The Toshiba Satellite C855D-S5201 is yet another extremely affordable configuration from the AMD-based 15.6-inch C855D series. The 300-dollar laptop has the AMD Dual-Core E1-1200 1.4GHz as the main processing unit, helped by the integrated Radeon HD 7310 for graphics processing. Included 4GB of system memory is more than enough for all tasks an average user might throw at this notebook and its 640GB hard drive provides more capacity than the commonly used 500GB in the budget laptops. For your DVD / CD playback, software installation, and file writing needs, the C855D-S5201 provides a DVD±RW/CD-RW optical drive.
From a performance standpoint, the E1-1200 is on the lowest end of the CPU spectrum of today’s laptop processors. This means it’s satisfactory only for the most basic work, like web surfing, e-mail, office document editing, and similar. Video editing is pretty much out of question, while photo editing can be done but will be laggy. However, the processor shines in 1080p video playback, because it has built-in hardware support for decoding high-def content. The Radoen 7310 is an integrated GPU, so it isn’t good for 3D gaming, but it manages the conventional 1366×768-pixel display perfectly.
In outward appearance, Toshiba’s C855D-S5201 sports a budget-design without fancy metal materials used. The chassis is rather made of plastics and consists of silver-painted surfaces on the lid and palm rests, while the rest is black, including the tile-style keyboard with numeric pad and trackpad.
For connectivity and expandability, the notebook’s got Wi-Fi and Ethernet LAN to put you online, three USB 2.0 ports for connecting your USB devices like Flash sticks, external drives, mice, and such, as well as a multimedia card reader for reading and writing files from and to SD, MMC and several other memory cards. In this area, a disappointing fact is that the laptop doesn’t have an HDMI port, so video output relies only on a VGA connector.
Also worth mentioning are a built-in 720p-capable web camera and stereo speakers.
Official info on battery life for the Satellite C855D-S5201 isn’t available, but some other C855D configurations with the same processor have a manufacturer’s estimated autonomy of up to “3 hours and 46 minutes”. This means the overviewed model will get the same or about the same battery life out of its 6-cell unit.
If the upper limit of your budget for a new laptop is $300, the C855D-S5201 is one of the options to consider. But there are other options as well. One one of the first that comes to mind is Dells’ I15RV-477B, which has a half of storage space available on the S5201 but has a faster Intel Pentium processor and a $280 price tag. Another one is the C855D-S5109 model with a much better AMD A6 chip, a 500GB hard drive, and included extras such as a notebook sleve and flash memory USB stick.
Toshiba Satellite C855D-S5201 Specifications
- Display: 15.6″ diagonal, 1366×768 pixels, glossy
- Processor: 1.4GHz AMD E1-1200 dual-core, 1MB cache
- Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7310 integrated
- Memory: 4GB DDR3 RAM, expandable up to 16GB
- Storage: 640GB hard drive at 5,400rpm
- Optical drive: DVD±RW/CD-RW
- Webcam: 720p HD
- Audio: Stereo speakers
- Network: 802.11n wireless Ethernet LAN
- Input: keyboard with dedicated numeric keypad and “tile” keys, multitouch touchpad
- Ports and Slots: 3 USB 2.0, 1 x VGA, multi-in-one memory card reader
- Battery: 6-cell lithium-ion, battery life up to about “3 hours and 46 minutes”
- Dimensions: 1.3″ height x 15″ width x 9.5″ depth
- Weight: 5.5 pounds
- OS: Windows 8 OS
- Warranty: 1-year