Toshiba Satellite S955 15-inch Laptop Review

Toshiba has recently unveiled the Toshiba Satellite S955 that is one of those first notebooks to unravel the new Windows 8 experience for the users. Toshiba Satellite S955 is a very basic notebook that aims at offering the Windows 8 experience for entry-level users. So, do not expect Toshiba Satellite S955 to be touchscreen and advanced like an ultrabook. Let us have a closer look at Toshiba Satellite S955 in this review.

Toshiba Satellite S955 Features

Design

Unlike most Toshiba laptops, Toshiba Satellite S955 lacks the signature shine and textured finish on its body. That is not to say that it looks unimpressive. It dons a very conventional laptop look. Trimmed gunmetal aluminum is used to make the lid of the laptop.

Toshiba Satellite S955

Heavy use of glossy Black plastic adds some matter to the design but cannot help attract unwanted fingerprints and dirt. For an inexpensive price tag, Toshiba Satellite S955 sports unexpected design elements. Strongly built, this laptop sports firm surfaces and narrowed down panel gaps. Flex in the chassis is due to the optical drive. Users should avoid picking up the Toshiba Satellite S955 by holding its left edge to avoid strains and creaks.

Screen

Toshiba Satellite S955 sports a 15.6-inch screen. The display renders output in 1366×768 pixel resolution. Thanks to the glossy panel and above average Black levels that images appear brighter even in dark room. Display backlighting is poor. Hence output does not become clearly visible under bright light. Color fidelity is also not very impressive with the display managing only about 63% of sRGB color gamut. But for a laptop in this price range, Toshiba Satellite S955 performs satisfactorily well.

Toshiba Satellite S955-2

Unlike most 14-inch and 15-inch laptops, Toshiba Satellite S955 has done away with ‘screen door effect’. Low-dot pitch on the display is also satisfactory.

Internals

Toshiba Satellite S955 ships with Intel Core i5-3317U CPU. Users are offered 750GB mechanical drive instead of SSDs. The processor is backed up by 8GB RAM. Toshiba Satellite S955 sports Intel HD 4000 GPU. The laptop is based on the latest Windows 8 operating system.

Interface

Similar to most other Toshiba laptops, Toshiba Satellite S955 suffers from keyboard weakness. However, space crunch between the keys is not going to be an issue for the users. Inclusion of full-sized numeric pad is an added bonus. However, the keys do not offer tactile feedback and suffer from flex. This simply means that users will have to type harder to ensure that the word is being typed correctly. This results in inconvenient typing experience.

In worst cases, users may have to face pain in fingers. Besides, absence of backlighting in the keyboard makes it harder for the users to type in the dark. Considering the price of Toshiba Satellite S955, absence of backlit keyboard can be excused.

Toshiba Satellite S955 features

Toshiba Satellite S955 sports sub-par touchpad. The touchpad suffers from texture-less surface and wide space. The left-right buttons do not travel smoothly. Multi-touch gestures do not provide accurate results. In fact, it is likely that the laptop will zoom in the result when users want the page to be scrolled. It is better to attach a portable mouse for accurate results.

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Connectivity

Since Toshiba Satellite S955 has a slim profile, it does not offer abundance of connectivity features. However, standard connectivity options are on board. These include 2xUSB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 ports. VGA and HDMI ports are also featured. The laptop offers separate headphone and microphone jacks.

Multimedia

Toshiba Satellite S955 review

This laptop is not very impressive when it comes to play music that need sound fidelity. Users should instead attach external speakers to enjoy music and movies to the fullest.

Bloatware

To enrich the Windows 8 experience, Toshiba Satellite S955 features a good number of pre-installed apps. It has Netflix, eBay, Vimeo, Toshiba App Place and dedicated games section on board. Norton Internet Security is also pre-installed in the laptop. In addition to security pop-ups, Norton Security in this laptop hits the users with registration screen every now and then. The only way to get rid of this window is to shut down app in task manager. In fact, Windows 8 homescreen dedicates an entire section to these Bloatware that were once mere browser shortcuts earlier.

Performance

Toshiba Satellite S955 records 83.6°F of maximum exterior temperature – thanks to low-core processor and thin profile. With extreme load, the temperature increases to 100°F thereby making Toshiba Satellite S955 hotter than most laptops in this range.

Toshiba Satellite S955-1

At such temperatures, placing the laptop on your lap becomes troublesome. Laptop fan is at continuous work and the whirling sound is more audible (sometime annoying) in a quiet room.

Benchmark Tests

Toshiba Satellite S955 performed unexpectedly well in standard benchmark tests. For example, it scored 35GOPS in test namely SiSoft Sandra. 7-Zip test score is 7378. Toshiba Satellite S955 scored 2785 in PCMark 7 benchmark test. Since most laptops without an SSD score less than 3000 in this test, Toshiba Satellite S955 performs expectedly well. In 3DMark 06 and Mark 11 tests, the laptop scored 5462 and 716 respectively.

With these scores, this laptop stands neck-to-neck in competition with other laptops running on the same Intel Core i5 processor such as HP Envy 4. Also, laptops running on Intel HD graphics perform the same way that Toshiba Satellite S955 did in these tests. However, 3D games cannot be played to their full potential in this laptop.

Battery life

Toshiba Satellite S955 is powered by a 4-cell battery that does not match up to the needs of the power-sipping processor. Hence, the laptop asks for recharging in less than 5 hours when used minimally.

Price of Toshiba Satellite S955

Toshiba Satellite S955 is priced at $749. At this price, Toshiba Satellite S955 will definitely give tough competition to all those high-end notebooks featuring Windows 8 OS. Also, RAM and storage options in this basic laptop are competitively placed against its rivals in this segment such as Acer Aspire M5.

Conclusion

Toshiba Satellite S955 does not sport any extraordinary feature and falls behind many laptops in various respects such as performance, display, interface, etc. However, its credibility in this segment and price range is undoubted chiefly because it performs well in major benchmark tests. In short for a price tag of $749, Toshiba Satellite S955 is worth buying by entry-level users.