Lacking the basic standard quality display that every modern-age laptop must possess, the Satellite Pro R50 competes reasonably well.
Toshiba Satellite Pro R50 Review: Best Budget Laptop
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Serving the same drink in new packaging, the Toshiba Satellite Pro R50 caters to need of growing businesses and users who need a basic laptop for travel and leisure.
Quite identical to its predecessors, the Satellite Pro R50 compromises on the fronts of performance, quality, and other aspects to compensate for the pocket-friendly price. With a distinctly new chassis to give it a modern look, the entry-level Satellite Pro R50 has a decent price to value ratio.
Check out our full review below.
Design and Build
Comparing the Pro R50 to its predecessors, the design overhaul is not only a welcoming change but a much-needed one as well. In the quest for the portability of the Ultrabooks, the latest Satellite from Toshiba is even slimmer than the older ones, marking in at just below 24mm.
Toshiba clinched on to the curved edges for far too long, and the Pro R50 finally offers cutting-edge design with wedge-shaped bevels that bring its level base much closer to the lid.
Apart from the shiny metal Toshiba logo at the bottom corner of the lid, the Pro R50 exhibits no sign of any metallic element in its exterior construction.
The black plastic finish encompasses the entire laptop, with no shiny rims, visual highlights or stickers on the keyboard base.
The grooved texture of the keyboard base and on the lid is fingerprint resistant and increases gripping. One noticeable change was the hinge mechanism and design, which are hung up on the base and can be twisted with enough pressure.
Nonetheless, the overall durability of the materials used in constructing the Satellite Pro R50 is robust and should last a while for regular use.
Expecting something spectacular in terms of display quality from an entry-level laptop is optimistic, but the Pro R50 falls short of taking care of the basics as well.
Equipped with a 15.6 inch TFT screen with a resolution of just 1366 x 768 pixels, the screen may be regarded as a high definition in some aspects but does not fare well against the FHD display which is quickly becoming a norm.
The outdated display offers a low brightness ratio of 200 nits (category average is 250 nits) and an even more disappointing ratio when it comes to the color contrast (135:1).
The side viewing angles appear distorted, and the screen is unreadable when viewed from upper and lower angles.
While the anti-glare finish of the screen ensures the absence of annoying reflections, the low brightness ratio makes it unfavorable for use outdoors or in bright conditions.
Replicating the poor visual performance of older laptops, the low contrast makes the blackish colors seem gray, and the sRGB color gamut of the Pro R50’s display comes to 48 percent, which is far below its competitors.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Considering that the Pro R50 is a regular usage business laptop, the keyboard is satisfactory in being fitted and equipped with full-sized keys.
The keystrokes do sound uneven in some of the areas of the keyboard but feel smooth and the added Numpad makes it even more functional.
There is no backlight included with the keyboard, although the keys have been labeled to be visible in shady light conditions.
The sufficient amount of palm-rest adds comfort, while the grooved finish ensures that your hands don’t slip off easily.
Toshiba has tried making the touchpad feel smooth and accurate, but the exterior plastic finish does make it less smooth than you would wish it to be.
The right and left keys have been fitted deeply to offer a sleek look, but the clicking sound of the keys makes them feel cheap.
Under the Hood
Available in different variants, the reviewed version of the Toshiba Satellite Pro R50 (PSSG2A-00P013) is powered by the Intel Core i7-5500U processor with a clock speed of 2.4GHz (2.9GHz with Turbo Boost).
The laptop comes with 4GB DDR3L RAM, which can be expanded to 16GB, making it one of the most performance enriched mid-ranged laptops available.
In terms of data storage, the Pro R50 offers 750GB SATA Hard Disk Drive which writes at 5400RPM, making it slower than the modern SSD storage.
However, considering the price of the laptop and the high cost of SSD storage, there isn’t much you can complain about. The bottom tray of the Pro R50 is easily removable (despite the missing maintenance cover) so you upgrade the storage and RAM with ease.
Advantages & Disadvantages
You can always upgrade this model to an SSD drive. As a lot of stores are selling this model and are carrying stock, you could get a decent SSD upgrade (240gb-256gb) for an additional $100 or so. Just be prepared to negotiate a bit. Or even better ask the stores to give you a quote first and then shop around/negotiate.
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2016 Toshiba Satellite S55 15.6" Flagship High Performance Laptop PC. Intel Core i7-5500U Processor, 12GB RAM, 1TB HDD, DVD+/-RW, Bluetooth, Webcam, WIFI, Windows 10, Silver
1 used from $999.77
- 15.6" diagonal widescreen TruBrite TFT display at 1366 x 768 native resolution (HD)
- Intel Core i7-5500U Processor 2.4GHz, Mobile Intel HD Graphics
- 12GB DDR3L 1600MHz, 1TB (5400 RPM) Serial ATA hard disk drive, 3-USB (3.0) ports
- DVD SuperMulti drive supporting 11 formats, Built-in stereo speakers, HD webcam with TruTalkTM dual microphones, Wi-Fi Wireless networking (802.11AC), Bluetooth Compatibility
- Windows 10 home 64 bit; Battery life up to 5.2 hours; Gray/Silver