Toshiba Satellite P50-C-128 - User Review
by Daniel Hamilton
I bought the Toshiba Satellite P50-C-128 about a year and a half ago for £649 from a local Curry’s/PC World store. I wanted something that I could grow with, something that would truly last, and so I only spent my hard earned cash after shopping around and comparing the specifications of a considerable amount of laptop computers first and then judging their compatibility to my own needs. I knew I wanted something fast, powerful and professional but without spending the type of money one would have to spend to purchase a top-of-the-range MacBook.
I also wanted my new computer to be up to anything. For example, I make use of it in music production and also photo editing and so it was necessary for this laptop to outperform other Windows machines which had let me down in the past. The Toshiba Satellite did not let me down and in fact, the P-50-C-128 really exceeded my original expectation. It handles running and moving between three or four very large programs without a glitch, as well as doing the basics well (browsing and loading etc.). This shows that this sleek laptop with its polished aluminium finish is as reliable in heavy use as its outward appearance suggests.
Battery and Charging
The battery is a lithium-ion, 4 cell with a maximum life (based on average use) of up to 7 hours and 30 minutes. The AC adaptor is auto-sensing (100/240V) and for worldwide usage. The long battery- life was one of the draws of this laptop and though I am far from disappointed with its performance the estimated life is far too optimistic compared to the reality of the life-span in practical use, about 3 hours is the average I get from the battery before needing to recharge.
Performance and Design
The brushed aluminium of the design and the black touches around the display and keys lends this laptop a simple, elegant style not dissimilar from the minimalist aesthetic of the MacBook Pro. However, it is in the performance that the P-50-C-128 really begins to shine. The 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-5200U Processor with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 keeps this laptop working efficiently no matter what I throw at it. It logs in a clock speed of 2.20 / 2.70 Turbo GHz, and though it makes a little bit of noise (via the fan) it never gets particularly hot, which when compared to my past experience of Windows laptops sets this one apart. I was told that if I wanted a laptop for all eventualities a dedicated graphics card would be highly beneficial and I have found that the NVIDIA® GeForce® 930M with NVIDIA® Optimus™ Technology with 2GB dedicated VRAM memory is great for HD gaming, photo/video editing and my all important music production software.
Strength and Durability
I have not been plagued yet with any real mechanical problems as yet and any software problems (e.g. when first upgrading to Windows 10) were easily rectified. With that said I have dropped the laptop before and have not suffered any loss of any sort as a result. On the whole, this particular model seems incredibly strong and durable and I can see it continuing to be for a long time to come.
The laptop features the Toshiba TruBrite® Full HD TFT High Brightness IPS display with LED back lighting and 16 : 9 aspect ratio using
an internal resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. The bright vivid colours of the display really improve the user experience, especially when used in gaming or computer design. In these contexts, the NVIDIA® GeForce® 930M dedicated graphics card (another of the laptops best features) comes into play and allows for really immersive Full HD visuals. Some of the special features of this laptop are found in the integrated design of the black frameless tile keyboard with comfortable tactile keycap design and 10-digit numeric keypad, and also the special integrated feature of the Windows 10 Quick Cortana access keyboard button.
I was admittedly quite disappointed that there is no built-in disk drive on the machine, instead a deceptive mock drive is in the place you would expect to find your disk drive. I must admit I assumed this was a working disk drive until after the purchase when I discovered upon first use that my assumption was wrong. The speakers are built-in Harman Kardon® stereo speakers, enhanced by DTS® Sound™ and though they perform satisfactorily and maybe even better than most for most people’s sound-needs, they do still condense the sound too much for music to be enjoyed to its fullest capacity. External speakers are therefore a must. One final thing to mention, more as an annoyance rather than a criticism, the laptop doesn’t close (screen to base) as snug as I would prefer so that if the user is carrying it the screen does have a tendency to rattle against the base.
I wanted this laptop to change my life and it certainly has. It has helped me launch a career in music production, aided me in the research and planning of every project I have set out on in the last year and a half and it has remained as reliable and effective as it was on the day of purchase. Every User Review of a product will, of course, be different but for my needs and intense workload this laptop has held up, and even over-performed, when under pressure. This is a powerful laptop with a large display that comes in under the kind of budget you’d be looking to spend for a MacBook. This is why if you are looking for an alternative to Apple which can compete with Apple but for much less than the price you would pay for one. For gaming, browsing, music production or even simply for the connectivity reasons that you are open to from having the more inclusive Windows platform (compared to OS), then look no further than the Toshiba Satellite P50-C-128. You won’t be disappointed.