15.6″ Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5102 via Amazon
The Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5102 (and C55D-B5214) is a low cost 15.6 inch laptop with a quad core entry level AMD processor that performs better than Intel Celeron’s and Atom’s overall- a bit like some of the Intel i3 processors and it can handle daily and a bit more demanding tasks quite well, Radeon R5 graphics both of which will let you play even the latest games at lower settings and is offered with a good choice of connectivity ports. Toshiba Satellite comes with the quad core “Beema” AMD A8-6410 processor (2 MB of L2 cache) at 2.0 GHz up to 2.4 GHz turbo speed without hyper threading, 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM at 1600 MHz for decent multitasking, 1 TB Serial ATA hard drive at 5400rpm rotating speed as ample storage size at average speed and Windows 8.1 operating system.
15.6 inch diagonal TruBrite LED-backlit display with 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, 16:9 image aspect ratio and a regular TN panel with less viewing angles than the more expensive IPS. With the Radeon R5 graphics you can play games like World of Warcraft and FIFA fluently and the newer games at lower settings and resolutions. Integrated stereo speakers offer sufficient sound but nothing amazing and this is something you can not expect at the price level. 720p HD webcam with built-in microphone should allow basic live video chats on Skype. Matte Jet black with textured resin finish plastic Satellite C55D weighs 4.85 pounds and measures 14.96 x 10.2 x 1.05 inches- is slim and lightweight enough for a budget 15.6 inch laptop with a DVD drive, has a standard keyboard with a numeric pad and a touchpad that supports multiple touch with physical left and right buttons. It has a 4-cell lithium ion battery that should give you up to 5 hours of battery life on light to average use (our guess judging by specs). You’ll find a good selection of ports including a USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, a VGA port, 10/100 Ethernet LAN with RJ-45, 802.11bgn wireless, a Headphone/Microphone combo jack, a Multi-in-One Memory Card Reader- SD and MMC, DVD-SuperMulti drive (+/-R double layer), Power connector and Security Lock Slot.
Conclusion: Toshiba Satellite C55D-B5102 or B5214 (same models, just different names) comes with decent overall specs and features at a rather affordable price. Storage space of 1TB is quite generous for what this machine is and will be useful if you have a habit of saving a lot of files- it is normally half the size in competitor machines and you may be able to get them a little cheaper. AMD A8-6410 has around 2511 Passmark benchmark score as of today and is capable of handling demanding media editing and certain amount of gaming. The rest of the specs are more or less like what you would find on other budget notebooks but at least comes with an optical drive, Bluetooth and HDMI. It has a 4-cell battery and given the specs you can expect around 4.5 hours for light tasks like web browsing and word processing. Windows 8 or 8.1 is obviously not the best operating system by Windows and this is not a touchscreen computer to use with its functions but very soon- some time in summer we are expecting the release of the new Windows 10 and you are entitled to a free upgrade as a current Win 8 user. Warranty included is standard 1 year for parts and labor by Toshiba, which is one of the major electronics and computer firms in the world.