Toshiba Satellite C55D-A-13U review

Toshiba Satellite C55D-A-13U review

If you're looking for a large-screen budget laptop for use at home, but can't stretch to £500 then the Toshiba Satellite C55D-A-13U may do the job for a highly competitive £399. (See: What's the best budget laptop?)

There's actually more than a dozen different models in the C55D range, with Toshiba hopping randomly between AMD and Intel processors both old and new. This particular model we tested hit its £399 price with an AMD A6-5200 running at 2.0 GHz, saving some budget for a plentiful 8 GB of memory and 1 TB hard drive.

That amount of memory and storage mean that the Satellite C55D should handle a range of applications, as well as providing plenty of storage for your music, photos and videos.

The AMD processor may be quad-cored but isn't particularly fast. Overall laptop responsiveness isn't helped by the sluggish hard drive either. This Toshiba could only manage a score of 1725 points when running the PCMark 7 benchtest. That's a low, slow score, even by the standards of budget laptops.

The Windows 8 ‘fast-start' option did allow it to resume into the main Start screen in just under 15 seconds, but there's another 5-10 seconds of cursor spinning before the laptop actually gets going, and we noticed pauses when launching applications. (See also: What's the best laptop?)

Toshiba Satellite C55D-A-13U review

To be fair, the C55D could handle basic web browsing perfectly well once it got going – but you'd need a different laptop or to be very patient if you wanted to try photo- or video-editing.

Build quality is good, and a weight of 2.3 kg is fine for a 15-inch laptop. The chunky 65 Wh battery pack managed a very respectable 5.5 hours of streaming video, so it could keep you entertained on a long flight, or plugged into speakers at a barbeque. External speakers or headphones are advised though, as the tinny internal speakers buzz like a bumble-bee and are actually quite annoyings.

The 15.6-inch screen is something of a mixed bag. The 1366 x 768 resolution is acceptable at this price, and the screen – although annoyingly glossy and reflective in bright daylight – is bright enough to provide quite wide horizontal viewing angles. However, the vertical viewing angle is limited, and we needed to tilt it at just the right angle to get a viewable picture.

Toshiba Satellite C55D-A-13U review

Toshiba Satellite C55D-A-13U: Specs

  • Display size and type: 15.6-inch (1366 x 768, 100 ppi) gloss TN LCD
  • Operating system: Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz AMD A6-5200 (quad-core)
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 8400 (integrated)
  • Storage: 1 TB, 5400 rpm
  • Memory: 8 GB DDR3
  • Ethernet: 10/100
  • Optical drive: Super-Multi DVD
  • Video out: HDMI 1.4, VGA
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
  • Webcam: 0.9 Mp
  • Audio in: built-in mic, line-in
  • Audio out: 3.5mm line-out
  • USB: 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0
  • Other ports: Kensington lock slot
  • Card slot: SDXC
  • Trackpad: 85 x 60 mm, two-button, multi-touch
  • Power adaptor: 65 W mains adaptor
  • Battery: 48 Wh lithium-ion, removable
  • Dimensions (wdh): 380 x 242 x 33.3 mm
  • Weight: 2.30 kg
  • Display size and type: 15.6-inch (1366 x 768, 100 ppi) gloss TN LCD
  • Operating system: Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz AMD A6-5200 (quad-core)
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 8400 (integrated)
  • Storage: 1 TB, 5400 rpm
  • Memory: 8 GB DDR3
  • Ethernet: 10/100
  • Optical drive: Super-Multi DVD
  • Video out: HDMI 1.4, VGA
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
  • Webcam: 0.9 Mp
  • Audio in: built-in mic, line-in
  • Audio out: 3.5mm line-out
  • USB: 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0
  • Other ports: Kensington lock slot
  • Card slot: SDXC
  • Trackpad: 85 x 60 mm, two-button, multi-touch
  • Power adaptor: 65 W mains adaptor
  • Battery: 48 Wh lithium-ion, removable
  • Dimensions (wdh): 380 x 242 x 33.3 mm
  • Weight: 2.30 kg

OUR VERDICT

The C55D is clearly an entry-level laptop that offers basic levels of performance and image quality. Battery life was surprisingly good, and the ability to store plenty of music and video on its terabyte hard disk means that it could work as a low-cost entertainment system around the home or in the garden when the summer arrives.

Find the best price