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120 of 124 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2014
I was looking for a decent sub $1000 laptop that came with Windows 7. This fit the bill nicely.

PROS
- Windows 7 Professional comes installed
- Windows 8.1 Pro installation DVDs and license included
- Great specs for the price
- Nice sound quality on the built in harman/kardon speakers
- Two USB 3.0 ports on right side

CONS
- Display is not very vibrant. I have it at max brightness and it looks OK. Wouldn't look great for movies, serious photo editing, or graphics intensive games.
- Battery and HDD do not have compartments. You have to remove the entire bottom plate to get to them. See below.
- I dislike the touchpad. Mainly the buttons which take some force to push. Right-click is therefore annoying. I tap instead of left-clicking. I also tap instead of right-clicking by using the "Tap Zones" feature, setting the top and bottom right actions to secondary click.
- Battery life is unimpressive at 3.9 hours.

ACCESSING THE HDD AND BATTERY
The only access panel on the back is for doing a memory upgrade. The user manual details how to do this. The user manual does not mention how to access or replace the battery or HDD.

To access the HDD and battery:
1. Remove all phillips screws from bottom. There's about 14 screws to remove from bottom.
2. Slide out DVD drive from side.
3. Pull off entire back cover by curling your fingers in the DVD drive bay (now empty). Just pull up on the black plastic cover plate. I was a little nervous when I first did this but it turned out to be easy.

To remove the HDD:
1. Do steps above for removing bottom cover plate.
2. With the HDD oriented closest to you, remove the two silver screws which mount the right HDD rail to the laptop. Don't remove the screws that connect the rails to the HDD yet.
3. Slide the drive towards you to disconnect its SATA connector. The drive is now out of the system with the rails still attached to the drive.
4. Remove the screws attaching the left and right rails to the HDD.

I replaced the 1 TB included HDD with a Samsung 500 GB SSD. It boots so snappy now. The specific drive I purchased is:
B00E3W19MO

MORE DETAILED SPECS
I ran Belarc and here are some of the details.

System Model
-TOSHIBA Satellite S55-A PSKK2U-04G08J

Operating System
-Windows 7 Professional (x64) Service Pack 1 (build 7601)
-Installed: 1/2/2014 8:28:18 PM
-Boot Mode: Legacy BIOS in UEFI (Secure Boot not supported)

Processor
-2.40 gigahertz Intel Core i7-4700MQ
-256 kilobyte primary memory cache
-1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache
-6144 kilobyte tertiary memory cache
-64-bit ready
-Multi-core (4 total)
-Hyper-threaded (8 total)

Main Circuit Board
-Board: TOSHIBA VG10S
-Bus Clock: 100 megahertz
-UEFI: TOSHIBA 1.40 10/11/2013

Memory Modules
-8104 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory
-Slot 'ChannelA-DIMM0' has 4096 MB
-Slot 'ChannelB-DIMM0' has 4096 MB

Display
-Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600 [Display adapter]
-Generic PnP Monitor (15.3"vis)

Controllers
-Intel(R) 8 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller

Bus Adapters
-Intel(R) 8 Series/C220 Series USB EHCI #1 - 8C26
-Intel(R) 8 Series/C220 Series USB EHCI #2 - 8C2D
-Intel(R) USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller
-Intel(R) USB 3.0 Root Hub

Multimedia
-IDT High Definition Audio CODEC

Communications
-Microsoft ISATAP Adapter
-Qualcomm Atheros AR8171/8175 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (NDIS 6.20)
-Realtek RTL8188E Wireless LAN 802.11n PCI-E NIC

SOFTWARE CUSTOMIZATIONS
I uninstalled the following bloatware / trialware:
- Origin (this is a games thing)
- WildTangent Games
- Toshiba Book Place (another e reader like Kindle)
- Toshiba App Place.
- Norton Internet Security (replaced with Microsoft Security Essentials)
- Norton Online Backup
- Norton Anti Theft

Hope this helps with your purchase decision!
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2014
Just got this computer yesterday and I'm thrilled with it's performance. Blazing fast web browsing and opening/closing of programs. Holding back on maxing out RAM to see how things are after installing more programs. The price of this thing just got dropped by $70 from what I paid for it and you're not going to find this hardware for this price anywhere, I shopped around. Like I stated up in header, this is not a computer for those that need an HD experience. It's for those that do a lot of web browsing and old school PC stuff: word processing, excel, Google docs, etc. The price reflects the low res screen. I find that many tech writers start splitting hairs when it comes to specs and the screen res is one area that many over emphasize in my opinion. The screen on this computer is great and I don't plan on watching movies or gaming on this thing. This computer serves as my home office machine and will probably never leave my desk so the short battery life does not bother me. All in all this machine will serve me for at least the next 5 years as the latest Intel Core i7 chip inside should hold it's own for that period of time.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
My older, not so computer literate scientist husband needed a new lap top to replace the old piece of junk that was called a laptop.
I chose this computer because it had gotten previous great reviews. It had lots of storage room and was fast.
Another big reason, was that it came with Windows 7. He already has enough issues with computers, and didn't need the hassle of trying to learn Windows 8. However, if the upgrade to 8 is desired, there is a disc provided to do so.
Mostly he does e-mail and writes documents on it. So, what some gaming and graphic people consider this not their choice, for those who just want to use all the Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel, Power Point, etc. It is perfect.
Computer is not too small which is better for him.
My only concern was that it came just in the original box. No additional packaging around it, and so the delivery people or anyone, would know exactly what it was, being delivered. Not to mention, didn't seem that it was protected enough.
However, when I opened it up, it was up and running in no time and I had no problem installing the Microsoft software from the disc his employer provided. It is working great.
VERY satisfied so far.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2014
I used the computer for three days before I returned it. It worked fine.
The issue was where the brushed aluminum top attached to the black plastic under-part of the case. The plastic didn't match up to the aluminum, creating a sharp edge. The plastic edge was very sharp. Like cut your wrists sharp. You don't feel it until you slide your wrists down to use the touchpad, which is often.
I went to a local store to check out other Toshibas, and it seemed most of them did not match up well wither. What a shame.
I've had Toshibas in the past. Never had an issue. I'd suggest they to check their plastic injection molds. Or at least add something to their Quality Checklist.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Thank you for the review, KITSA808. I'll forward your review to product management for further research & evaluation.

Thank you for the feedback and sorry for the trouble.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2014
I am retired from business and have used many computers especially laptops. It took me several weeks to check almost all makes and in the Kansas City area (MO + KS) the S55-A5359 was sold out and consequently not available.

Most buyers seem to like it too but the poor soul with the fussy screen needs to get another one! That,s why there is a warranty!!!
For me, the TOSHIBA offers more than most people need. The Specs. are tops and offers more then I needed!

Where did I finally found the TOSHIBA I wanted?? AMAZON on line. I rather buy in special computer stores BUT AMAZON surprised me with the super service. Two days to Kansas City,MO........ (This is the first month that I used it every day while many people give their opinion after unpacking the box) JM
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2014
Updated: you do need to update Realtek driver for WIFI. The one came with the machine 2007.8.201.2013 is extremely slow to connect to FIOS. Update to 2012.7.231.2013 manually solve the problem.

Uninstall Origin, WildTangent Games, Toshiba Book Place, Toshiba App Place, Norton Internet Security (replaced with Microsoft Security Essentials), Norton Online Backup, and Norton Anti Theft. This machine boots to login screen in about 30 seconds even after .NET Framework installation. I have seen reviews regarding long booting time. I suggest those people get rid of bloatwares and use msconfig to check for hidden processes.

I have owned the machine for more than two weeks and tested every aspect for my daily routine. I have finished creating recovery media and doing all the system updates. I have also loaded more than 100G of content to the hard disk to test. It boots extremely fast and it is very quiet. It did come with a relatively slow hard disk. For all practical purposes, this machine satisfies all business needs.

I have found no problem with the keyboard/track pad. I found the USB ports to be pretty tight (test both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports). The hard disk does not have vibration protection as in all other laptops I own. In fact, I shut the machine down before pulling the USB cable just to be safe. From the software installation date, it looks like this machine was built in April 2. The BIOS date is Feb 28. The performance/price ratio of this machine beats all other alternatives in the market. As pointed out by other reviewers, the battery is not changeable.

BTW, I use HWSetup to toggle the way Function keys are used. The default is the exactly the opposite of how it behaves in all other laptops I own.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2014
Besides the computer being number 1 in class and performance (Intel 7), it is exactly what the doctor ordered. Enough with Windows 8, 8.1, and what else MSN wants to dictate to us. You know, if I buy a new car, I don't have to learn how to drive all over again. Should be the same with computers. Sure, new bells and whistles inside but the navigation should be the same! Clue up: MSN
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2014
I've had this laptop for almost a month now, it's a great device that I love I purchased.

Pros:

Lightweight, yet not flimsy feeling.
Sleek, professional looking laptop.
Bargain at 770 with the I7 cpu, backlit keyboard.
Keypad comes standard, buttons are easily clickable and responsive.
Outstanding speakers considering they're stock.
Fast boot and Shut down time if not performing updates.

Cons:

Not the best gpu, but more than sufficient for watching videos.
Touchpad takes some getting used to, but is reliable.
Battery life isn't as good as previous laptops I've owned, but for most that's not a problem.
Usb ports are tight, but manageable.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2014
Computer came quickly and worked well out of the box and was priced well. However Toshiba tech support was really bad.

Esp re batteries this unit has an internal battery which only lasts 1 year according to toshiba. i did not see this anywhere prior to buying. Second when i called toshiba i was referred--one after another-to 3 people and nobody could find a battery at toshiba to buy as a back up.

i also had an issue getting the dram panel off--my 10 year trusted computer guy didn't want to force the panel so i called Toshiba after a 30 min wait said they could not comment on this. again very polite guys but totally useless.

i have looked (only for 30 min) on line to find a vendor other than Toshiba to get a back up battery from--and found nothing listed under S55-A5359 or referenced to it. my plan at this point is to wait 3-4 months and then look again. i find it hard to believe there is never going to be a replacement battery. if i cannot solve this problem by then i will then buy another computer (not a Toshiba) prior to the 10-30-14 win 7 end factory install date (aside from Win 7 pro which there is no kill date yet)

Bottom line? If you don't have issues installing an internal battery (or getting somebody else to do it) and you can locate a battery about 1 year from the date you flip the switch--this is a decent machine at a decent price. Toshiba tech just doesn't cut it period. Finally i will continue to look for a battery source and update this post in the future--if you have a solution please post it and i will alter this post to reflect it.

good luck with your computer purchase
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
Thank you for the review, Austin, and sorry to hear about the customer service experience.

I'm not sure where you got the information regarding the life span of the battery, but I can assure that the batteries are designed to be reliable in normal use. They will have the normal charge/recharge life of lithium ion batteries, which can vary based on use. It's sounds like whoever you spoke with may have misunderstood the warranty term to be an indication of the expected life of the battery.

If you are planning to replace the memory on your own, you can find illustrated instructions on page 47 of the User's Guide, which can be found at http://support.toshiba.com/support/staticContentDetail?contentId=4002312&isFromTOCLink=false .

Thanks again for the feedback and sorry for the difficulty you've experienced.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2014
The computer is just what I wanted, and gives me just what I expected. i really like the touch of the keyboard - just right. No suggestions.
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