School time is almost here and most new (and not so new) students are looking for a cheap, reliable laptop that offers the best bang for their buck. And while there are plenty of cheap laptops in the market, most of them aren't as attractive as the Toshiba Satellite C55-B5161 we're covering today.
All in all, we're talking about a 15 inch laptop with 500 GB of storage, dual core processor and a very budget-conscious price point click here to see the price. Wanna know more? Then keep on reading and dive into our Toshiba Satellite C55-B5161 in depth review.
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Toshiba Satellite C55-B5161 Full Review: Is it worth it?
Screen & First impressions
When it comes to design, the Toshiba Satellite C55-B5161 is pretty standard. It comes in black but it’s not glossy or at least not as much as other laptops. The best thing about its design is the keyboard with an integrated number pad and the front facing status LEDs (I know that sounds basic, but you’d be surprised by how many laptops don't have them in the front part of the device).
The 15.6 inch screen with an HD (1366x768p) resolution is good enough for most people, but you can still connect the laptop to your TV or external monitors through the HDMI port. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy 1080p content without a glitch, as long as your external display is compatible with said resolution, of course.
It's worth mentioning that the screen size is bigger than most budget laptops, which generally round out at about the 11 inch mark so that's definitely a pro for this Toshiba laptop.
CPU, RAM & Graphics
The thing about budgets laptops is that they’re designed for basic productivity and entertainment, and the new budget laptop from Toshiba is (unfortunately) not the exception. That said, it comes with a dual-core, Intel Celeron N2830 CPU that runs at 2.16 GHz.
This processor also includes 2 threads (1 per core), 1 MB of cache, a 64 bit architecture and it’s able to momentarily overclock itself to a maximum of 2.41 GHz thanks to Intel’s “burst” technology. Another thing worthn pointing out is that this particular CPU model only dissipates about 7.5 Watts when its at "full throttle", so you shouldn’t have any overheating issues either.
Moving on with the Toshiba Satellite C55-B5161 review, the new laptop comes with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM (1600 MHz) and as I mentioned before, the processor has a 64 bit architecture, meaning that it will take full advantage of the random access memory (RAM).
When it comes down to the graphics department of the review, we're talking about an integrated Intel HD Graphics card which isn't exactly a powerhouse GPU but still, you should be able to run video editing software and image editing software, as long as you’re willing to be a little bit patient.
All in all, these specs should also give you enough power for a few popular video games such as League of Legends and Hearthstone, but anything more than that is just asking too much for a low budget laptop.
Storage & Battery life
When it comes to the storage of the device, we'll find a 500 GB hard drive running at a standard 5400 rpm. Sure, it's not an SSD, but if you want flash memory at this price point you're gonna have to look at a chromebook and still you won't get much more then 32 GB of storage.
Either way, if you need more storage or faster reading/writing speeds, you have 1 USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports and an SD card reader that will allow you to connect your external storage drives without any problems.
As for the battery life, we're quite impressed Toshiba managed to pull of a 5 hour battery life in this machine. Sure, it's a far cry from the MacBooks battery life but for a budget laptop it's quite impressive.
Connectivity & Extras
In terms of connectivity, the Toshiba Satellite C55-B5161 comes with the basic WiFi (802.11 b/g/n) compatibility, but sadly there is no Bluetooth antenna to be found (at least not according to Amazon and the official Toshiba website). On the plus side, there is an ethernet port which is also becoming a weird commodity these days.
As for the physical ports, we've got two USB 2.0 ports, 1 USB 3.0 port an SD card reader that I previously mentioned, as well as a headphone/microphone jack (3.5 mm). Of course, this budget laptop also comes with an integrated Webcam and microphone combo, so you won’t have to connect any external peripherals to video-call your friends.
Finally, If you were worried about the OS, then relax because despite it coming with Windows 8.1 out of the box, you can easily update it to the critically acclaimed Windows 10. That update will only be free until mid-2016, though, so make sure you don’t waste any time.
Wrapping up our Toshiba Satellite C55-B5161 in depth review we've come to discover that this is an excellent laptop for work, college and multimedia thanks to its relatively powerful components (at least for the price).
The 15.6-inch screen is kind of the perfect size for portable multitasking, and the 500 GB hard drive is more than enough storage for the average user. You’ll also have access to a free Windows 10 upgrade, so there really isn't that much to complain about when you take into account its low end price tag. All in all, we give it a solid B+ in the "bang for your buck" department and invite you to check it out on Amazon.