The Toshiba Satellite S55-C5364 I’ll be reviewing today is another laptop that was fitted with the new Skylake i7 processor from Intel. I consider this notebook to be one of the most interesting options right now because it’s simultaneously incredibly versatile in some areas and lacking in some others. It’s a jack of all trades, perfect for so many users in need of a dependable machine.
First off, the Toshiba Satellite S55-C5364 promises two things: reliability and performance. And I think Toshiba have managed to give us a device that can be successfully used either as a gaming laptop or as a work station, without compromise. It doesn’t look outrageous like many gaming rigs we find today, nor does it look unappealing and clunky. They’ve pulled off a decent (although not that special) design to suit the needs of many. It’s simple and it works.
The chassis design is classic Toshiba, featuring lightweight aluminium as the main build material. Sturdy and light, this laptop comes with a frameless backlit keyboard that looks as if it was sculpted out of the casing, and not installed on top of it. The simple elegance of combining brushed metal with backlit keys works wonders to give this device a distinct quality feel to it. The harman/kardon speakers are positioned above the keyboard and provide a crisp and loud audio experience.
So, the Toshiba Satellite S55-C5364 is marketed primarily as a gaming laptop. I think it’s more than that. Thanks to its simple and unassuming design, the Toshiba can also be used as a home laptop/desktop replacement unit, as a work notebook, a workstation (for creatives and engineers especially) or as a college laptop for students engaged in technical fields. This versatility can also be attributed to the laptop’s impressive range of performance.
It’s equipped with a 6th generation Intel Core i7-6500U dual core processor, capable of running most 2015 games and all of the programs you can think of without too much hassle. Multitasking is of no issue here, as this dual core has scored almost 4800 points in benchmark tests at the time of this review. It’s not a very fast processor, but it comes with just the right amount of speed to satisfy this gaming laptop’s needs.
No matter what you plan to do with the S55-C5364, the system memory will likely prove to be more than adequate. At 12 gigabytes of RAM, programs like Photoshop or Illustrator will fire up immediately and suffer little lag from processing images or rendering graphics. However, this is the maximum amount of system memory you will ever get on this laptop, since it’s not user upgradeable.
The gaming part of this laptop comes alive thanks to its dedicated video card: the NVIDIA Geforce GTX 950M. Unveiled earlier this year, the video card in question will play the newest and most demanding of game releases at medium settings, while rendering titles from last year or even this year’s not so advanced games at high or even ultra high quality. For instance, you can play Fifa 15 and CoD: Advanced Warfare without problems at the highest of settings, but you will find it struggling against titles like The Witcher 3 or Far Cry 4 for any visual settings above medium. So, while it’s great that it has a dedicated graphics card, it’s not exactly the best out there. Having said that, you’ll still be able to play all the new releases for at least one or two years, just not at those juicy ultra high visual settings.
The 15.6 inches screen features a brilliant LED-backlit full HD display. Great for playing games or watching movies, it’s also a great all-rounder for reading and comprehending data thanks to it’s native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. If that’s not enough, the Toshiba Satellite S55-C5364 also comes with an HDMI-out port with 4K support, so you can connect it to your home’s or office’s monitor or TV and enjoy even finer details and greater frame rates, none of which are a problem thanks to the Skylake processor.
I mentioned in the beginning that the Toshiba has some drawbacks in certain areas. One of them is storage. Not that it’s not enough. It comes with one terabyte of available space, enough for most users. However, considering the other specs, I would have wanted to see a solid state drive mounted, even if it meant driving the MSRP price a bit higher. I strongly recommend acquiring a high speed SSD to replace the hard drive in order to fully unlock this laptop’s speed potential.
Another area that’s lacking is battery life. Unfortunately, the 4-cell battery will only last for about 5 hours of moderate use. You can forget about gaming on it, although watching movies, working on spreadsheets, designing and other moderate tasks won’t cause it to lose power as quickly as running a high intensity, heat generating, fan spinning video game. This drawback means you’ll be forced to keep the Toshiba near an outlet at all times, since a battery life you can count on the fingers from one hand won’t be enough to take on trips or to class. It will work great at home or around the office, where power is of no concern.
|Product||Toshiba Satellite S55-C5364|
|CPU Name||Intel Core i7-6500U|
|CPU Type||Dual Core|
|CPU Speed||2.5 GHz up to 3.1 GHz|
|CPU Cache||4 MB|
|Installed Memory||12 GB|
|Maximum Memory||12 GB|
|Memory Type||DDR3L SDRAM @ 1600 MHz|
|Total Memory Slots||2 slots|
|Storage Capacity||1 TB|
|Storage Type||Hard Disk Drive|
|Storage Technology||SATA, 5400 rpm|
|Screen Type||TFT LCD|
|Screen Technology||TruBrite LED-Backlit|
|Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Graphics Processing Unit||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M|
|Graphic Card Type||Dedicated|
|Graphics Memory||4 GB GDDR3|
|AUDIO & VIDEO|
|Audio Technology||DTS Audio|
|Speakers||harman/kardon stereo speakers|
|NETWORK AND COMMUNICATION|
|Wireless LAN||Dual Band 802.11ac WLAN|
|USB Ports||3 x USB 3.0|
|HDMI||Yes, 4K Output|
|Headphone/Mic||Audio Combo Jack|
|Multi Card Slot||Memory Card Reader|
|Pointing Device||Precision Touchpad|
|Battery Type||4-Cell Lithium Ion|
|Battery Capacity||45 Whr|
|Maximum Battery Life||Up to 5 hours|
|Other Features||DVD SuperMulti drive|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||14.9″ x 10.2″ x 0.89″|
Scores, Pros and Cons
- New generation Intel processor
- Hefty amount of system memory
- Dedicated NVIDIA video card
- Full HD display
- Aluminium body, great build quality
- Comes with a DVD reader/writer
- No SSD
- Modest battery life
The Satellite S55-C5364 is priced just under $1000, which I think is a great deal to consider when talking about the newest generation of processors, 12 gigabytes of RAM, dedicated video card, FHD display and more. Yes, the battery life isn’t great at all. You’ll want to buy a solid state drive to further speed up the system. But other than those two inconveniences, this is as solid as it gets. It’s great for gaming and much, much more.