Toshiba has been building solid laptop computers for thirty years. The question about the new P55T-B5262 models is whether they’ll be worthy of the Toshiba Satellite name. One thing that name implies is longevity, and it’s too soon to tell whether the P55T-B5262 will be as durable as older generations of Satellites. For now, here’s a review of what people are saying about using their shiny new P55T-B5262’s.
Weight: 5.6 pounds
Processor: 4th Gen Intel Core i7-4510U Processor 2.0GHz
Display Size: 15.6 inch
RAM: 12 GB SDRAM DDR3L 1600 MHz (not subject to upgrades by user)
OS: Windows 8.1
Graphics: Intel HD
* Graphics: 2GB GDDR5 AMD Radeon™ R9 M265X
* Graphics Card: Ram Size 2048 MB
* 1.0TB (5400 RPM, Serial ATA)
* Blu-ray Disc™ Rewriteable (BD-RE) and DVD SuperMulti drive
* Maximum Screen Resolution 3840×2160 pixels
* Hard Drive 1000 GB SATA
* Wireless Type 802.11bgn
* Number of USB 3.0 Ports 4
* Battery Type: Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
* Average Battery Life (in hours) 3 hours
* Webcam: Yes
* Color: Aluminium (“silver”), Gold
If you like Windows 8…
The P55T-B5262’s tested come with Windows 8.1. If you prefer a less obtrusive App Store, “cloud” storage for everything, and a default to voice-activated operation, you can upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge.
Some users did, however, like Windows 8.1. “Great RAM & SSD & Win 8.1,” concedes the reviewer at C/NET [http://www.cnet.com/products/toshiba-satellite-p55t-b5262-15-6-core-i7-4710hq-windows-8-1-12-gb-ram-1-tb-hdd/user-reviews/]. For one thing, Windows 8.1 will work with the external disk drive (sold separately for an extra $100, but it lets you burn CD’s and DVD’s). Personally, I like that extra bit of security. Some things that work better on a computer than on paper don’t need to be in the cloud.
Walmart.com [http://www.walmart.com/ip/Toshiba-Satin-Gold-15.6-Satellite-P55T-B5262-Laptop-PC-with-Intel-Core-i7-4710HQ-Processor-12GB-Memory-Touchscreen-1TB-Hard-Drive-and-Windows-8.1/37016442] thinks the P55T-B5262’s main selling point is super-high resolution for pictures on screen. With 282 pixels per inch and “an indium(In)-gallium(Ga)-zinc(Zn) oxide (IGZO) display,” the visual display is Technicolor Color Certified.
That’s Hollywood movie quality pictures…as long as you keep your hands off the screen. But you won’t, because so many Windows 8 features involve touching the screen. If you’re so conditioned to avoid leaving fingerprints on the screen that you’ve been restarting Windows 8 any time a touch screen graphic popped up, this personal luxury computer will spoil all those years of good manners. You’ll spend a lot of time either cleaning the screen, looking at gorgeous pictures through fingerprints, or restarting your laptop.
Four out of five Walmart.com shoppers love being spoiled. Amazon shoppers are perhaps more conservative; although the P55T-B5262 gets an average of 3.7 out of 5 stars, it gets more 4-star than 5-star ratings, and eight out of twenty-seven Amazon reviewers didn’t like this laptop overall [http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Satellite-P55T-B5262-15-6-Inch-Touchscreen/product-reviews/B00KDIT95G/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_summary?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=byRankDescending].
Since when was the Toshiba Satellite a budget computer? It’s meant to be a luxury computer, and if it does perform up to older Toshiba Satellites’ standards, the $1499 price tag will be reasonable. At least, if Hollywood movie quality pictures, touch screens, cloud storage only, company-forced upgrades only, and Cortana the Voice-Activated Virtual Secretary are features you want in a laptop.
Microsoft’s virtual secretary became the default for Windows 10 because many users find “her” lovable. If you work on a computer all day and rely on it for entertainment after work, there’s a lot to be said for being able to use the computer while resting your tired eyes. Cortana, like Siri, was made for blind people and may keep other people from going blind.
However, Cortana is not always discreet and can be hard to shut up. If you don’t decide to disable Cortana permanently, be sure to teach “her” to address you as something like “Owner,” because, if you give her your real name, nickname, or screen name, she’s likely to blurt it out in public. She may blurt out information about what you’re doing, too.
What people love (besides the pictures)
* Easy to use. “Instructions couldn’t have been more user-friendly.”
* A real mouse, sold separately, is easy to plug in. “It didn’t even go through the ‘found new hardware’ thing…mouse was working within two seconds.”
* Sound: Lifelike, and “so loud my wife screams from the other room.”
* Backlit keyboard. You can see the keys while typing in the dark.
* “Windows 10 has been the most fun to make my own and play with,” says a Walmart.com shopper who identifies as “senior.” I’d be happier, reading his review, if he hadn’t mentioned “doing the checkbook and paying bills.” Bank information is not something you want to store in the cloud, especially “in retirement.”
The Toshiba Satellite Radius P55T-B5262 gets mixed reviews on several points. For a majority of users, either these features work as well as expected, or they exceed expectations. Considering how few user reviews are available for this product, the company seems to have shipped a lot of “lemons.”
* WiFi issues. The worst rating I found for this product was at C/NET, where the one user reported that the company offered to try to fix his WiFi, online, for an extra $70. Not surprisingly, that’s the only user review at C/NET. Amazon and Walmart shoppers who reported WiFi issues don’t mention any extra fee for repairs or improvements, so it could be that the C/NET customer lives in a WiFi trouble zone.
* Touchpad issues. Several users say their touchpads are excellent; some say theirs aren’t very good.
* Connectivity issues. The P55T-B5262 is designed to connect with phones, printers, cameras, etc., up to four at a time, and most users say whatever they’ve connected so far works well. Some don’t.
* Touch screen issues. Some people just don’t like touch screens, some say their touch screens work well, and some say theirs don’t work.
What you won’t love
* Expected battery life of three hours. Your mileage may vary and, while one user reported up to four hours between charges, most reported less than two…sounds like the 1980’s. Not only has there been no improvement in battery life, there’s been a downgrade–the P55T-B5262 isn’t even designed for quick replacements, even assuming you’re willing (or able) to carry around three or four extra batteries in order to use your laptop on the road. And the battery still seems to heat up fast.
* No provisions for upgrading or adding memory. If this model serves as well as earlier Toshiba Satellites did, you will eventually regret that. A good laptop becomes part of your life: you might want to upgrade it; you don’t want to lose it.
* Guarantees don’t last long enough or cover enough for this kind of price, and by now we already know that Toshiba does not support its laptops for as long as the laptops could easily last.
If you get one of the good ones, the Toshiba Satellite Radius P55T-B5262 should deliver enough of what you’re paying for to justify its price. “Lemons” seem to be numerous but can be exchanged.