The new Toshiba Satellite S50 mid-ranger makes for a great bridge between cheap laptops and more serious ultrabooks or even workstations. The happy blend of hardware, design, features and portability will likely make this laptop a best seller in the upcoming months, especially since it’s usually on sale with considerable discounts.
The Toshiba Satellite S50-CST2GX1 model comes with an exciting dual core Intel i7-5500U processor, capable of heavy multitasking and more resource intensive tasks thanks to the 4 megabytes of available cache. The 8 gigabytes of system memory it comes equipped with will likely be enough for anything you’ll throw at it, but it’s nice to know you can extend the amount of RAM to 16 gigabytes, doubling the Toshiba’s capacity to endure heavy workloads such as running virtual machines or editing videos.
The Toshiba Satellite S50 also comes with a hybrid drive consisting of a 1TB hard disk drive and 8GB of flash memory available to quickly serve files and temporary data. I wouldn’t rely on a hybrid drive to deliver great performance, but I guess it’s better than having a standard mechanical HDD. If you really want to raise the bar, you should get an affordable SSD for this notebook.
The graphics department is where this laptop really shines. It boasts a dedicated graphics card: the NVIDIA GeForce 930M with 2 gigabytes of GDDR and Optimus technology that find balance between performance and battery life, so the notebook will intelligently use resources without major compromises on either end. You can play relatively recent video games at moderate to high settings with this graphics card.
The screen is unspectacular to be honest, with a resolution of just 1366 x 768 pixels. It’s not something to rave about, but rather to complain to Toshiba for not fitting a Full HD display on this otherwise well balanced and valuable laptop. However, the Satellite S50-CST2GX1 can be connected to an external monitor with a resolution of up to 4K due to its HDMI support. But when on its own, the screen will likely disappoint a bit, suggesting this should mainly act as a desktop replacement or as a multimedia center for the house and less as a travel companion.
Other nice features, as seen in the official spec sheet, include 802.11ac Wireless LAN, backlit keyboard, USB 3.0 only ports with Sleep and Charge capability and the presence of a DVD Writer, something we don’t see very often in a device as advanced as this one.
|Product||Toshiba Satellite S50-CST2GX1|
|CPU Name||Intel Core i7-5500U|
|CPU Type||Dual Core|
|CPU Speed||2.4 GHz > 3 GHz|
|CPU Cache||4 MB|
|Installed Memory||8 GB|
|Maximum Memory||16 GB|
|Memory Type||DDR3L SDRAM @ 1600 MHz|
|Total Memory Slots||2 slots|
|Storage Capacity||1 TB|
|Storage Technology||SATA @ 5400 rpm|
|Screen Type||HD TruBrite LCD|
|Screen Technology||LED Backlit|
|Screen Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics Processing Unit||NVIDIA GeForce 930M|
|Graphic Card Type||Dedicated|
|Graphics Memory||2 GB GDDR3|
|AUDIO & VIDEO|
|Audio Technology||DTS Studio Sound|
|Speakers||harman/kardon stereo speakers|
|NETWORK AND COMMUNICATION|
|Wireless LAN||802.11ac Dual Band|
|USB Ports||3 x USB 3.0 (1 with Sleep and Charge)|
|HDMI||Yes, 4K output capability|
|Headphone/Mic||Headphone-out + Microphone-in|
|Multi Card Slot||Memory Card Reader|
|Touch Pad / Track Pad||Click Pad|
|Keyboard||Standard notebook (104 keys)|
|Battery Type||Built-in 4-Cell Lithium Ion|
|Battery Capacity||45 Whr|
|Maximum Battery Life||Unknown|
|Other Features||DVD-SuperMulti Drive|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||14.96″ x 10.2″ x 0.93″|
Scores, Pros and Cons
- Good processor and system memory
- Dedicated graphics card
- Latest hardware technology
- Backlit keyboard
- Sleep and Charge technology
- Display resolution is disappointing
- Not that portable
- Likely modest battery life
The understated Toshiba Satellite S50-CST2GX1 is a great piece of equipment to keep in your house and even at the office, but not so much in your bag while travelling. It can be used successfully as a media center, a desktop replacement, a mid range gaming laptop or even as an small business office notebook.
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