancy, just the basic 100Mbps RJ-45 and 802.11b/g/n WiFi. Bluetooth is not enabled.
There’s a DVD burner on the left, meaning you’ll have no problems with creating discs. Also uploading images from digital cameras is effortless thanks to the laptop’s SD/MMC card slot.
The built-in HD webcam and microphone allow you to chat with buddies on Skype.
Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5102 can be taken on your travels, it weighs a moderate 4.9 pounds which is more or less the same than 15″ notebooks usually weight. The battery (a 4-cell 45Wh one) will last four hours if you write texts or surf the web. You should be able to swap the battery for better, but once again Toshiba manual warns it’s a non-user replaceable item.
This laptop has no backlit keyboard, you have to pay more than this for such a premium feature. Numeric keypad is included, some people like it for ease of use.
Considering what Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5102 offers, it can right away be labeled as a basic laptop. It’s perfect tool for things such as browsing the web or watching a flick or two. You can even fire up some easier games, such as Minecraft, and keep the settings low for playable FPS. In addition, Toshibas are often durable (as are most things coming from Japan) so you won’t probably need to replace the notebook soon. If you don’t need the huge performance of (an expensive) gaming laptop, you can very well go for this affordable Toshiba and be happy with it. After all, A8 processor and 1TB hard drive are quite good value for so inexpensive notebook!