Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5310 is a typical budget laptop, powered by an AMD A8 processor and the latest Windows 8.1. These inexpensive computers are good at least as a starter laptop, but now and then professionals also get them for their secondary notebook. So, let’s see if this Toshiba could be an useful choice for you.
For the price, the processor of this Toshiba isn’t that bad. AMD A8-6410 can be compared to Core i3s from the Intel side that are known as solid mid-range CPUs. No browsing, video streaming or lightweight gaming will be too much for this AMD. Of course, it’s not a true workhorse like top notch processors, so running heaviest software on a daily basis wouldn’t be a good idea on it. But again, the cost is rather low so I don’t complain.
The laptop has 4GB memory, a decent amount these days. Some notebooks with similar price come with more memory but in turn have a slower processor. Toshiba website says the RAM is not user upgradeable, but I care to disagree. There are two memory slots in total and should be able to add more RAM (at least up to 8GB). It just takes some time and tinkering, and not everybody is comfortable doing that.
Storage size is 500GB. It’s served by a 5400RPM drive so there’s not really any speed benefit. Space-wise, the half a terabyte is good for thousands of files, and chances are small a casual user would ever need more.
Display and graphics
The 15.6 inches non-touch display of Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5310 is a cookie cutter one, providing alright viewing experience for most people. Perhaps the 1366×768 resolution won’t satisfy the pickiest shoppers, but for the money that’s all you get.
AMD Radeon R5 (Beema) is the graphics engine. It’s good for running many old games fluently, but with new titles it lacks some real performance. Minecraft would be no problem for this rig, but the notoriously heavy Battlefield 3 (or 4) would reach 25 FPS tops on low settings. It’s hardly playable, although if you can live with some lag, also new games will somewhat work on this rig.
Of the essential ports, Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5310 has three USBs. Of those, one is USB 3.0. There are also the obligatory HDMI and legacy VGA outputs, so you can use the laptop with a larger screen if you want something else than the basic 15.6″ display for a chance.
You can reach Internet with either 100Mbps Ethernet RJ-45 or 802.11b/g/n WiFi adapter. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported ouf of the box so you don’t have to use any USB dongle for that.
The notebook has a fixed optical drive. It burns DVDs up to 8x speed. In addition, a memory card reader for SD, SDHC, SDXC, miniSD, microSD and MMC cards is available.
High-definition webcam with microphone is installed, so video calls should work fine.
Any other things to keep in mind?
Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5310 weighs 4.9 pounds, similar or perhaps bit less than a typical 15.6″ notebook. It contains a basic 4 cell/45Wh Li-ion battery that allows no more than 4 hours operating time.
Taking a look at the product images you can see the non-backlit keyboard comes with a numeric keypad on the right side.
The pre-installed Toshiba software might reduce the performance to a degree. To overcome this, simply uninstall the bloatware to get most out of this computer.
Cheap laptops are always a compromise, in a way or another. It’s always about decreased performance, Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5310 being no different. The true power users would be wise to pick a speedier (and more expensive) machine, but for somebody not too keen on having a powerhouse laptop this Toshiba should be enough. Frankly, it’s pretty much everything a casual user needs, especially if you can get it for ~300 dollars.