To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Toshiba NB550D review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £301
inc VAT

We were very impressed with AMD Fusion, but apart from its impressive speakers the NB550D is a fairly unadventurous netbook.


10.1 in 1,024×600 display, 1.3kg, 1GHz AMD Fusion C-50, 1.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows 7 Starter 32-bit

It’s not often that we get excited over a netbook, but Toshiba’s new NB550D is an exception. It’s the first netbook we’ve seen that uses an AMD Fusion processor, the first real competition for Intel’s Atom.

The dual-core C-50 processor inside the NB550D runs at a lowly 1GHz, but is still powerful enough for most basic tasks. In everyday use it felt just as responsive as an Atom-based netbook, running several browser tabs and Word documents without any slowdown. Serious multitasking is still out of reach though, as seen in our multimedia benchmarks. An image editing score of 18 is reasonable for a netbook, but the video and multitasking tests were just as slow as on a netbook using Intel’s hardware. On the plus side, the C-50 has a slightly smaller power draw than an Atom, which helps extend battery life. In our light use test, the NB550D managed an astounding nine and a half hours.

Although Fusion might not beat Atom in everyday applications, it has far better graphics support, courtesy of a DirectX 11-compatible Radeon 6250 chip integrated in the processor itself. It’s capable of playing Full 1080p video, although you’ll have to connect an external display to get the full resolution; the NB550D’s 10.1in screen has the same 1,024×600 resolution as most other netbooks. Gaming performance is definitely a step up from Intel’s integrated chip, but Fusion isn’t nearly powerful enough to play modern titles and Call of Duty 4 crawled along at 5.6fps.

Toshiba NB550D

Watching video on the glossy netbook display wasn’t a particularly enjoyable experience because picture quality was below average. Still images lacked contrast, even at maximum brightness, and colours looked cold. Both horizontal and vertical viewing angles are very limited, although there’s a reasonable amount of tilt. The huge glossy screen bezel is a fingerprint magnet and clashes with the matt plastic netbook body.

Pages: 1 2

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor AMD Fusion C-50
Processor clock speed 1GHz
Memory 1.00GB
Memory slots 1
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 2GB
Size 36x262x190mm
Weight 1.3kg
Sound Realtek ALC269Q
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 10.1 in
Native resolution 1,024×600
Graphics Processor AMD Radeon HD 6250
Graphics/video ports HDMI
Graphics Memory 374MB


Total storage capacity 250GB
Optical drive type none

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11b/g/n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack audio input, minijack microphone input


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Starter 32-bit
Operating system restore option backup and recovery software
Software included Microsoft Office 2010 Starter edition
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £301

Read more