* Prices may differ from that shown
This machine was purchased for a back up as I could never get on the main PC in the house due to university course work and homework taking precedence over my needs. As a result the brief was to get a reasonable specification and performance at a reasonable price. After a fair but of research, this laptop appeared to fit the bill. The laptop was duly purchased at the price of £350 or thereabouts.
The lid is beveled plastic and quite attractive, with a matt black finish for the rest of the casing. I have not found it to attract too many finger marks. The keyboard has a light touch and is easy to use. The scroll pad is fine, like all laptops there is a slightly different feel to each, but once you have got it there are no problems. The only issue is using it with Windows 8, but that is not the fault of the laptop. A key fact is that it is not too heavy.
I am not an expert, but the specs below suit me fine and to have all of them in a machine this price is great. I am not going to list out all of them, because they are freely available from stockists websites and don't mean much to me.
Processor - 2.4 ghz intel I3 dual core
4 GB RAM
1 TB memory
USB 2.0 & 3.0 ports
Built in webcam
As is standard with Laptops the screen is 15.6 inches visible area, the colours are rich and vibrant, photos images and video is crystal clear (as long as they were to start with - my photography is not brilliant!).
One of the few areas they have cut back on - the built in speakers are tinny, but sound fine through external speakers.
Very good - around 8 hours of moderate use - another real bonus is that an empty to full charge takes me a maximum of 2 hours. The battery does get a little warm, but not excessively so.
I have found it very good for all tasks that I need from it, namely -
Internet (often multiple tabs and sometime multi-multiple tabs) & Dooyoo reviews
Word processing, spreadsheets and database
Photo storage and viewing (16MP camera)
Video storage, viewing & editing
Watching DVDs & streamed TV (e.g. I player)
Storage and playing of music (through external speakers)
What I do not use it for and therefore cannot comment on -
Games, downloading films, very high resolution graphics
If you need further information on these please check out other reviews.
A comment on Windows 8 which comes preloaded (on just about all new laptops) - I really don't like it on a standard laptop but as you get used to it it is usable with never being user friendly. If you are savvy in these things you will probably change it without me advising you !
Recommendation & rating?
A solid 4 stars from me - you get great specs and performance at a decent price as long as you know that it will meet you requirements.
Thanks for reading - review may appear on Ciao with same user name
At first look this lap top is not much - it's a little too chunky for my liking and the matt black finish not only lacks inspiration, but started to look grubby pretty quickly, but then looks aren't everything.
The real advantage of this system is what you get for the price, at around the £350 mark the 1TB hard drive gives plenty of space for media and software, the display is high quality (with no glare in my experience) and the graphics are pretty good, being able to run most of the older games I have and a few of the older ones if you drop down the resolution. It also has a DVD-RW to set it apart from other lap tops in this price band.
The keyboard is a little cramped, but is usable though you need to use the function key quite a bit for functions such as print screen and the space bar is tiny. The touchpad, though responsive is positioned a little further to the left than I am used to. The result is something that feels less than intuitive to begin with and takes a bit of getting used to, but given that time it is fine. I did end up buying a mouse however.
Over all you are getting a little better than what you pay for with this machine, but if you have the money I would go for something with a bit more umph.
Specs (Taken from Toshiba.co.uk)
Windows 8 64-bit (pre-installed)
Intel® Pentium® 2020M processor
Toshiba HD non-reflective High Brightness display with 16 : 9 aspect ratio and LED backlighting
Matt black finish with hairline pattern, black keyboard
4,096 (1x) MB
DDR3 RAM (1,600 MHz)
Intel® HD Graphics
maximum life : up to 3h30min (Mobile MarkTM 2012)
weight : starting at 2.3 kg
W x D x H : 380.0 x 242.0 x 30.8 (front) / 33.35 (rear) mm
The Toshiba Satellite C-50-156 laptop currently sits in the price range of the most basic, entry- level devices, but undoubtedly punches above its weight. Here are a few of the key features:
The C-50 exterior is certainly a sturdy construction. The lid and area below the keyboard are a high quality plastic that boasts a slightly beveled finished. This finish is certainly nice to the touch, but can attract noticeable fingermarks, particularly on the lid. The track pad isn't bad, however it can get frustrating trying to use the swipe features of Windows 8. The right and left click have a nice soft click, however there is no scroll bar at the side of the track pad.
The keyboard is certainly a low point for the C-50. Unless the keys are pressed right in the center and with suitable force, they often don't recognize that they are being pressed. This is especially frustrating if you are trying to type long texts, as every few words has at least one letter missing, that is of course
unless you are willing to thump the keys...
The sturdiness of the laptop does come at a cost; the weight. It is heavy to carry around, and there are certainly laptops on the market which are more suited to being on the move.
This unit comes with all the ports you would expect: 2 x USB 2.0, HDMI out, ethernet, VGA, microphone and headphone jacks. Plus with the C-50 you get one USB 3.0 port - a nice addition for a machine in this price range.
The dual core i3 processor has no problem handling the usual everyday tasks. Basic tasks are fast and smooth, and the start up time is fantastic. Everyday computing tasks such as Microsoft Office and web browsing are handled with ease. I haven't really put the C-50 through any really demanding tasks yet, however I was able to run MS Flight Simulator X without any issues.
There is also plenty of storage space. My C-50 has a handy 1TB hard drive - ample for most home users.
Another mark against the C-50 is battery life. When doing everyday tasks such as browsing the web, a full charge only yields a usage time of 2-3 hours. The only upshot to this that the battery is relatively quick to charge up.
The screen is certainly not a disappointment. The colors are crisp, and with brightness turned up, the display is extremely bright.
In conclusion, the C-50 is perfect for the student, or home user on a tight budget. Despite an under par keyboard and unimpressive battery life, the performance is excellent, and starting at little over £300, who could argue with the C-50?
What is it with computers these days? They used to be called nice things like the Acorn, the Apple or the Tangerine. Nice names, fun names (and, in a few cases, bonkers names). These days they're just a random selection of letters and numbers bunged after the manufacturer's name. Tsk. Such a lack of imagination.
Anyway, gripes over nomenclature aside, the snappily named C50-A-156 (part of the Satellite range) is well worth your consideration if you are in the market for a new laptop. At £349 it has a spec that puts many other computers in the same price bracket to shame and a performance to match.
The laptop ships with a 2.4 GHz Intel i3 dual core processor and 4GB RAM. Whilst that might not seem massive in relation to some other laptops on the market, it's pretty standard for the price. If you're just looking for a workhorse laptop that will cope with most home or home/office activities (email, word processing, web surfing, even some light photo and video editing), then the power available in this will be more than adequate for your needs. Multi-tasking on the machine doesn't result in crippling slowdown of the whole system, and everything runs at a reasonable speed. It's also possible to upgrade the RAM 16GB if you do need a bit of extra grunt.
The 15.6 inch screen is superb. Images are incredibly sharp and colours vibrant and faithful. It's easy on the eye and I can happily spend long periods using it without suffering any eye strain. It's also ideal for watching video - I've watched most of the Rugby League World Cup on this and the picture was just as good a conventional TV, with no pixellation of images even when blown up to full screen. Like many modern screens, glare can be a bit of an issue in direct sunlight, but visibility is not too bad in strong lighting conditions.
Although it's not intended as a gaming PC (and would struggle with graphically intense games), the laptop is perfectly capable of running older titles and even a few more recent ones if you're prepared to put up with a slightly slower frame rate. You'd never choose it if gaming was one of your main reasons for getting a laptop, but it's nice to have the option to have some diversions available to you for when work becomes too dull!
Unlike many laptops in this price range, the C50 comes with a rewritable DVD drive built in, which is a bonus as this is often dropped in lower end laptops to keep the costs down. Between that and the one terrabyte hard drive (also way more than its rivals), you're not going to run out of storage space any time soon. Elsewhere, 2 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0 port and one memory card slot (SD/Multi Media Card) take care of your portable media needs.
Inevitably, savings have to be made somewhere and other parts of the specification are not quite as impressive. There's a built in HD webcam and mic for online chats, an Ethernet port and standard support for wireless networks (10/100 Ethernet port and 802.11n ). Like many lower priced laptops, the speakers are not the best in the world. Sound and speech can sometimes sound a little bit tinny and underpowered and in noisier environments I've found the volume has to be pretty much turned up to 100. If you like to have the best audio reproduction, then you're going to find the C50 lacking.
The main gripe about the C50 that I've read is that it's not the best looking laptop in the world. Personally, I think there are a couple of slightly seriously flaws, but the criticism is warranted. It's basically a big chunk of black plastic. The plastic finish also shows fingermarks up, so within just a few days your nice new shiny laptop won't be quite so shiny anymore.
At 2.4kg, it's not the lightest machine, or indeed the slimmest. It's perfectly portable, but you wouldn't want to be carrying it around for long periods or on a regular basis. Battery life is also not the greatest, with a stated life of 3.5 hours (although you can get longer if you are only using it for light tasks), so again, it's not ideal for long journeys or whole days away from a power socket.
The keyboard also leaves a little to be desired. Although the keys are responsive, they feel just a tiny bit springy and are quite close together. Added to that, the mouse pad is slightly offset to one side which means that your fingers don't always go to the right keys. You get used to it after a while, but I certainly found myself making far more mistakes when typing at first.
Outlets for the The C50-A-156 appears to be relatively limited; it may even be that it's exclusive to Argos as that's the only place I've found it for sale. It's worth hunting out, though. At £349.99 it's competitively priced and knocks the socks off anything in the same price bracket and even gives some more expensive machines a good run for their money.
If you're after a workhorse laptop that does everything OK and a few things very well, then you should certainly take a look at C50. Forget the name, just look at the performance!
(c) Copyright SWSt 2013