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Toshiba Satellite C50 review

A powerful processor and terrific price point make this device a fine buy

Our Verdict

A reasonable budget machine that will satisfy anyone looking for a mid-­range laptop.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Sturdy chassis
  • capable mid-range processor
  • good keyboard
  • very affordable

Against

  • Boring design
  • middling battery life
  • slow hard disk
  • terrible audio

Most people don't need flashy, light Ultrabooks or monster gaming laptops – and many can't afford them, either. If that's you, then a laptop like the new Toshiba C50D-A-13G could be a much better bet. It costs less than £400, but it still has an AMD APU that promises to tackle work and play with equal aplomb.

The chip is the star of this machine. It's an A6-5200, which is the top part from AMD's Kabini range – a selection of APUs designed for use in cheaper, smaller notebooks.

The Toshiba's A6-5200 has four processing cores that use the Jaguar architecture – that's the same hardware that underpins the Xbox One and PlayStation 4's processors – and they're clocked to 2GHz, which is the highest speed of any Kabini chip.

Ratings in depth
Design 2
Features 3
Performance 3
Usability 4
Value 4

Because it's an APU, those processing cores are partnered with a Radeon GPU. The HD 8400 uses the same Graphics Core Next hardware as many of AMD's current discrete cards and desktop APUs, and here the core runs at 600MHz – more than 100MHz quicker than any other Kabini chip.

Front facing

The rest of the Toshiba's specification ticks the right boxes, too. Eight gigabytes of memory is ample, and the 1TB hard disk is similarly capacious. This machine has a DVD writer, which is something no Ultrabook can boast.

Side on view

The Toshiba sounds good on the outside, but the Satellite hasn't been furnished with dazzling design. This machine is made entirely from plastic, and the lid and wrist-rest are both covered with a plain, lined pattern. The screen, meanwhile, is a non-touch 15.6-inch unit with a 1,366x768 resolution – about what we expect from this class of system, but hardly enough to truly impress.

Full side on

It's not exactly a looker, but at least the Toshiba is sturdier than many other budget machines. The wrist-rest doesn't depress when it's pushed, and there's only a little give in the underside, too. The screen is weaker, with distortion visible on the screen, but it's a better showing than many other cheap notebooks.

Keyboard 1

The Toshiba's ergonomics are good, too, especially considering this system's sub-£400 price. The keyboard is a traditional, flat-topped unit with a sensible layout and a numberpad, and we like typing on the C50D.

Keys

The keys have a consistent action that successfully straddles the line between light and comfortable, and we were soon typing quickly. The flimsy base doesn't make much of an impact. The trackpad, too, is good, thanks to a smooth surface and two responsive buttons.

Trackpad

The C50D has a single USB 3 connection, a pair of slower USB 2 ports, D-SUB and HDMI outputs, and Gigabit Ethernet, and connectivity also stretches to single-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Connections

The Satellite exudes practicality, and that continues on the base: a panel is held in place with just one screw, and beneath lies the two memory slots, a single hard disk bay and CMOS battery, all of which are easy to access for upgrades or removals.

Base open

The low end of the laptop market is packed with contenders, many of which square up to the C50D with tempting specifications of their own. Spend a little more and you could buy Toshiba's own Satellite M50-A-11C, which swaps its AMD silicon for an Intel Core i5 chip and has a sleek metallic enclosure. Or, if that doesn't take your fancy, there's the HP Pavilion TouchSmart Sleekbook 15: a machine with similar AMD hardware and a more stylish exterior.

All of these systems have 15-inch screens, but smaller machines are available for similar money. TheAsus X102BA currently costs less than £300 – a significant chunk less than this machine – but still includes an 11.1-inch touchscreen. And, finally, there's another Toshiba. The Satellite NB15t is an 11.6-inch system that's got a touchscreen and, like the Asus, also dips below the £300 mark.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time3.50 Hour
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilySatellite C50
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Model1005M
ColourMatte Black
Operating SystemWindows 8
Brand NameToshiba
Processor Speed1.90 GHz
Processor TypeCeleron
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.30 kg
Cache2 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1.70 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyTruBrite
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0 + LE
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1600/PC3-12800
Height33.4 mm
Width380 mm
Depth242 mm
Screen ModeHD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesC50
ManufacturerToshiba
Product ModelC50-A-146
Product NameSatellite C50-A-146
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineSatellite
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberPSCG6E-03T001EN
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.toshiba.co.uk
Marketing InformationDesigned for great everyday performance, Satellite range products are affordable but serve up the power, features and portability that even the most demanding home users require. You can buy Satellite products through an extensive network of high street and online retailers.
Maximum Memory16 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Satellite C50-A-146
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year