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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars A Very Nice Laptop with One Caveat
I recommended this laptop to a friend who was looking for a machine with W7 before they were all gone. She had Amazon ship it to me to setup for her, so I became very familiar with it.

PROS:
Really nice look ... gun metal silver with a kind of carbon fiber pattern on the lid, silver bezel as well
W7 Home Premium 64-bit (wanted to avoid W8!)...
Published 8 months ago by RT

versus
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Satisfied.
It took me forever to finally buy this laptop. I was nervous getting something sight unseen, but so far, its pretty good. My main issue at this point is the keyboard itself. The keys are really shallow when typing, so it very often means it doesn't recognize a keystroke. It's a good thing I am a proofreader or half of what I type would be incomprehensible. Otherwise,...
Published 10 months ago by ?!


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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars A Very Nice Laptop with One Caveat, April 9, 2014
This review is from: Toshiba Satellite C55-A5355 16-Inch Laptop (2.6 GHz Intel Core i5-3230M processor, 8 GB DDR3 memory, 750 GB Hard drive, Windows 7 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
I recommended this laptop to a friend who was looking for a machine with W7 before they were all gone. She had Amazon ship it to me to setup for her, so I became very familiar with it.

PROS:
Really nice look ... gun metal silver with a kind of carbon fiber pattern on the lid, silver bezel as well
W7 Home Premium 64-bit (wanted to avoid W8!)
Plenty of RAM at 8GB
Nice sized 750GB HD
Decent 2.6GHz Intel CPU
USB 3.0 port (+ USB 2.0 ports)
HDMI out for streaming HD content to your HDTV
Nice display (it is not matte so people who have problems with glare might want to get an anti-glare film for it)
SD Card reader
CD/DVD player (these are being eliminated in many cases, but still handy to have)
Nice touchpad
Numeric Keypad
Near minimal crapware/adware to remove

CONS:
Keyboard has a stiffer touch (see "UPDATE" at end of review for more info)

Tips and Observations:

A few years back when you booted a new computer you were hit with about 50 popups from trialware, crapware and adware trying to get you to install and buy stuff. They have gotten smarter now and the adware is set to pop up at intervals, and only after the machine has been used and booted several times. IAC I went through the installed programs and removed all the cloud game stuff, Norton Anti-Virus (which has to be purchased eventually if you keep using it) and a handful of other crapware. It wasn't really too bad though.

Like every other computer these days, the Toshiba ships with a hidden recovery partition that only eats up space and will never do you any good, unless you want to lose all your data and installed programs, and revert to how the machine was out of the box. So after decrapifying I backed up the machine to an external drive with Macrium Free Reflect as a precaution, then booted from a Paragon HD Manager USB stick to remove the hidden recovery partition, add that space back to C, then set C as Primary and Active, and had Paragon repair the master boot record. So it booted into C fine. Then made several partitions to keep the OS in a manageable sized drive while data, music etc had their own drives. And ran a new backup. (Since I was eliminating the recovery partition, I also downloaded an ISO of W7 Home Premium 64 which MS makes available since they no longer provide CDs with machines.)

So now with Macrium Reflect Free for BU and restoring, and a CD of the OS, the machine was set in that department. Installed a fave, free, highly-rated AV and highly-rated firewall. It booted fast and nice and was very responsive. I was very impressed with the machine and liked it a lot.

The only thing I didn't like was the feel of the keyboard. I'm used to the old style keyboards that have deeper keys that depress further. This is the sealed style keyboard with flat, shallow keys, and it just felt hard to the touch. That said I am not a trained typist, so maybe a real typist would find it easier to adjust to.

Now for a few eccentricities I noticed that might help others, and a tip or two:

1. This laptop has stereo speakers that use software to imitate HD surround sound. For some reason the default settings it is shipped with are terrible, but happily this can be fixed by going into the sound utility. The icon for the sound utility is in the system tray, but hidden. Click the chevron arrow there to reveal the hidden icons and mouseover them to see what they do. Click on the DTS sound icon (not the speaker icon) and you will get a GUI where you can tweak the sound. I tweaked the EQ among other settings to bump the mid-range and bass up, but there are several settings you can play with to improve the sound.

2. (And maybe this should be first...) I had a heck of a time trying to find why I could not get ANY sound out of the speakers at first. There is no volume dial to adjust the volume, I had to use the speaker icon in the system tray, or the volume control in the software application (e.g. the slider on a flash video)... BUT.... I wanted to use the F6/F7 keys because those are supposed to be Fn keys that adjust volume up/down, only they would not work. This led me to discovering (after much research) that Toshiba ships their computers with the Fn key enabled by default, so you don't need to hold it down to use the Fn functions on the F-keys. If you DO hold the Fn key down while pressing an F-Key, you get the traditional function of that key. (For example pressing F12 typically brings up help menus in MS programs.)

OK, so NOT holding the Fn key down and pressing all the *other* F keys worked fine. The mousepad was enabled/disabled... the wifi card was enabled/disabled... the display switched to an external display... etc BUT the volume F6/F7 keys would not work!! FINALLY I happened to see someone mention in a forum that holding the WINDOWS LOGO key down while using the F6/F7 keys worked... and sure enough, it did! Finally I could adjust the volume with the F-keys!

This was NOT in the manual.

Personally I find a dial quicker and handier than F-keys, but it's not a big deal. Plus you can use advanced settings in the mouse menu to adjust volume by dragging a fingertip along the mousepad bottom (or top or one of the sides), or by tapping a corner as user-defined in tap zones. If it were my machine I would use this method for volume adjustment.

3. Another eccentricity: On most machines if you hold down CTRL + PrtSc you can take a snapshot of the desktop that you can then paste into Word or a graphic program or whatnot; and if you hold down ALT + PrtSc you take a snapshot of the active window only (vs the entire desktop). On this machine you have to hold down the Fn key in addition to those other keys to accomplish the same thing.

4. For anyone who isn't aware, the Intel display software makes it easy to set up multiple display profiles and switch between them. A dark display is nice for working, surfing etc. so your eyes aren't burned out by the end of the day. But this is too dark for watching videos or movies. You can create one scheme for working, and another for movies. You can switch between schemes with two little clicks.

To set up a scheme (these are called profiles in nVidia machines, but schemes in Intel machines), right-click on an empty part of the desktop and choose Graphic Properties. Click Color Correction and adjust gamma, contrast and brightness to taste for working/surfing. When the display suits you, click the Scheme Options button and type in the name you want to give this scheme in the Name field (e.g. SURFING). Click Save and OK.

Now open a video (go to Hulu and click on any video just to get something up), and repeat the previous steps, adjusting up the gamma, contrast, brightness etc, to make the video look good. Click the Scheme Options button and name the scheme MOVIES or the like. Click SAVE and OK. Click your way out of the display settings screens.

Now right-click on an empty part of the desktop and you will see "Scheme Options" ... choose that to see a pop-out with your scheme names listed. Switch between them at will.

5. FYI the USB 3.0 port is the one on the right side of the machine towards the front. The port behind it is a 2.0 as is the port next to the power cord. So if you have a 3.0 external drive, or other 3.0 devices (memory sticks) plug them into the 3.0 port for maximum speed.

BOTTOM LINE: This machine is very slick looking and has a crisp nice display. It's fast and responsive for its class. It doesn't have a discreet graphics card with its own RAM so it's not a gamer's laptop, but with 8GB shared, it's certainly going to meet and even exceed the needs of the average person who wants a nice laptop for general use. With an HDMI port, USB 3.0, 8GB RAM and 750GB HD, it's pretty darn future-proof. And it has a flash card reader for cameras and other devices, plus a CD/DVD player, which can come in handy. If the keyboard had an easier touch, it would be a near-perfect machine for the money. The missing half-star is for that caveat.

Note that this is a 15" laptop (I personally prefer smaller 14" laptops but my friend who purchased it likes the bigger ones)... so if you are coming from a 14" laptop this will be considerably bigger and heavier. If you will be taking it lots of places (school, out and about) I'd look at 14" laptops. But if you'll be using it at home and prefer the 15" machines, it's a nice buy.

UPDATE: I scoured the Web and found there is an aftermarket replacement for the C55-A kybd. From US vendors it runs $88-$99 but you can get it direct from China on eBay for $36 door to door. (They are the same exact kybd as they all come from China anyway.) If I were keeping this laptop for myself I would replace the kybd with the aftermarket one in a second. It has all the keys in the right place but instead of being the sealed tile style like the stock one, it's the traditional style... which means the keys are bigger because they don't have all that flat empty space surrounding each key. I would imagine the aftermarket kybd has a better feel to it. Anything has to be better than the stock one! A search of "C55-A replacement keyboard" on eBay will reveal vendors.

If one DOES replace the kybd it voids the warranty, so I'd suggest hanging on to the stock kybd and putting it back on before getting the machine serviced under warranty, if service is ever required. Of course if you break the bezel or something installing the new keyboard, you are out of luck on your warranty. But for those comfortable getting techy, it's an easy 10min thing to swap a kybd out.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this laptop, February 20, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Toshiba Satellite C55-A5355 16-Inch Laptop (2.6 GHz Intel Core i5-3230M processor, 8 GB DDR3 memory, 750 GB Hard drive, Windows 7 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
This was a replacement for my 7-year-old laptop. I specifically wanted something that had enough power to run the latest software (including some gaming and video editing stuff that requires extra power and graphics capability), a decent hard drive, light weight (for traveling), and a reasonable cost. I chose the Windows 7 model specifically because I don't think it's ever a good idea to get the latest version of Windows - it takes them years to work the bugs out. Running Windows 7 has been a better experience than I thought it would be.

This laptop fully met my expectations and does everything I wanted it to do. The Core i5 processor is powerful enough to run the newest software smoothly, the 750 GB hard drive gives me plenty of data storage for video, music, and photos, and I'm very happy with the size and weight. 8 GB of RAM also adds to the performance. Very good value for the price.
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62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Deal in a Laptop, January 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Toshiba Satellite C55-A5355 16-Inch Laptop (2.6 GHz Intel Core i5-3230M processor, 8 GB DDR3 memory, 750 GB Hard drive, Windows 7 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
This product is excellent for those wishing an affordable, powerful laptop computer. My only quarrel is with the product description relating to the included web cam. While there is indeed the necessary hardware, the software application that allows the web cam to function was missing from my computer when it arrived. This may be the fault of Toshiba, not Amazon, but it took me a couple of hours of exasperation, trying to get the camera to work. Finally, a call to Toshiba tech support resulted in identification of the problem. This was an issue that a customer should not have to deal with. Those considering purchase of this laptop will be well advised to make sure that Amazon can verify that all of the necessary software is included.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So Far, so good, March 3, 2014
By 
Amazon Customer (Beautiful Puget Sound, Wa United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Toshiba Satellite C55-A5355 16-Inch Laptop (2.6 GHz Intel Core i5-3230M processor, 8 GB DDR3 memory, 750 GB Hard drive, Windows 7 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
I've had my laptop for two weeks now. The only issue with the laptop itself was the touch pad. Once the drivers were reloaded, success, no more problems. I do use a wireless mouse because I'm not overly charmed with the touch pad, but it does work as intended.
Toshiba customer support lost points. I could not find the Mac address. The 'quick load' to connect me to the internet failed. My router is old enough that it requires me to enter a mac address for each peripheral that I want to use. I could not find the mac address on the box, laptop label on the bottom of the laptop, in the device info in the computer itself, in the search field...notta. So, I called technical support, three times. The third time, I was directed through getting into the cmd files. There were several categories in the file. There was a mac address that did not look like a Mac address, and I stated so, and the response was, "Well, that's it." Well, that wasn't it. Called back, was bumped up to the second level, and had the correct mac address in two minutes. Not pleased with that little performance.
So... back to the laptop. I really appreciate the quiet keyboard and smooth typing ability. Setting up my various programs has been flawless. Windows 7 has been a pleasure in comparison to a windows 8 upgrade that I did to my desk top. What a huge mistake that was.
I burned three music cd's and that ran as smooth as butter, no complaints there. I will soon try out scanning photos and burning to dvd's, but don't anticipate any problems.
I had to make a choice between having a new tablet or going to a laptop. I chose the laptop because I wanted a pc based operating system, more variability working with image files, and using a large flat screen when in the studio. I am happy with my choice.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is the one for windows 8. haters, March 7, 2014
By 
Joseph L. Martino (Lake City, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Toshiba Satellite C55-A5355 16-Inch Laptop (2.6 GHz Intel Core i5-3230M processor, 8 GB DDR3 memory, 750 GB Hard drive, Windows 7 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
Windows 7 fast lots of memory side numbers for calculating lots of usb ports but the best part is the windows 7 operating system
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Satisfied., February 21, 2014
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This review is from: Toshiba Satellite C55-A5355 16-Inch Laptop (2.6 GHz Intel Core i5-3230M processor, 8 GB DDR3 memory, 750 GB Hard drive, Windows 7 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
It took me forever to finally buy this laptop. I was nervous getting something sight unseen, but so far, its pretty good. My main issue at this point is the keyboard itself. The keys are really shallow when typing, so it very often means it doesn't recognize a keystroke. It's a good thing I am a proofreader or half of what I type would be incomprehensible. Otherwise, it's a laptop and a big improvement from my former computer. My main selling point was RAM and hard drive size and even more importantly, Windows 7!! All of which make the annoyance of the keyboard mostly worth it. In case you were wondering, I had to fix 17 missed keystrokes while typing this little review...make that 18. *sigh*
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just What i wantd, January 20, 2014
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This review is from: Toshiba Satellite C55-A5355 16-Inch Laptop (2.6 GHz Intel Core i5-3230M processor, 8 GB DDR3 memory, 750 GB Hard drive, Windows 7 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
I was looking for relatively inexpensive laptop with windows 7 and this machine is it. Easy to set up and no problems.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great laptop, not much bloatware/firmware installed, March 15, 2014
By 
Christie (Oak Ridge, TN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Toshiba Satellite C55-A5355 16-Inch Laptop (2.6 GHz Intel Core i5-3230M processor, 8 GB DDR3 memory, 750 GB Hard drive, Windows 7 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
I build my own desktops because I use them to game and because nothing irritates me more than bloatware that I have to spend hours uninstalling just to make the PC usable. Unfortunately, I don't have the chops or equipment to build a laptop. ;P I bought this for going back to school online while we are traveling for my fiance's job. It has worked as intended thus so far. I was not just *blown away* with the speed, but my perception/expectation in that area may be skewed, coming from working on high performance gaming desktops. It performs admirably otherwise, & even when accidentally bumped hard enough to have potentially skipped the HD, it didn't & just kept plugging along like nothing happened. I have not had any of the problems with heat others have mentioned -- you should *always* use a laptop on a hard, flat surface to allow proper ventilation & prevent dust and lint from getting inside the machine.
I expected this to come brimming with all kinds off bullcrap firmware that I would have to uninstall, but I was pleasantly surprised. Aside from some Norton stuff and one or two other random (& compact) programs, it was essentially a fresh install of Windows 7 and nothing more. For that alone I would give it 5 stars. :D
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, February 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Toshiba Satellite C55-A5355 16-Inch Laptop (2.6 GHz Intel Core i5-3230M processor, 8 GB DDR3 memory, 750 GB Hard drive, Windows 7 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
Everything on this machine works great. It is fast, and the programs load with no problem. We moved the things that the wife wanted from her old computer to this one with no problems. I bought this for her because the one she had was 7 plus years old. We both now have toshiba laptops. We think they are great machines.It took us awhile to decide which one we liked the best. You have the best selection on them. We liked that you had some with windows 7, she did not windows8. I think that you also have the best prices.We are very happy with our purchase, Thank you.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars POORLY MADE ... SUB PAR MATERIALS ... HIDDEN RESTRICTIONS, May 12, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Toshiba Satellite C55-A5355 16-Inch Laptop (2.6 GHz Intel Core i5-3230M processor, 8 GB DDR3 memory, 750 GB Hard drive, Windows 7 64-bit) (Personal Computers)
I purchased this on March 16th for 670.00. It is now May 12, and it is falling apart. The area where you move the cursor with your finger, (track pad) ALREADY has a huge bald area. I have, and have had, laptops that went 3 years before even the slightest sign of a bald spot. One never did, even after 5 years. I do not have anything I use that might have been on my hands that would strip the surface of the track pad. In addition, if that were the case, the wear would ALSO show up on the key pad and in the area all around the bald spot, none of which has happened.
The unit is ACTUALLY BOWED, ((bent // sagged)) in the center. I might have thought it was part of the same weakness related to the track pad, but the track pad IS NOT in the center of the unit, it is offset to the left. I have had to use packing tape to keep the battery cover on, as that is where the sag is the worst.
Keeping the following in mind;
1)This unit has NEVER LEFT the room
2) has never been outside
3) has never been used by anyone but myself
and my usage consists of;
4) sitting cross legged on the bed with it in my lap
5) for about 3 hours a night
6) between 5 and 7 nights a week
and that the unit
7) was over 600 dollars
8) purchased new
9) is less than 90 days old

it is simply a very bad purchase, majorly over priced and hugely under made..... using sub standard materials. You could get an HP at 1/2 the price and as annoying as they are, at least they use materials and workmanship that can hold up to a stay-at-home 61 year old woman using it 3 hours a night.

Here are 2 more points, both were a surprise to me;
1) before you open the plastic around the new unit, you get a warning that Toshiba is going to have access to your usage and collect the info automatically when you use the computer. If you don't want that, you are advised to leave the plastic unopened and return the unit to the store. If you don't want your usage tracked and collected AND YOU BOUGHT IT ON LINE, then you will end up having to spend more money to mail it back.
2) Further into the directions there is a warning that the unit CAN NOT BE USED OUTSIDE because of it's frequency range and if you do get so bold as to try and use it outside anyway, it can be damaged by high power radar units using the same frequency...

WHY ARE THESE VERY GERMANE POINTS NOT MADE CLEAR PRIOR TO PURCHASE?

Stay away from this unit ..... and IMO, this company. Personally, I will not buy Toshiba products again, based on this experience. They are over zealous in areas they have no right to access and they are dishonest by their "too late now" style of alerting customers to restrictions involving the use of their purchase, and lastly they are under zealous in the workmanship and choice of materials used in the product.
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on May 16, 2014 2:16:58 PM PDT
Thanks for the review, G.A. Hanan, and sorry to hear that you're not fully satisfied with your Satellite C55.

Toshiba use a variety of materials throughout its computer product lines, and all models are designed to be durable under normal day-to-day use. Your description of the touchpad and case problems is most unusual and I recommend that you contact Toshiba support at 800-457-7777 to make repair arrangements.

About the touchpad placement, Toshiba always positions the touchpad so that it is centered below the G & H keys -- the ""home"" keys for touch typists. That makes the touchpad off center (to the left) for models with keyboards that include a numeric keypad to the right of the main keyboard.

Thanks again for the feedback and sorry to hear about the trouble.
 
 

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