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Toshiba Satellite C55-A-1N0 review

Katharine Byrne
24 Dec 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
480
inc VAT

This is one of the most powerful desktop replacements you’ll find for less than £500

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The Toshiba Satellite C55-A-1N0 desktop replacement is one of the most powerful laptops under £500 we’ve ever tested.

This is thanks to its brand new dual core 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-4200M processor, which can Turbo Boost up to 3.1GHz for a boost in performance when there’s enough thermal headroom. The M suffix denotes its part of Intel’s mobile series of processors, which are more powerful than the more common and energy efficient U models.

Toshiba Satellite C55-A-1N0

Paired with 4GB of RAM, it scored a hugely impressive 56 overall in our multimedia benchmarks, which puts it ahead of many Core i7-based Ultrabooks. This shows it’s capable of highly capable of handling demanding apps and programs, and its score of 52 in the multi-tasking section of the test means it can also cope with several tasks at once.

Graphics are provided by its integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 chip. This isn’t the quickest onboard graphics chip we’ve seen, but we were impressed with its performance in our Dirt Showdown test. We only got 19.9fps on High quality at a 1,280x720 resolution, but this doubled to smooth 41.3fps when we disabled the anti-aliasing and set the quality to Low on the same resolution. This is great for a laptop that costs less than £500 and, while it’s certainly not powerful enough to run power-hungry games like Crysis 3, it should still be able to play most 3D titles at a reasonable speed once you’ve tailored the quality settings.

Toshiba Satellite C55-A-1N0

The C55-A-1N0 was a joy to use for everyday tasks as well. The keyboard gave a great level of tactile feedback and the keys were bouncy and well-spaced. The touchpad was also very easy to use and its lightly textured surface gave a good level of grip for performing multi-touch gestures such as pinch-zooming. The only gesture we had problems with was two finger scrolling. This was very temperamental and rarely worked in web pages, making surfing the web a little frustrating. We liked its dedicated buttons, as these were firm and accurate when we pressed down on them to open files and search through folders.

Toshiba Satellite C55-A-1N0

You’ll need to be careful about taking it with you in a backpack, as there was a lot of flex in its plastic chassis. This is somewhat expected given the price, but the lid and the screen were particularly flimsy, so you’ll want to avoid resting anything heavy on top of the laptop when the lid is shut. This is a shame, as the 7 hours and 17 minutes we managed in our light use battery test makes it highly suitable for using on the move, even if does weigh a rather hefty 2.3kg.

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