Toshiba has always excelled in image quality, to be honest, and we were quite delighted when we tested the Toshiba Satellite P50-C’s display. However, there were a few drawbacks that were worth considering like PWM, relatively short battery life and the CPU being a bottleneck in terms of overall performance. Mostly in gaming, that is. Well, the Japanese company just outed the successor to the old Satellite P50-C with a brand new processor and cooling design to come with it.
Now the notebook can easily compete with the other gaming solutions on the market, like the HP Pavilion 15 Gaming Notebook, for example. Still, the main focus of the notebook stays – it’s aimed for everyday use, multimedia and work with more demanding applications. We didn’t miss the gaming tests, though, since the hardware is perfectly capable of handling some of the latest titles.
Also note that the model in the US is Satellite S55T and below you will find links for the US and for the European version.
For the US Satellite S55T version: http://amzn.to/1T0Dra6
For the European version: http://amzn.to/1gwvoCf
The retail package isn’t offering anything in particular, as most of the times – only the notebook itself, AC charger, cable and DVD with drivers.
Design and construction
The notebook keeps absolutely the same design concept without any major changes in the materials, weight or looks. However, Toshiba was able to trim down some “fat” as the new variant is approximately 1 mm thinner and significantly lighter – 2.07 kg from 2.2 kg.
Starting with the lid, as always, the notebook still adopts the almost full aluminum plate with a small plastic stripe at the top, which hides the Wi-Fi antennas probably. The plate isn’t as easily bendable but the area between the hinges is a bit more flexible to our taste. Moreover, the hinges don’t feel overtightened and provide smooth opening with just one hand. The other side of the lid accommodates the 15.6-inch glossy IPS display with acceptable thin bezels. But be careful with the bottom piece of the notebook, though. It’s made of the same black, fragile plastic as before. Scratches stay easily, but at least, it’s hard to bend. Compared to the last generation. the plastic piece now has one more vent opening due to the changes in the cooling department while the service cover remains untouched – you can only access the two RAM slots from there.
Again, the notebook is quite thin – 22.5, but offers all the ports one would need – DC charging slot, LAN and two USB 3.0 ports on the left with the absence of optical drive compared to the previous version. The optical drive is now replaced with the extra grill for dispersing the heat. As for the right side, it adopts the 3.5 mm audio jack, one USB 3.0, HDMI, and the card reader. The old vent is still here. The back side of the notebook holds the user-replaceable battery, which is held by two screws.
The interior still adopts the cool brushed aluminum plate that not only feels great but also adds to the rigidity of the notebook. We were quite pleased with it before and there’s no reason not to be now. The keyboard is also the same – relatively short key travel, but strangely doesn’t get in the way. We are still missing the LED backlight, though. It’s a standard in this class and we are a bit disappointed not to see it in the refreshed version. Anyway, it provides pleasant typing experience and the same goes for the touchpad – it doesn’t “float” or “wobble”, it’s accurate and registers all gestures and swipes perfectly.
At the end of the day, the Toshiba Satellite P50-C is the perfect companion for your daily routine even if you are moving constantly. The exceptionally low weight and height add to the extra mobility of the notebook, which, by the way, sports quite the powerful hardware. There are two things that we can’t miss mentioning, though – the heat dispersing on the right side, which can obstruct normal mouse usage when the machine is under heavy load, and the relatively flexible lid that’s prone to damage.
Display and sound
The Toshiba Satellite P50-C uses the same IPS panel as before – LG LP156WF6-SPA1 with Full HD resolution and glossy finish. Here’re the rest of our tests that apply to the very same panel.
The IPS panel, of course, provides good viewing angles under 45-degree incline.
We measured the maximum brightness and recorded 319 cd/m2 with only 6% deviation. The color temperature aligns almost perfectly with the optimal one (6500K), but there’s a small deviation on the surface located at the top-left corner of the screen.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. Starting with the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy. Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that has been used by millions of people in HDTV and the Web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used by professional cameras, monitors and etc. used for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy.
You can see which areas are covered by the display on the yellow triangle below. Toshiba P50-C’s display is able to cover 91% of the sRGB color gamut assuring vivid colors.
Below you will see practically the same image before calibration. Color circles represent the reference colors and white circles being the result. You can see main and additional colors with 100% and 50% saturation inside the sRGB gamut.
The measured gamma curve almost perfectly aligns with the optimal one of 2.2.
We’ve set the display at 140 cd/m2 brightness and color temperature to 6500K.
We used X-Rite i1Display Pro for profiling.
Below you can see the results from the accuracy color checker with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. After profiling the color accuracy, average DeltaE 2000 = 0.66. The contrast ratio is 1000:1 before calibration and 970:1 after calibration. Both results are impressive.
On the image below are another batch of colors we’ve tested.
Pulse-width modulation (PWM, Screen flickering)
The display uses PWM across all brightness levels, but the frequency of the emitted light is quite high – 21 kHz. Having said that, we can consider the display less harmful due to the high frequency.
There’s nothing that we didn’t like about the panel to be honest. It has high contrast ratio, high sRGB color gamut coverage, accurate color reproduction, high maximum brightness and has excellent viewing angles. However, the panel uses PWM across all brightness levels so we can consider that as a drawback. At least, the frequency of the emitted light is higher than usual and only the most sensitive users will spot the difference.
If we assume a distance of 58cm (~23in) between the human eye and the notebook monitor, then normal (20/20) vision would require a pixel density of at least 150ppi in order to interpret an image as perfectly detailed.
|Toshiba Satellite P50-C / S55T 15.6-inch, LG LP156WF6-SPA1, 1920 x 1080 pixels||141.21|
|HP Pavilion 15 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels||141.21|
|Acer Aspire V15 (V5-591G) 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels||141.21|
Higher panel brightness is of key importance for visual comfort when working outside or in a brightly lit room.
|Toshiba Satellite P50-C / S55T 15.6-inch, LG LP156WF6-SPA1, 1920 x 1080 pixels||319|
|HP Pavilion 15 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels||201||-36.99%|
|Acer Aspire V15 (V5-591G) 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels||242||-24.14%|
Delta E is a CIE measurement unit of color difference. Higher values indicate that the display produces less accurate colors. (lower results are desirable).
|Toshiba Satellite P50-C / S55T 15.6-inch, LG LP156WF6-SPA1, 1920 x 1080 pixels||-|
|HP Pavilion 15 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels||1.14||-|
|Acer Aspire V15 (V5-591G) 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels||0.93||-|
The sRGB color gamut, introduced as a standard for the Web, shows the percentage of colors used on the Web that can be displayed on the screen of the device being tested (higher values are better).
|Toshiba Satellite P50-C / S55T 15.6-inch, LG LP156WF6-SPA1, 1920 x 1080 pixels||91|
|HP Pavilion 15 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels||54||-40.66%|
|Acer Aspire V15 (V5-591G) 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels||-|
While the notebook’s loudspeakers aren’t that loud, we can say for sure that the sound quality is excellent throughout all frequencies.
The specs sheet provided below is for the model used for the writing of this review. Hardware specification may vary depending on your region.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-6700HQ (4-core, 2.60 – 3.50 GHz, 6MB cache)|
|RAM||8GB (1x 8192MB) – DDR3L, 1600MHz|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M (4GB DDR3)|
|HDD/SSD||1TB SSHD (8GB of SSD cache)|
|Display||15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS panel, glossy|
|Connectivity||LAN 10/100/1000 Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Battery||4-cell, 45Wh (2800 mAh)|
|Thickness||22.5 mm (0.88″)|
|Weight||2.07 kg (4.56 lbs)|
Toshiba Satellite P50-C configurations
The notebook came with pre-installed Windows 10 (64-bit) and that’s what we used for testing. You can download the latest drivers, if you wish to perform a clean install of the OS, from Toshiba’s official website: http://www.toshiba.eu/innovation/download_drivers_bios.jsp?service=EU
The battery last time was just about the average, which this class can offer, but this time, the web browsing and video playback runtimes have decreased drastically and it’s kind of expected since the machine now sports more demanding CPU with 45W TDP. So the relatively small 4-cell 45Wh battery just can’t keep up with the demand. All tests were run with the same settings – Wi-Fi turned on, power saver mode turned on and screen brightness set to 120 cd/m2.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
Significantly lower result than before – 230 minutes (3 hours and 50 minutes).
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
Even lower result in this test – 186 minutes (4 hours and 46 minutes).
For accurate simulation, we used the Metro Last Light benchmark running on loop with graphic settings set to minimum.
At the most demanding test, we got only 100 minutes (1 hour and 40 minutes), but we doubt you will start a gaming session without a charger nearby.
Intel Core i7-6700HQ represents the Skylake H family and it’s considered a high-performance chip with high voltage – 45W TDP. This is a step down from its direct predecessor – Core i7-4700HQ, but matches its short-lived predecessor Core i7-5700HQ. The Core i7-6700HQ has four cores ticking at 2.6GHz and can go up to 3.5 GHz for one active core and 3.1 GHz for four active cores. The silicon supports the so-called Hyper-Threading technology that emulates one virtual core for each physical, thus establishing a total of 8 threads.
Furthermore, the chip is manufactured using 14nm FinFET process and integrates Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU with 24 EU (Executable Units) clocked at 350 – 1050 MHz. The memory controller supports up to 64GB of DDR3 or DDR4 RAM at 1600 or 2133 MHz respectively. The CPU is suitable for heavy applications and gaming.
You can browse through our top CPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-cpu-ranking/
Here you will find other useful information and every notebook we’ve tested with this processor: http://laptopmedia.com/processor/intel-core-i7-6700hq/
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Fritz is a chess benchmark that tests the computing capabilities of the CPU with various chess moves. The Intel Core i7-6700HQ reached 12.467 million moves per second. By comparison, one of the most powerful PCs, Deep(er) Blue, was able to squeeze out 200 million moves per second. In 1997 Deep(er) Blue even beat the famous Garry Kasparov with 3.5 to 2.5.
The GeForce GTX 950M is a direct successor to last year’s GTX 850M and it’s placed in the upper-mid range class. It is commonly used as a multimedia GPU and light gaming as its properties can handle some more demanding applications. The GPU core is the GM107, similar to most Maxwell NVIDIA graphics card and it’s clocked at 914MHz and can go up to 1124MHz. It has 2GB DDR3 memory and the effective clock speed of the memory is 2000MHz, while there are other variants of the GPU with GDDR5 memory.
However, the memory width is 128 bit with 16 ROPs, 40 texture units and 640 CUDA cores (or shading units). It als features increased L2 cache size, which is now 2MB. Supports features like Battery Boost, GameStream, ShadowPlay, GPU Boost 2.0, Optimus, PhysX, CUDA, SLI and GeForce Experience.
You can browse through our top GPUs ranking: http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/
Here you will find other useful information and every notebook we’ve tested with this GPU: http://laptopmedia.com/video-card/nvidia-geforce-gtx-950m-2gb-ddr3/
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|Tomb Raider (1080p, Low)||Tomb Raider (1080p, Medium)||Tomb Raider (1080p, Max)|
|107 fps||38 fps||22 fps|
|F1 2015 (1080p, Low)||F1 2015 (1080p, Medium)||F1 2015 (1080p, Max)|
|47 fps||35 fps||26 fps|
|Thief (1080p, Low)||Thief (1080p, Medium)||Thief (1080p, Max)|
|44 fps||35 fps||19 fps|
|GTA 5 (1080p, Low)||GTA 5 (1080p, Medium)||GTA 5 (1080p, Max)|
|65 fps||27 fps||9 fps|
|Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (1080p, Low)||Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (1080p, Medium)||Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (1080p, Max)|
|46 fps||26 fps||19 fps|
The following test doesn’t represent real-life usage since it’s almost impossible for a user to reach 100% CPU and GPU load for longer periods of time. However, the CPU and GPU stress tests help us determine how the system can handle excessive heat and how well the hardware can handle higher loads.
We started off with the CPU stress test and at first, things were running smoothly, but after 20 minutes or so, things turned the other way around. The CPU was constantly reaching 99 °C and in order to keep things cool, the chip started underclocking from 3.1 GHz to 2.6 GHz. We want to stress the word “underclocking”, because the chip was running from one end of the Turbo Boost frequencies to the other so we can’t really say this is throttling. Still, the Turbo Boost utilization is poor.
After one hour had passed, we turned on the GPU stress test as well. The CPU then started throttling down to 800 MHz and constantly cycling between 2.8 GHz and 800 MHz. However, the GPU didn’t show any signs of throttling and ran around 81 °C.
We measured the temperatures on the surface and things weren’t pretty to be honest. Since the keyboard tray is made of brushed aluminum, the heat dispersed pretty quickly and relatively even around the surface. The palm rest area was also pretty hot.
After we finished with the testing, we turned off the notebook and gave it some time to cool off. When it returned to normal room temperature, we turned on the F1 2015 benchmarking test on a loop for about an hour with settings set to medium. We wanted to see if the notebook gets really that hot when during a normal gaming session. And while the notebook didn’t get so warm, it sure was uncomfortably warm as you can see from the second temperature map below.
Last time the Toshiba Satellite P50-C had problems with the bottlenecking processor, but, this time around, the laptop features high-performance, quad-core, high-voltage Core i7-6700HQ that’s running the show pretty smoothly. Again paired with GeForce GTX 950M GPU and 8GB of RAM, the system offers fairly good performance (good for gaming) packed inside a semi-aluminum body with thin profile (22.5 mm) and low weight (2.07 kg). It even rocks relatively robust construction, comfortable keyboard (lacking LED backlight, though) and a good touchpad. It’s a really good choice for a daily driver and it’s good enough for carrying it around.
The laptop also boasts front-facing loudspeakers and a gorgeous IPS panel for excellent multimedia experience, although the screen uses PWM with relatively high frequency for regulating brightness. However, with the new processor come two major drawbacks. The battery life has greatly declined from the previous generation and the cooling system can’t handle the extra heat even during short gaming sessions, although the laptop isn’t specifically intended for gaming. Other demanding tasks will be taken with ease and the chances are you won’t feel the heat under normal circumstances.
As a result, the notebook will do just fine when it comes to everyday tasks and viewing multimedia content, even if they are more demanding, but if you are also looking for a good gaming experience, you might be a bit disappointed. The performance is good, but the overheating and the grill on the right side will make things a bit unpleasant. And finally, we would like to address the absence of any additional storage device. The last model, at least, had the optical drive, which can be swapped with another 2.5-inch device in a bracket, but this time, the latter is replaced with a cooling fan to keep up with the changes in the hardware. If you are looking for the additional M.2 or even mSATA option, the HP Pavilion 15 Gaming Notebook and the refreshed ASUS N551VW
For the US Satellite S55T version: http://amzn.to/1T0Dra6
For the European version: http://amzn.to/1gwvoCf
- Elegant design with brushed aluminum
- Thin (22.5 mm) and light design (2.07 kg). Also, thinner and lighter than its predecessor
- The keyboard provides comfortable typing experience and the touchpad is good too
- Relatively good performance/price ratio
- Good IPS panel with high contrast ratio, high maximum brightness and wide sRGB coverage
- Ineffective cooling system
- Short battery life
- The screen uses PWM across all brightness levels except 100%
- No additional storage options like M.2 or even mSATA