Toshiba Satellite C855-S5343 PSCBLU-025003 15.6-Inch Laptop Review

Toshiba Satellite C855-S5343 PSCBLU-025003 15.6-Inch Laptop

The Toshiba Satellite C855-S5343 PSCBLU-025003 15.6-Inch Laptop is a budget-friendly, entry level, machine, focussed primarily on everyday computing tasks.

It is very much a machine for surfing the web, researching and writing up term papers, watching movies and updating your social status – all common, relatively undemanding tasks that this laptop should be able to handle with ease.

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The all-important processor at the heart of this machine is a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i3-3110M dual-core component. As with other modern Intel CPUs, it supports Hyperthreading, which enables to two cores to run up to four threads simultaneously for increased efficiency. It doesn’t support Intel’s Turbo Boost technology, so the processor’s speed is fixed at 2.4 GHz instead of automatically adjusting to suit differing workloads. In reality, however, this is unlikely to have much impact, given the kinds of tasks this machine is expected to be used for.

The machine ships with 6GB of DDR3 RAM, which should be more than adequate for most purposes, and is certainly enough for the supplied copy of Windows 8 to run well. However, should you find that you need more memory, a maximum of 16GB is supported.

For permanent storage of your documents, music, pictures and videos, as well as all the software you install, the machine ships with a 500GB hard drive. Although smaller than the hard drives in some other laptops, 500GB is by no means an inadequate amount of storage. Indeed, compared to the capacity of some of the Solid State Drives found in much higher specification machines, it is enormous. As with many things, the reality is somewhere between these extremes – 500GB of storage should be easily enough satisfy the needs of all but the most dedicated file hoarders.

The 15.6-inch, TruBrite, LED-backlit display has a resolution of 1366 x 768 for native HD 720p viewing, and is driven by integrated Mobile Intel HD Graphics 4000 technology. Everyday computing tasks are well within the HD Graphics 4000’s capabilities, and it should also cope well with HD video and even some casual gaming. However, despite support for Microsoft DirectX 11, it isn’t really capable of meeting the needs of today’s more demanding games.

Pros :

  • Solid, Inexpensive, Entry-Level Machine
  • 6GB RAM
  • 500GB Hard Disk
  • Windows 8

Cons :

  • Underpowered For Serious Gaming

That said, this isn’t, and doesn’t claim to be, a gaming laptop. It’s a solid, entry-level machine designed to handle everyday tasks – a purpose for which it is very well suited. One of those tasks will, almost inevitably, be watching movies, either streamed from the internet or played directly from the machine’s hard drive or built in 8x SuperMulti CD/DVD drive. The laptop is certainly up to the task, but there is a lot to be said for watching your favourite movie on a big screen, especially if you intend to watch it with friends. With this in mind, the machine is equipped with an HDMI port for connecting to a modern monitor or HDTV, and a VGA port for connecting to an older monitor or projector.

Users have a choice of network connectivity options. For wired networking, there is a conventional 10 / 100 Ethernet port, while wireless networking is provided by built-in 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. Other ports include one high-speed USB 3.0 port, two standard USB 2.0 ports and a multi-format memory card reader. There is also a built-in webcam, making this machine video-chat capable right out of the box – just sign in to your favourite chat software (Windows 8 ships with Skype) and you’re good to go.

For more mundane tasks, the C855-S5343 features a full-sized keyboard with a 10 key numeric keypad. Anyone who regularly enters numeric data – perhaps your household budget, or research figures for a term paper – into a computer will know that a numeric keypad makes the process so much easier than simply using the number keys at the top of a standard keyboard, but such a useful feature is often the preserve of much more expensive machines. There is also a touchpad with multi-touch control and support for the new gestures found in Windows 8, making it easy to get up to speed with the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship Operating System.

The machine measures 14.96 x 9.53 x 1.31 inches (WxDxH) and weighs 5.4 pounds – easily small and lightweight enough to carry around with you for use at home, at work or college and on the move.

Overall, the Toshiba Satellite C855-S5343 PSCBLU-025003 15.6-Inch Laptop should be an excellent choice if you are looking for an inexpensive machine for routine computing tasks. It isn’t up to heavy duty gaming, but is easily capable of everyday tasks like editing documents, video chat, email and updating your social status. Ideal for a first-time user, or perhaps as a second machine for your home, the Toshiba Satellite C855-S5343 PSCBLU-025003 is well worth considering.

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