The Toshiba Satellite L55-C5183 Laptop is an excellent device for a professional user whoto work with a lot of legacy desktop applications as well as cds and dvds. Of course, this legacy compatibility comes with just a couple of compromises. The specs are as follows:
- 15.6″ 1366×768 HD Display (non-touch, non-IPS)
- Intel i5-6200U 2.3 Ghz Dual-Core Processor
- 8GB DDR3L-1600 RAM
- 256GB M.2 Solid-State Drive
The main strength of this device is its support for legacy programs and cd-roms. It comes equipped with an optical drive for cds and dvds, and despite that it manages to maintain a very respectable weight at just under 5lbs. Most devices with an optical drive are much bulkier. The standard 1366×768 non-IPS display is not nearly as sharp as the best displays on the market and is also a clear downgrade from a 1080p Full HD display, but it avoids nasty and frustrating Windows scaling issues and allows older desktop programs to scale perfectly. For users who are not super tech-savvy and just need a computer that will do the job for supporting those applications, this Toshiba hits the spot. It also comes with a good selection of ports, with HDMI, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 USB 2.0, an SD card slot, and an Ethernet port for wired internet.
The performance of the Toshiba Satellite L55 is what makes it remarkable amongst other laptops with lower resolution screens and optical drives. The Toshiba comes with a 256GB solid-state drive, allowing it to boot up and load applications with blazing speed. For a midrange laptop, the Satellite L55 has been given a pretty darn good SSD, with read speeds a little around 530Mbps and write speeds of a little over 300Mbps. This is better performance than some high-profile premium devices like the HP Envy 13, the Spectre x360, and others. However, this drive falls behind ultra premium PCIE ssds like those found in Macbooks, Microsoft Surface Books, and the newly introduced thinnest laptop in the world, the HP Spectre 13. The performance edge of the Toshiba’s drive over the HP Spectre x360 is noticeable in some situations, but both are quite fast. The SSD also allows the Toshiba to run very quietly, which is excellent for students and others who want to be discreet while typing away or browsing in a silent area.
It also comes with the latest Intel Skylake i5-6200U processor, allowing it to handle all business and office tasks with ease. The only area where performance will be lacking is heavy duty video editing and gaming, since it lacks a dedicated graphics card. However, basic editing and light gaming will run great on the Intel HD 520 graphics.
Toshiba’s bloatware is annoying, but largely harmless. Be sure to uninstall Wild Tangent Games and the redundant Toshiba home pages in the browser. Toshiba has included some nice Cyberlink video and photo editing software, which is a good touch. Alongside the included optical drive, this will allow you to edit and burn your video projects to a dvd without any extra software or hardware purchases, which really adds to the value of this laptop.
This is not one of Toshiba’s premium laptops (unlike the Satellite Radius 15 or the Kirabook ultrabook), and this is reflected in the all-plastic chassis of the device. It’s certainly sturdy enough and this is absolutely not an issue in everyday usage. Premium 15″ laptops nowadays can weigh far less than the Satellite L55 (like the phenomenal 2lb weight of the LG Gram 15), but those devices cost up to three times more than the circa $500 Toshiba. In its price class, you can’t beat the under 5 pound weight of the Toshiba Satellite L55.
The touchpad is surprisingly good! It doesn’t skip or glitch out, and it handles gestures and scrolling smoothly. It isn’t a glass trackpad and doesn’t pretend to be, but the textured finish is alright. The keyboard is a little disappointing, with slightly smaller than average keys. However, while I initially had more spelling errors than usual, I quickly got used to the typing experience and it was quite usable. I have been spoiled by the keyboard of the HP Spectre x360 (which is very, very excellent), but the Toshiba Satellite L55 keyboard is adequate and Excel users will find the included number pad very handy.
The speakers are above the keyboard and are Skullcandy branded. They are truly excellent speakers that get loud and are very full-sounding. You won’t need to have external speakers to get decent sound with the Toshiba Satellite L55.
The HD webcam is quite good for a laptop and the microphone sounds great as well, making this an excellent device for video-chatting.
Battery-life is good. I get an average of 7 hours of battery life when doing basic tasks (several browser tabs open, typing in Word or OneNote, streaming). This is ok, though I expected better due to the lower-res screen. I suppose the optical drive took up space that extra battery could have occupied. That said, for an average school or work day, the battery life is good.
The Toshiba Satellite L55 is a great choice for a business or student user who needs easy legacy software and cd or dvd-rom support. It comes with the latest Skylake processor and a very good SSD for blazing, quiet performance. I highly recommend this device as long as you don’t plan on playing the latest Tomb Raider or want to edit 4k video.
You can find it on Amazon: