Toshiba Satellite P50T-C-109 review

Toshiba’s P50T bears the Satellite name of its cheapest consumer laptops, but this model has price and components that place it toward the top of the midrange category. See also: Best gaming laptops of 2015/16

It’s a 15in model with UHD 4K touchscreen display, built around a partly metal-clad chassis to uprate its looks and resilience. The lid back and top deck are treated to a veneer of brushed aluminium with champagne finish, above a textured black plastic underside.

While the 45Wh battery is not readily removable it can be released with two screws. A legacy of the screen’s touch sensitivity and high resolution is lousy battery life, just 3 hr 20 mins in our tests, and a let down in a modern laptop.

The screen has visibility issues; not from the matrix, which is IGZO from Sharp, but from the absence of reflection-reducing treatment and consequent high-gloss reflectivity. Also apparent was a sparkling grain structure visible in light areas. It measured well,though, covering 97 percent sRGB gamut, 74 percent Adobe RGB, and with an excellent contrast ratio up to 770:1. Colour accuracy was outstanding too at 0.78 average Delta E.

Toshiba Satellite P50T-C-109 review

Powering the P50T-C-109 is a dual-core Intel Core i5 at 2.2GHz, backed with 12GB memory and 1TB hybrid disk drive including a sliver of flash memory. Graphics are courtesy of Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M, a GPU that allows Windows gaming up to full-HD resolution at least.

Batman: Arkham City averaged 48fps at this res and High detail, falling to 36fps at maximum Extreme. Even Metro: Last Light could play at High detail (35fps) while Tomb Raider was still usable at Ultra detail (33fps) if not Ultimate (23fps). Forget about gaming at native UHD resolution though.

The P50T also features a Blu-ray drive able to write and read BD besides DVD media. Its tray had an annoying habit of popping out whenever the laptop was picked up, though.

Connectors are typical for a midrange model, with three USB 3.0, ethernet and SD card slot but only one video output, HDMI 1.4, limited to 1600p/60. It's unlikely you'd want to connect a second 4K display, but if you do, this is going to be a problem. A 2560x1440 display will be fine though.

While the laptop lands with Windows 8.1, our sample had been changed to 10, and a Cortana button can be found on F1. The keyboard is a high-quality design with a reassuringly firm frame and professional slick action. Toshiba’s chosen Synaptics trackpad is better than budget too, a large and buttonless design.

The use of a hybrid disk drive and up-to-date Intel processor means the P50T feels reasonably fluent in use. Geekbench 3 scored the system with 5460 points using all processor cores, and 2766 points single-core. The PCMark 8 Home results were less convincing, just 1797 points, lifted marginally to 2128 points with the help of graphics acceleration.

Although Toshiba quotes a recommended price of £1099.99, you can buy this laptop for a shade under £800, making it decent value as long as you don't need to use it away from mains power for long periods.

Toshiba Satellite P50T-C-109: Specs

  • 15.6-inch (3840 x 2160) 282 ppi IGZO gloss touchscreen display
  • Windows 8.1 (sample supplied with Windows 10)
  • 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200U (2.7 GHz Turbo) 2C, 4T
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M with 4GB DDR3 RAM + Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • 12GB (1x 8, 1x 4) 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
  • 1 TB 5400rpm SSHD
  • gigabit ethernet
  • 802.11ac, 1x1 MIMO (Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • BD-RE/DVD±RW, tray-load optical drive
  • 3x USB 3.0
  • HDMI
  • Kensington Security Slot
  • SDXC card slot
  • stereo speakers
  • 0.9Mp webcam
  • built-in mic
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • UK tiled keyboard with numberpad
  • buttonless trackpad, 106 x 66mm
  • 44Wh lithium-ion battery, non-removable
  • 90W mains charger with IEC C5 inlet
  • 380 x 257 x 23.7mm
  • 2333g
  • 15.6-inch (3840 x 2160) 282 ppi IGZO gloss touchscreen display
  • Windows 8.1 (sample supplied with Windows 10)
  • 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200U (2.7 GHz Turbo) 2C, 4T
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M with 4GB DDR3 RAM + Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • 12GB (1x 8, 1x 4) 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
  • 1 TB 5400rpm SSHD
  • gigabit ethernet
  • 802.11ac, 1x1 MIMO (Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3160)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • BD-RE/DVD±RW, tray-load optical drive
  • 3x USB 3.0
  • HDMI
  • Kensington Security Slot
  • SDXC card slot
  • stereo speakers
  • 0.9Mp webcam
  • built-in mic
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • UK tiled keyboard with numberpad
  • buttonless trackpad, 106 x 66mm
  • 44Wh lithium-ion battery, non-removable
  • 90W mains charger with IEC C5 inlet
  • 380 x 257 x 23.7mm
  • 2333g

OUR VERDICT

The Satellite P50t has high-end touches on a midrange model, such as UHD IGZO screen and nVidia gaming graphics, plus some metal machining to suggest premium build. It’s let down by a reflective screen and lousy battery life. Despite underwhelming benchmark results it should be speedy enough for general duties.

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