Toshiba Satellite C55-A5105 15.6-Inch Laptop Review

Toshiba Satellite C55-A5105 15.6-Inch Laptop

The Toshiba Satellite C55-A5105 15.6-Inch Laptop is a budget-friendly, entry-level machine designed to cope well with routine computing tasks. It should be capable of checking email, surfing the web, updating social status, video chatting, displaying HD video and running standard productivity / office software, but it may well struggle with more demanding tasks.

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It is driven by an Intel Celeron N2820 processor – a dual-core System on a Chip (SoC) designed specifically to balance the need for energy efficiency with acceptable performance in entry-level laptops. Part of the Bay Trail-M platform, and based on Intel’s Silvermont architecture, it offers computing capabilities that are a significant improvement over earlier Intel Atom CPUs, despite the lack of Hyper Threading in this generation of the processor. Running at 2.17GHz, with Intel Burst up to 2.39 GHz, this SoC should be easily able to handle the routine computing tasks that this laptop is designed for.

The machine is fitted with 4GB of DDR3L 1333MHz memory, which should be more than enough to allow the pre-installed copy of Windows 8.1 to run well. However, if you think you might need more RAM, it can be upgraded to a maximum of 8GB.

For permanent storage of your document, pictures, music and movies – and, of course, your software applications, this machine features a 500GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Although smaller than the hard drives fitted in more powerful – and therefore more expensive – laptops, 500GB ought to be sufficient storage capacity for most users, and represents a sensible balance between price and features; after all, should you really need more storage capacity at a later date, it is an easy matter to attach an external disk drive to one of the machine’s USB ports.

Pros :

  • Excellent entry-level laptop
  • Intel Celeron Processor N2820
  • 4GB DDR3L 1333MHz memory
  • 500GB HDD Hard Disk
  • 15.6-inch HD TruBrite LED Backlit display 1366×768
  • Windows 8.1

Cons :

  • Underpowered for serious gaming

Staying with storage options for a moment, it is good to see that this machine includes a built-in, multiformat DVD-RW optical drive. Many modern laptops omit an optical drive in favor of reduced weight, size or cost, and while it is an understandable compromise in some cases, an optical drive is still a very useful thing to have!

The machine’s 15.6″, LED-backlit, TFT, 720p, 1366 x 768 pixel HD display with TruBrite technology is driven by integrated Intel HD graphics. This should be more than adequate to cope with the needs of day-to-day computing tasks, including HD video and even casual gaming, it will struggle with more sophisticated and demanding games despite being DirectX 11 compatible. Of course, this is not, and is not intended to be a gaming laptop – it is an entry-level workhorse, designed for routine tasks, and should be more than capable of meeting that design goal.

Of course, no matter how good the laptop’s display may be, you will almost certainly want or need to use a larger, external display at some point – perhaps for making a presentation, or watching a movie in comfort. For those occasions, this machine offers both an HDMI port for connecting to an HDTV or modern monitor, and a legacy VGA port for connecting to older monitors, TVs and other devices.

 Naturally, the machine also features a range of other connectivity options. Two standard USB 2.0 ports and one high-speed USB 3.0 port make it easy to connect all your favorite wired peripherals, while a multiformat card reader ensures you’ll have no difficulty in getting images onto the machine from your camera or cell phone.

As with most modern laptops, the C55-A5105 features a built-in HD webcam and microphone. And, since Windows 8.1 includes the popular Skype video-chat software, this laptop is video-chat read right out of the box. Simply sign in to your Skype account, or set up a new one, and you’ll be chatting with your friends and colleagues in no time.

For internet connectivity, the machine offers the choice of both wired and wireless networking. For those who want or need to connect to a conventional wired network, there is a built-in Ethernet port, while 802.11 b/g/n WiFi is also built-in for those who prefer to go wireless.

Overall, the Toshiba Satellite C55-A5105 15.6-Inch Laptop represents an excellent choice for a budget-friendly, entry level machine. It isn’t, and doesn’t claim to be a gaming laptop, and will certainly struggle with demanding games, but for routine computing tasks it should be more than up to the challenge. If you’re looking for an inexpensive laptop for every applications like email, social status and standard office software – perhaps as a first laptop for a senior relative, or even as an extra machine – this could well be the laptop for you!

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