Review Price £499.99
Toshiba Satellite C55-A-12U - KeyboardThe keyboard was pretty strong in the other two Satellite laptops we’ve looked at, and it’s solid here as well. The keys are white this time around, which could mean some staining over time, and there’s no backlighting, but in terms of typing quickly and accurately, they remain absolutely spot on.
Unfortunately, it has inherited the same stubby spacebar from its more expensive siblings, which is hard to forgive in a 15.6-inch laptop. It's fine once you get used to it, but you may find yourself initially hitting the two Alt buttons more than you intended.
Toshiba Satellite C55-A-12U - TouchpadThe trackpad is set off to the left of centre of the laptop’s body to place it directly under the spacebar, thanks to the numpad taking up space on the right hand side. This is something we still haven’t entirely got used to, even after looking at three Toshiba laptops in quick succession, although we concede that is down to personal preference.
Gestures remain hard to pull off consistently, unfortunately, and while it works fine 90% of the time, that just makes it more frustrating and baffling for the remaining 10% when it inexplicably doesn’t.
But it’s a good size, and is accurate to aim with, with two buttons underneath to ensure distinct left and right click functionality. This may sound like basic stuff, but as the C55 is without a touchscreen, it’s pretty much vital that Toshiba gets the basics right, and thankfully it does.
Anything else to consider?It’s good to see that Toshiba, unlike most other manufacturers’ laptops we’ve reviewed recently, still believe in including an optical drive. The C55 - like both the S50t and P50t - includes a DVD drive for software installation, watching DVDs and listening to music.
It’s true that we don’t really miss it when it’s not there, but as Toshiba has obviously been trying to keep costs down between this and its Satellite stablemates, it’s great to see that the DVD drive wasn’t a casualty.
Should I buy the Toshiba Satellite C55-A-12U?At half the price of the Toshiba Satellite P50t with many of the strong points, there’s no doubting the C55’s value for money. But like the S50t, it inherits a lot of the Satellite family’s weaknesses too: chiefly a weak screen and disappointing battery life.
When compared to its similarly priced rivals, though, it’s in a good place: the HP Touchsmart Sleekbook 15 may retail for £69 less, but with double the RAM and hard drive space and an i5 processor, the C55 is a far stronger option. If you feel like you miss the touchscreen, want a stronger battery, don’t like the plasticky design of the C55 and can spend a little more, then the Acer Aspire V5 Touch is a strong alternative.
SEE ALSO: Best laptops round-up
VerdictThis is a cheap and cheerful laptop that's fast but with a short battery life. It has a few too many flaws to recommend it outright, but don't rule it out as a cheap student or family laptop.
Scores In Detail
- Battery Life
- Build Quality
- Heat & Noise
- Screen Quality