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Toshiba Satellite C55-C5240 review: The best performance you'll find under US$500

Hayden Dingman | Aug. 18, 2015
The question you need to ask yourself with the Toshiba Satellite C55-C5240 is this: "If someone cobbled together performance car parts into a go-kart frame, would I drive it to work/school each day?"

As for other third parties, we've got Skype WiFi, CyberLink PowerDVD, FreshPaint, and the iHeartRadio app.

The biggest offender here is actually Toshiba itself, which has crammed this laptop full of all sorts of Toshiba-branded utilities you'll probably never use--Toshiba Application Installer, Toshiba Audio Enhancement, Toshiba Display Utility, Toshiba Password Utility, Toshiba Recovery Media Creator, and the list goes on. While these could be helpful if you're a computer novice, there are plenty of other (better) programs that do the same things, many with smaller footprints.

But still, the C55-C is actually pretty decent as far as budget laptop bloatware goes--there's really not a ton of useless stuff here, and all of it seems safe.

The verdict

The Toshiba C55-C isn't flashy or glamorous, but it gets the job done--and does it better than any of the competition. If you're looking for a fast laptop in the sub-$500 range and don't give a damn how it looks, this is your ticket. The C55-C is a straight-up bargain considering some of these benchmark scores, and it would fare even better if you have the technical know-how to swap in an SSD.

But those who are a bit more style-conscious might be better off checking out the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 or HP 15t Touch--close runners-up in the PCMark tests, they also look and feel quite a bit less cheap than the C55-C.


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