Electronics hailing from Japan are often high quality. They know how to make good laptops over there, and with this in mind, I’d also expect the pricey Toshiba Satellite P55T-B5156 to be more than a decent notebook. Its processor is a very speedy i7-4720HQ that should run your software without slowing down. There’s also a proper graphics card which means gaming isn’t a compromise. The unit is however quite expensive, raising a question whether it’s actually good value for your money or not. Well, to that and many other questions we’ll answer below!
You might already be familiar with Intel’s naming conventions. In that case, you can right away see that Toshiba Satellite P55T-B5156 contains an excellent processor. Called Intel Core i7-4720HQ, it offers a quad-core design with 2.6GHz clock speed. There’s also a nice turbo feature upping the frequency to 3.6GHz. The i7s are indeed the flagship of Intel’s, those CPUs are often used by power users and professionals where smooth environment even with most complicated applications (software development, virtual machines, image editing) is required. If that’s you, you’ll certainly benefit from such a high-end processor.
The laptop boasts 12GB DDR3L (1600MHz) memory. That is installed on 8GB and 4GB modules so there’s no free space for upgrade. You can however remove the 4GB chip and put another 8GB in, increasing the total RAM to 16GB. I’m sure a tech savvy person can do this alone, although it’s recommended that a certified Toshiba tech does the swap.
Toshiba Satellite P55T-B5156 has one of the biggest hard drives I’ve seen on laptops. It has space for huge 2TB worth of data, whereas notebooks often have no more than one terabyte hard drives. Of course, every coin has two sides, and you’ll be missing the performance of an SSD with this 5400RPM hard drive. So if you don’t mind less storage but want much better transfer rates, consider taking the current drive out and putting a solid-state drive in place.
Screen and graphics
The display should be one of the best things in Toshiba Satellite P55T-B5156. It is 15.6 inches big with a futuristic 4K Ultra HD support, in another words 3840 x 2160 resolution. It’s useful as long as your source (like PC game, YouTube, Netflix etc.) supports it. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to use 1920×1080 which isn’t bad for a 15″ screen, either. Other features include touch support which might be good for mastering Windows 8.1.
A dedicated video card is installed in this computer. That is welcoming news for those who want to game. Real life tests indicate that GTA V should be playable at ~35FPS on Full HD and normal details. Also the demanding AC: Unity will get around 30 frames but only after reducing settings and resolution to low-medium.
Toshiba Satellite P55T-B5156 has four USB connections. All of them are USB 3.0 so you won’t be struggling with low bandwidth using your peripherals. There’s also HDMI out with 4K UHD capability, so you can use the laptop and enjoy its extreme resolution on a compatible HDTV.
As expected, networking options are stellar. Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) is offered for the friends of cable and Intel dual-band AC WiFi for the wireless folk. Bluetooth 4.0 works out of the box as well.
A rare thing these days, this notebook comes with a Blu-Ray burner. Despite the name, it of course works for reading and creating CDs and DVDs too. If you enjoy photographing or shooting videos, you can upload those files from a camera easily with the built-in memory card reader.
As you can see from the product image, a front-facing webcam is installed on top of the display part.
Other noteworthy things
Toshiba Satellite P55T-B5156 weighs the same than an average 15.6-inch laptop, which is 5.1 pounds. Its 4-cell 43Wh battery won’t last more than around four hours with web surfing.
The keyboard is LED backlit and a 10-key pad is available on the right hand side.
To begin with the positives, Toshiba Satellite P55T-B5156 has a 4K Ultra HD screen giving you much more than regular Full HD, a whopping 3840×2160 resolution. It’s pretty rad, although only in the future this new technology will find its true potential – not every peripheral or piece of content support it yet. Performance-wise, pretty much any program or game runs on the i7-4720HQ + Radeon R9 M265X combo (but few heavier titles should be set to lower settings to retain great frame rates). Other features include treats like AC WiFi, BluRay drive and four USB 3.0 ports. There are indeed many bells and whistles in this notebook, and if you appreciate all of them plus the high performance, paying this much for a laptop would make perfect sense.