Notebookcheck

Review Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E Notebook

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by A Kammel), 09/05/2013

Quad-core for the masses. We could not help but remain unimpressed by AMD's Trinity dual-core CPUs. But what about the Kabini quad-cores? And how much of a "real laptop" can be found in Toshiba's low-cost offering? Does the mainstream device exhibit unexpected strengths?

Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E: A basic barebones laptop with an AMD Kabini quad-core CPU - could this be the recipe for an everlasting office machine?
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E: A basic barebones laptop with an AMD Kabini quad-core CPU - could this be the recipe for an everlasting office machine?

For the original German review, see here.

Those who were looking for a laptop priced between 250 and 400 Euros (~$330 and $528) must have seen a lot of AMD configurations with a Trinity A4 APU in the last few years. Unfortunately, we were never wooed by the performance of its two Piledriver cores. Even when it was bundled with a powerful dedicated graphics card, the sluggish CPU often manages to slow games down (at least from medium settings onwards). Moreover, systems with an integrated GPU tended not even to manage smooth frame rates with the lowest possible settings.

Pure performance was much worse than that of Intel's Pentium or Celeron CPUs (dual-core) which is why we rarely found good reasons for preferring a Trinity-based system. But may this be different with a quad-core Kabini APU? Our short review: AMD A4-5000 APU "Kabini" (May 2013) already showed noticeable improvements in performance. So is this quad-core the right choice for a mainstream office and multimedia laptop? Which features did Toshiba choose to include in order to deliver a usable device with an aggressive price point of around 400 Euros ($528)? We will try to find the answers to these questions in the sections below.

The Toshiba Satellite C50D can be compared to the Lenovo G500s (Pentium 2020M, Intel HD) and the Lenovo G505s-20255 (HD 8570M dual graphics, A6-5350M), both of which sport a plastic chassis as well. These competitors allow us to confront the Kabini platform with Intel's Pentium and Core i3 chips.

Case

How we test - Case

The chassis can neither be called sturdy nor stabile.
The chassis can neither be called sturdy nor stabile.

In order to be able to offer a competitive price, Toshiba uses matte plastic. The stability of the base unit is mediocre, but still okay (except when pressure is applied near the optical drive, something that worsens the overall impression when it is lifted up). The lid, however, can be bent and twisted like crazy. It is also very pressure-sensitive, especially so in its lower half. There are some noticeable clearances between the display and its frame. In addition, the display hinges wobble when they reach their maximum opening angle of approximately 135 degrees.

When opening the device, the hinges offer a lot of resistance so that both hands are required. Unfortunately, there is no clutch so that we have to pry it open with our fingers wedged between the lid and the base.

The palm rest comes with a slightly rippled surface (the same as on the lid). Still, this does not help against all fingerprints. We were quite satisfied with the stability of the keyboard area as well as the palm rest area. Both remain firmly in place even during typing. Only the left half of the smallish touchpad can be dented when pressure is applied.

Connectivity

How we test - Connectivity

The C50D does not sport a lot of ports. Next to VGA, HDMI and the Ethernet port, there is only one USB 3.0 port. Unfortunately, most of these ports are close to the front of the laptop, meaning that their associated cables might get in the way of the mouse. The card reader is located at the front. In order to use it, the laptop has to be lifted up.

Right hand side: Two audio ports, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, Ethernet RJ45, VGA
Right hand side: Two audio ports, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, Ethernet RJ45, VGA
Left hand side: Kensington lock, power connector, USB 2.0, DVD multi burner
Left hand side: Kensington lock, power connector, USB 2.0, DVD multi burner
Webcam 1280 x 720
Webcam 1280 x 720
Webcam 1280x720 macro
Webcam 1280x720 macro

Communication

The RJ45 port does not come with a Gigabit connection (1000 Mbit/s), only shipping with a Fast Ethernet variant (Atheros AR8172/8176/8178 PCI-E) which may be a hindrance when trying to transfer numerous files between the laptop and another device (not even putting a Gigabit switch to full use). We are baffled by Toshiba's decision as even the most low-cost laptops come with Gigabit Ethernet these days.

The wireless modem is another low-cost solution: Realtek's RTL8188E Wireless LAN 802.11n only supports the 2.4 GHz band. With such a single-band card, the 5 GHz band cannot be used whenever the 2.4 GHz is blocked. That being said, we were quite surprised by how well the wireless worked. Even when we put 40 meters (~131 feet) between us and the router (no direct line of sight, outside of the building, signal strength of the Fritz!Box 7270 set to 50% as always), we were still measuring four bars of Wi-Fi signal strength. This is even more than what we measured for high-end cards such as the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (Fujitsu LifeBook P702: two bars at a distance of 40 meters). Most laptops do not even manage to remain connected at such a distance.

Webcam 

Colors are vivid, but videos and photos are full of noise, especially close to the corners.

Accessories

The C50D ships with a small power adapter (45 Watts), the battery (which can be plugged in at the underside of the laptop) and a quick start guide with a warranty brochure and safety information. As is the case with most manufacturers, no Windows 8 recovery DVD is included. Fortunately, this can (and should) be remedied by burning a recovery DVD via the Recovery Media Creator.

Not much soft- and bloatware comes preinstalled: McAfee Internet Security (30-day trial version), the new Microsoft Office 365 (1-month trial version) and a number of tools such as Toshiba Desktop Assist.

Maintenance

Since it is necessary to clean a laptop's fans from time to time - unless one is okay with diminishing potential for heat dissipation due to dusty radiators, we were hoping that access to these could be gained by removing the maintenance hatch which is fastened by just one screw. Unfortunately, only the hard drive and the RAM module can be accessed without much more hassle. Possible replacements are 7 mm or 9 mm 2.5-inch SATA HDDs and SSDs (after the main partition has been mirrored) and a second RAM module for the unused bank (1 x 4 GB so far).

Warranty

The Satellite ships with 12 months of warranty (and a pickup-and-return service in Germany). Warranty extensions to up to three or even four years can be had for approximately 100 and 150 Euros (~$132 and $198), respectively.

Input Devices

How we test - Input Devices

Keyboard

Keystrokes feel precise, if somewhat dampened. The entire keyboard feels sturdy, with nothing giving in. Toshiba has decided against using a Chiclet design with some space in between the keys (which it employs in the Satellite S50-A and many mid-tier or high-end models). Instead, the keys are tightly spaced without any separation, being just a millimeter apart from each other. Still, this does not pose any problems while typing as each key comes with a raised platform on top of its base.

We are quite fond of the precise pressure point. In addition, the keys offer sufficient travel. Unfortunately, there is no inner curvature that would help in guiding the fingers toward the right keys. Still, despite the fact that the entire keyboard feels a bit like one large surface area, we managed to type with our usual speed and without hitting many wrong keys. Those who work with MS Office a lot might actually be very happy with this keyboard, especially since there is also a dedicated number pad.

Touchpad

The smallish touchpad only sports a diagonal of 9.2 centimeters (~3.6 inches), less than what most of its competitors offer (some 15.6-inch devices come with a 12.5-cm (~4.9 inches) touchpad). The plastic surface is rough to the touch. According to our own experience, these plastic touchpads see some abrasion over time, resulting in ugly "brightly polished stripes".

Thanks to their surface material, the buttons do not feel slippery at all. Still, we cannot recommend them due to short travel and a lot of pressure being necessary to trigger them. The Alps Pointing Device does not support multi-touch gestures - the only exception being two-finger scrolling. Nothing can be configured in the driver settings.

Keys: Don't give in, precise pressure point, dampened feel
Keys: Don't give in, precise pressure point, dampened feel
Touchpad: Sufficient travel, noticeable pressure point, somewhat too small
Touchpad: Sufficient travel, noticeable pressure point, somewhat too small

Display

How we test - Display

The resolution of 1366x768 pixels is typical for a 15.6-inch laptop in this price segment. This not only leads to a coarse pixel density of 100 dpi (which renders the individual pixels clearly visible), but it also goes hand in hand with a highly reflective TN panel which does not get any brighter than 227 cd/m² in the center. However, most direct competitors offer the same characteristics (reflective, HD panel).

The contrast ratio of 688:1 is actually quite decent, and far ahead of most entry-level displays (usually 200-400:1). Still, the true high-contrast contingent only begins beyond 800-1300:1. Colors look vivid and crisp on the glossy panel.

211
cd/m²
217
cd/m²
217
cd/m²
217
cd/m²
227
cd/m²
251
cd/m²
195
cd/m²
207
cd/m²
221
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 251 cd/m²
Average: 218.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 78 %
Center on Battery: 227 cd/m²
Black: 0.33 cd/m²
Contrast: 688:1
Color space: Toshiba C50D LG Display LP156WH4 TLN2 vs. sRGB (72%)
Color space: Toshiba C50D LG Display LP156WH4 TLN2 vs. sRGB (72%)
Color space: Toshiba C50D LG Display LP156WH4 TLN2 vs. AdobeRGB (49%)
Color space: Toshiba C50D LG Display LP156WH4 TLN2 vs. AdobeRGB (49%)

Color space and display calibration are only relevant for professional users (image editing, print...) and not so much for the target audience of the Toshiba C50D. Unsurprisingly, both the sRGB color space (72%) and the AdobeRGB (49%) are not covered.

Prior to calibration, we have performed a color analysis with the i1 Pro 2 photo spectrometer. The resulting CalMAN screenshots reveal a weakness in grayscale rendition as well as a strong bluish tint with an average DeltaE (2000) of 9, leading to cooler-than-life colors.

Color saturation measurements show that magenta, cyan and even red are somewhat bluish with high DeltaE (2000) values of around 10 (which means that these distortions can be seen with the naked eye whenever a reference point is available). A calibration can help in mitigating this problem.

CalMAN greyscale
CalMAN greyscale
CalMAN color saturation
CalMAN color saturation
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker

No glossy display has it easy during outdoor usage, and the one in the C50D doubly so due to its low peak brightness (227 cd/m² in the center, no matter whether it is running on battery or not). Especially glances from the side are almost impossible. During frontal usage or usage in the shade, reading the display becomes possible. Still, the hassle of finding the right spot remains.

Outdoor: Sunny conditions, but laptop in the shade
Outdoor: Sunny conditions, but laptop in the shade
Outdoor: Sunny conditions, reflections
Outdoor: Sunny conditions, reflections
Outdoor: Sunny conditions, direct sunlight
Outdoor: Sunny conditions, direct sunlight

As with most TN panels, viewing angles are rather bad. Vertical distortions (strong color inversions) begin at an angle of around 20 degrees. Horizontally, this effect begins at approximately 45 degrees.

Viewing angles Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
Viewing angles Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E

Performance

How we test - Performance

The AMD A4-5000 is a low voltage APU (TDP of 15 Watts) intended for use in subnotebooks and laptops, quickly becoming AMD's new mainstream model for entry-level devices, placing itself above the A6 and below the A8/A10. In parallelized applications, the APU is actually capable of getting close to a low voltage Sandy Bridge Core i3. It comes with an integrated Radeon HD 8330. In addition, there is a 500 GB HDD made by Toshiba and 4 GB of RAM (with the controller being located on the SoC itself, being embedded in the APU).

System info: CPU-Z CPU
System info: CPU-Z Cache
System info: CPU-Z Mainboard
System info: CPU-Z Memory
System info: CPU-Z SPD
System info: GPU-Z
HD-Tune 83 MB/s Seq. Read
Crystal Disk Mark 95 MB/s Seq. Read
System information Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E

Processor

AMD's quad-core SoC A4-5000 (1.5 GHz, no turbo) aka Kabini inherits the position of the old Bobcat models (E-350E2-1800...). The A4-5000 is actually already the fastest of the bunch since the E series APUs E1-2100 to E2-3000 (two cores) are based on the Jaguar architecture.

So how does it fare in terms of computing power when compared to a number of older and recent Intel and AMD CPUs? Despite the Pentium coming with just two cores, it appears to have a clear edge of 30% during multi-core computations (with +156% during single-core tests) according to Cinebench R11.5. Still, the 2020M is a 35-Watt CPU fighting against a 15-Watt model. When compared to a low voltage Core i3 (Toshiba Satellite L830, Sandy Bridge), Kabini actually takes the lead (-10%).

Why are we comparing a standard CPU with a low voltage CPU? Simply because the A4-5000 is used by Toshiba to power a simple 15-inch office laptop which usually sport a 35-Watt Pentium or Celeron CPU.

Compared to other AMD chips, specifically the E2-1800, Kabini takes the lead both during the single threading tests (-15%) and even more so while multithreading (-57%). Similar results hold true in the case of the A6-4455M dual-core (Temash predecessor). Overall, performance levels are quite decent considering that this is a low-voltage model. For more details about its exact performance and its capabilities, have a look at our short review: AMD A4-5000 APU "Kabini".

We do not even have to look closely at its clock speed, since there is no turbo mode in the A4-5000. It is always clocked at 1.5 GHz, no matter whether the laptop is idle or under full load. Even while running on battery, the Cinebench R11.5 CPU and GPU benchmark results remain completely unchanged.

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
1.49 Points ∼8%
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE
Radeon HD 7470M, E2-1800, Hitachi Travelstar 5K750 HTS547575A9E384
0.64 Points ∼4% -57%
Samsung 535U4C
Radeon HD 7550M, A6-4455M, Hitachi Travelstar 5K750 HTS547550A9E384
0.85 Points ∼5% -43%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
Radeon HD 8250, A6-1450, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
1.02 Points ∼6% -32%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
HD Graphics 2000, 987, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
1.13 Points ∼6% -24%
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F
HD Graphics 3000, 2367M, Toshiba MK5075GSX
1.34 Points ∼8% -10%
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F
HD Graphics 3000, 2367M, Toshiba MK5075GSX
1.34 Points ∼8% -10%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
HD Graphics 4000, 3217U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
1.78 Points ∼10% +19%
Lenovo G500s-59367693
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2020M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1.94 Points ∼11% +30%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
Radeon HD 8330, A4-5000, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
0.39 Points ∼21%
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE
Radeon HD 7470M, E2-1800, Hitachi Travelstar 5K750 HTS547575A9E384
0.33 Points ∼18% -15%
Samsung 535U4C
Radeon HD 7550M, A6-4455M, Hitachi Travelstar 5K750 HTS547550A9E384
0.63 Points ∼34% +62%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
Radeon HD 8250, A6-1450, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
0.33 Points ∼18% -15%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
HD Graphics 2000, 987, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
0.59 Points ∼32% +51%
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F
HD Graphics 3000, 2367M, Toshiba MK5075GSX
0.56 Points ∼30% +44%
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F
HD Graphics 3000, 2367M, Toshiba MK5075GSX
0.56 Points ∼30% +44%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
HD Graphics 4000, 3217U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
0.76 Points ∼41% +95%
Lenovo G500s-59367693
HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), 2020M, Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
1 Points ∼54% +156%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
1215
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
4120
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
2369
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
1502 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
5158 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
2339 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.39 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.49 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
12.19 fps
Help

System Performance

PCMark 7 sub scores
PCMark 7 sub scores

The application performance, as measured with PCMark 7 and PCMark Vantage, suffers from the lack of an SSD (or at least a performance-boosting SSD cache). But the C50D's direct competitors cannot afford to include an SSD either while still maintaining an impressive edge over Toshiba's Satellite: Both the Asus VivoBook S300CA (+53%) and the Lenovo G500s (+65%) fare much better in PCMark 7, mostly due to their impressive computation scores (Asus +208%, Lenovo +112%).

PCMark does honor AMD's new quad-core, yielding +34% when compared to the Samsung Series 3 355E5C and +34% when compared to the A4-4300 (Trinity dual-core, Sleekbook TouchSmart 15, +30% at the computation and productivity sub scores). Nominally, a lot has been gained in terms of performance (especially in comparison to its predecessor, the E2-1800), but still, simple Pentium (standard voltage) or Core i3 (low voltage) systems still seem to have the overall edge. Talking specifically about the Satellite C50D, this was not a problem. Everything felt snappy, apps opened fast and rendered smoothly. Those who would not describe themselves as power users or gamers should be satisfied with this kind of performance.

PCMark 7
Score (sort by value)
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
1417 Points ∼21%
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15-b153sg
932 Points ∼14% -34%
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE
1348 Points ∼20% -5%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
1232 Points ∼19% -13%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
1452 Points ∼22% +2%
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F
1456 Points ∼22% +3%
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F
1456 Points ∼22% +3%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
2173 Points ∼33% +53%
Lenovo G500s-59367693
2343 Points ∼35% +65%
Productivity (sort by value)
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
777 Points ∼7%
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15-b153sg
541 Points ∼5% -30%
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE
677 Points ∼6% -13%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
359 Points ∼3% -54%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
836 Points ∼8% +8%
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F
750 Points ∼7% -3%
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F
750 Points ∼7% -3%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
618 Points ∼6% -20%
Lenovo G500s-59367693
1304 Points ∼12% +68%
Computation (sort by value)
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
3928 Points ∼14%
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15-b153sg
2905 Points ∼10% -26%
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE
2582 Points ∼9% -34%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
3457 Points ∼12% -12%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
2118 Points ∼7% -46%
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F
5823 Points ∼21% +48%
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F
5823 Points ∼21% +48%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
12091 Points ∼43% +208%
Lenovo G500s-59367693
8333 Points ∼29% +112%

Legend

 
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E AMD A4-5000, AMD Radeon HD 8330, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
 
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15-b153sg AMD A4-4355M, AMD Radeon HD 7400G, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
 
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE AMD E2-1800, AMD Radeon HD 7470M, Hitachi Travelstar 5K750 HTS547575A9E384
 
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS AMD A6-1450, AMD Radeon HD 8250, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
 
Samsung 535U4C AMD A6-4455M, AMD Radeon HD 7550M, Hitachi Travelstar 5K750 HTS547550A9E384
 
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007 Intel Pentium 987, Intel HD Graphics 2000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
 
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F Intel Core i3-2367M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Toshiba MK5075GSX
 
Asus VivoBook S300CA Intel Core i3-3217U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
 
Lenovo G500s-59367693 Intel Pentium 2020M, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
4.4
Windows 8 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
5.1
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
5.9
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
4.4
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage3178 points
PCMark 71417 points
Help

Storage Devices

The 2.5-inch Toshiba HDD (MQ01ABF050, 9.5 mm high, 500 GB, 5400 rpm) remains rather silent, but then again, access times of 17.9 ms and sequential read values of 83 to 95 MB/s (even worse for small, scattered files, with 0.433 MB/s during the 4K test) are average at best, leading to mediocre HDD scores in all system benchmarks.

Toshiba MQ01ABF050
Transfer Rate Minimum: 50.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 111.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 83.3 MB/s
Access Time: 17.9 ms
Burst Rate: 117.5 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4 %

Graphics Card

The Radeon HD 8330 comes with two Compute Units clocked at 500 MHz (no turbo) which only support single-channel RAM. The GPU is very capable of Full HD video playback, supporting the CPU via the hardware-based Video Decoder. Its pure performance levels (OpenGL 64-bit) have been improved by +19% when compared to its predecessor (E2-1800, Series 3 355E5C), but it does not manage to take the lead when compared to the HD 7400G in the A4-4355M. The HD 8330 does, however, beat the HD Graphics of the Pentium 2020M (-23%), being on par with the HD 4000 (Ivy Bridge) GPU.

The gaming benchmarks (standard graphics score during the Ice Storm, Fire Strike and Cloud Gate benchmarks remain on par) agree with these assessments, with the overall standard scores seeing an increase of +25% due to the improved multi-core performance of the quad-core when compared to the dual-core A4.

In almost all of these disciplines, the HD 4000 (Ivy Bridge) takes the top spot (by 20 to 25%). Only during the Ice Storm benchmark does the Asus VivoBook S300CA fall behind the C50D by approximately 8%. The Pentium-based system (Lenovo G500s) falls slightly behind by -3% to -17%. But is this difference actually noticeable in real games?

3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
25710 Points ∼3%
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15-b153sg
20006 Points ∼2% -22%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
18211 Points ∼2% -29%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
23573 Points ∼2% -8%
Lenovo G500s-59367693
22347 Points ∼2% -13%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
28947 Points ∼4%
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15-b153sg
29730 Points ∼4% +3%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
21788 Points ∼3% -25%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
26544 Points ∼4% -8%
Lenovo G500s-59367693
24329 Points ∼3% -16%
Cinebench R11.5 - OpenGL 64Bit (sort by value)
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
12.19 fps ∼11%
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15-b153sg
12.09 fps ∼11% -1%
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE
14.5 fps ∼13% +19%
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS
9.59 fps ∼9% -21%
Samsung 535U4C
20.77 fps ∼19% +70%
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007
6.68 fps ∼6% -45%
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F
7.44 fps ∼7% -39%
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F
7.44 fps ∼7% -39%
Asus VivoBook S300CA
12.33 fps ∼11% +1%
Lenovo G500s-59367693
9.38 fps ∼9% -23%

Legend

 
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E AMD A4-5000, AMD Radeon HD 8330, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
 
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15-b153sg AMD A4-4355M, AMD Radeon HD 7400G, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
 
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE AMD E2-1800, AMD Radeon HD 7470M, Hitachi Travelstar 5K750 HTS547575A9E384
 
Acer Aspire V5-122P-61454G50NSS AMD A6-1450, AMD Radeon HD 8250, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD5000LPVX
 
Samsung 535U4C AMD A6-4455M, AMD Radeon HD 7550M, Hitachi Travelstar 5K750 HTS547550A9E384
 
Acer Aspire One 756 NU.SH0EG.007 Intel Pentium 987, Intel HD Graphics 2000, Seagate Momentus Thin ST320LT020-9YG142
 
Toshiba Satellite L830-10F Intel Core i3-2367M, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Toshiba MK5075GSX
 
Asus VivoBook S300CA Intel Core i3-3217U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
 
Lenovo G500s-59367693 Intel Pentium 2020M, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
2942 points
3DMark Vantage1693 points
3DMark Ice Storm25710 points
3DMark Cloud Gate2153 points
3DMark Fire Strike321 points
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Gaming Performance

As mentioned above, the gaming performance of the HD 8330 is so low that it does not really make a difference whether one uses a Pentium 2020M, an E2-1800 or an A4-5000. Testing this hypothesis with a number of older, less demanding games has shown a slight edge for AMD's new APU (2020M -14%, E2-1800 -12%), while falling behind the integrated Radeon HD 7400G (+12%) and the HD 4000 (+7%). This means that games can only be played in low resolutions with low details (no anti-aliasing, DX 11). Those who wish to play on their laptop while not exceeding a budget of 400 to 500 Euros (~$528 to $660) should look for one of the many budget laptops with a GT 720M or an HD 8550M.

Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
AMD A4-5000, AMD Radeon HD 8330, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15-b153sg
AMD A4-4355M, AMD Radeon HD 7400G, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
Asus VivoBook S300CA
Intel Core i3-3217U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E135 NZV5YGE
AMD E2-1800, AMD Radeon HD 7340, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
Medion Akoya E7221-MD98297
Intel Pentium 2020M, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
Dead Space 3
1024x768 Low Preset4443
-2%
37.3
-15%
42
-5%
Fifa 13
1366x768 High AA:2xMS3722
-41%
29
-22%
Diablo III
1024x768 Low / off2934
17%
39.6
37%
Anno 2070
1024x768 Low Preset3333
0%
32.4
-2%
29
-12%
StarCraft 2
1024x768 low5196
88%
Mass Effect 3
1280x720 all off1814.8
Total Average (Program / Settings)
12% / 12%
7% / 7%
-12% / -12%
-14% / -14%
low med.high ultra
StarCraft 2 (2010) 512419fps
Anno 2070 (2011) 331510fps
Diablo III (2012) 291915fps
Fifa 13 (2012) 915237fps
Dead Space 3 (2013) 441612fps

Emissions

How we test - Emissions

System Noise

Fan vents
Fan vents

The fan is almost always audible and will only deactivate for brief stretches of time if ambient conditions are cool enough, but it could be a lot worse. 31.5 dB(A) while idle will in most cases be blocked out by ambient noise.

The fan rotates slowly, making it very well suited for office usage with its long idle phases. The hard drive remains equally quiet with around 31.5 dB(A), so that we can barely make it out when the fan is active.

During our combined CPU and GPU stress test, the Toshiba Satellite gets as loud as 36 dB(A). While playing games or using 3DMark 2006, 33.5 dB(A) are reached. In both cases, the cooling system is always active without slowing down or spinning up. All of these values are quite decent, but then again, this is what we have expected to see in the case of such a low-power laptop.

Noise Level

Idle 31.3 / 31.3 / 31.6 dB(A)
HDD 31.5 dB(A)
DVD 36.3 / dB(A)
Load 33.5 / 35.9 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test: CPU@1.5 GHz, GPU@496 MHz, 60 degrees Celsius
Stress test: CPU@1.5 GHz, GPU@496 MHz, 60 degrees Celsius
Prime95 CPU stress test: CPU@1.5 GHz, 61 degrees Celsius
Prime95 CPU stress test: CPU@1.5 GHz, 61 degrees Celsius

While idle, the laptop barely exceeds 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 Fahrenheit, both on top and beneath the base unit), thanks to the combination of a low voltage CPU and an always-on fan system. Under continuous full load (combined CPU and GPU stress test), nothing much changes. Occasionally, up to 32 or 34 degrees (89.6 or 93.2 Fahrenheit) are reached; with an average value just 2 degrees above that while the laptop is idle.

During the stress test, the CPU is constantly clocked at 1.5 GHz (no turbo), with a moderate maximum temperature of just 61 degrees Celsius (141.8 Fahrenheit). The GPU remains at its maximum clock speed of 496 MHz (no turbo either). Thus, throttling is no issue for the AMD APU, allowing both the CPU and the GPU to access their full performance.

 26.8 °C27.7 °C28.3 °C 
 26.6 °C28.5 °C28.3 °C 
 27 °C28.8 °C30.1 °C 
Maximum: 30.1 °C
Average: 28 °C
28.1 °C27.2 °C27.1 °C
27.9 °C29.6 °C28.2 °C
28.8 °C31.3 °C27.3 °C
Maximum: 31.3 °C
Average: 28.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  33.6 °C | Room Temperature 26 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

The C50D comes with stereo speakers positioned above the keyboard. They are incapable of getting loud, being dominated by their highs and sounding tinny instead (especially when trying to be loud). Music just sounds plain thin, leading to a very disappointing performance (even for a low-end office laptop).

Energy Management

How we test - Battery Life

Power Consumption

Since the APU is no high-performer, does this at least lead to low levels of power consumption? It does. We measure no more than 5 to 11 Watts (Intel: 6 to 11 Watts) while idle and 18 to 23 Watts (plus charging, if necessary) under full load. Intel-based laptops such as the Lenovo G500s require 31 to 37 Watts under full load - which should not come as a surprise, given that it uses a Pentium 2020M with a TDP of 35 Watts instead of the 15 Watts of our test system. The C50D takes the lead in almost all power consumption measurements. Thus, the power adapter (45 Watts) almost feels oversized, but this does of course help in recharging more quickly.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.4 Watt
Idle 4.9 / 8.4 / 10.8 Watt
Load 18.3 / 22.5 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 960
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
AMD A4-5000, AMD Radeon HD 8330, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
Samsung Serie 3 355E5C-S02DE
AMD E2-1800, AMD Radeon HD 7470M, Hitachi Travelstar 5K750 HTS547575A9E384
Lenovo G500s-59367693
Intel Pentium 2020M, Intel HD Graphics (Ivy Bridge), Seagate Momentus Thin ST500LT0 12-9WS142
Asus VivoBook S300CA
Intel Core i3-3217U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
HP Pavilion Sleekbook TouchSmart 15-b153sg
AMD A4-4355M, AMD Radeon HD 7400G, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380
3DMark 06
1280x1024 Standard AA:0x AF:0x29423537
20%
2968
1%
3356
14%
2931
0%
Power Consumption
-79%
-33%
-30%
-23%
Idle Minimum *4.99.7
-98%
6.3
-29%
5.9
-20%
6.9
-41%
Idle Average *8.414
-67%
8.5
-1%
10.0
-19%
9
-7%
Idle Maximum *10.815.3
-42%
10.7
1%
10.2
6%
10.1
6%
Load Average *18.335.2
-92%
31.4
-72%
30.9
-69%
26.6
-45%
Load Maximum *22.543.9
-95%
37.3
-66%
33.0
-47%
29.3
-30%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-30% / -62%
-16% / -28%
-8% / -23%
-12% / -20%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

This is where the C50D is truly capable of shining, especially for a 400 Euro (~$528) 15-inch laptop. During our Wi-Fi browsing test (which comes close to real-life usage patterns, with a script opening websites every 40 seconds, some of them with video playback), we measure 7 hours of battery life from the 48 Wh battery when the display is set to its second-brightest value of 143 cd/m² (center).

DVD playback went on for 3:29 hours with maximum display brightness. Great: During the demanding Battery Eater Classic Test, the laptop held its own for 2:41 hours. In contrast, Lenovo's G500S (Pentium 2020M) does not survive for more than 1:09 hours under full load despite its similarly sized 41 Wh battery. During the Wi-Fi test, the G500S yields a battery runtime of just 3:14 hours.

48 Wh battery
48 Wh battery
Idle: 583 min.
Idle: 583 min.
Full load: 161 min.
Full load: 161 min.
DVD playback: 209 min,
DVD playback: 209 min,
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 43min
WiFi Surfing
7h 08min
DVD
3h 29min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 41min

Verdict

Great battery life, low power consumption, superb ergonomics and a usable keyboard. These are the major strengths of the Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E - but unfortunately, they also equate to the only strengths of this 400 Euro (~$528) laptop.

The performance of the quad-core APU is rather decent when compared to Intel's Pentium (standard voltage) or older (Sandy Bridge) Core i3 systems, especially so during parallelized applications. Unfortunately, our system benchmark results did not agree, being crushed by those of their Intel competitors. Games will only barely be playable, no matter how many cores AMD uses.

The display comes with mediocre viewing angles at best. Its build quality is unsatisfactory, the entire device, being made from plastic, does not feel sturdy at all. Then again, performance geeks will never be happy with a device at this price point and other manufacturers struggle as well to use a decent display panel (most come with a more or less strong bluish tint, as does the Satellite C50D). Although Toshiba's laptop does have its strengths - as mentioned above - there are a number of compromises to be accepted: Many similar-priced laptops come with (slightly) better build quality, (slightly) better speakers, better touchpads and with Gigabit Ethernet.

One minor issue we had with our test device: From time to time, the display did not wake up from standby, even though the laptop was running (fans and HDD were active). Whether hitting any key, closing it and opening it again or pressing the power button, none did any good necessitating a hard reboot by pressing the power button for a long time. At least, this error could not be reproduced so that we do not expect this to be an issue for all C50D devices.

Those who mostly work inside while looking for a very quiet laptop that lasts almost a whole day on a charge (or does not consume much power when plugged in) might be happy with the Satellite C50D-A-10E. Browsing the web, using MS Office - the basics work out well. Those who are in need of better performance might want to look elsewhere. Laptops with a standard voltage Core i3 CPU do not cost much more. Lenovo's G500s with a Core i3 2348M and a 500 GB HDD (59372562) can be had for approximately 440 Euros (~$580), barely more than what the Pentium version costs.

 

 

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In Review: Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E (PSCGWE-00C00UGR); provided by Toshiba Germany.
In Review: Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E (PSCGWE-00C00UGR); provided by Toshiba Germany.

Specifications

Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E

:: Processor
AMD A4-5000 1.5 GHz
:: Mainboard
AMD Yangtze
:: Memory
4096 MB, 2 Slots, 1x4 GB, PC3-12800, maximal 16 GB
:: Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon HD 8330, Core: 500 MHz, Shared Memory up to 2042 MB @4 GB; up to 8186 MB @16 GB
:: Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, LG Display LP156WH4 TLN2, TN LED, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
Toshiba MQ01ABF050, 500 GB , 370 GB free
:: Soundcard
HD Audio
:: Connections
2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Line In, Line Out, Card Reader: SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro,
:: Networking
Atheros AR8172/8176/8178 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller (10/100MBit), Realtek RTL8188E Wireless LAN 802.11n PCI-E NIC (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
TSSTcorp CDDVDW SU-208DB
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 33.35 x 380 x 242
:: Weight
2.184 kg Power Supply: 0.23 kg
:: Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4200 mAh 10.8 V
Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 6 h
:: Price
400 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 0,9 MP 1280x720, Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: 102 keys, with numpad, Keyboard Light: no, DTS Sound, McAfee Internet Security (30-day trial version), 1-month trial version for the new Microsoft Office 365), TOSHIBA Desktop Assist /Display Utility / Eco Utility / Function Key / Media Player by sMedio TrueLink+ / PC Health / System Settings, 12 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
Toshiba's entry-level laptops are branded as the C series.
Toshiba's entry-level laptops are branded as the C series.
The Satellite C50D-A-10E is indeed an entry-level laptop in almost all regards.
The Satellite C50D-A-10E is indeed an entry-level laptop in almost all regards.
The 15.6-inch display is bright enough, but it is also highly reflective (which is not good when used outdoors).
The 15.6-inch display is bright enough, but it is also highly reflective (which is not good when used outdoors).
The rather slow-office system is powered by a quad-core, the AMD A4-5000 (4x 1:50 GHz)
The rather slow-office system is powered by a quad-core, the AMD A4-5000 (4x 1:50 GHz)
That's basically it - the graphics card has been integrated into the APU (a Radeon HD 8330).
That's basically it - the graphics card has been integrated into the APU (a Radeon HD 8330).
The plastic chassis is no master stroke.
The plastic chassis is no master stroke.
Neither base unit nor lid feel sturdy.
Neither base unit nor lid feel sturdy.
Few connectivity options, with just a bad HD webcam ...
Few connectivity options, with just a bad HD webcam ...
...and only one USB 3.0 port.
...and only one USB 3.0 port.
The SD card reader is located at the front, making it easily accessible.
The SD card reader is located at the front, making it easily accessible.
The design does not give a quality impression ...
The design does not give a quality impression ...
...this doesn't look different when opened.
...this doesn't look different when opened.
Bad build quality: The display frame sports varying degrees of clearances.
Bad build quality: The display frame sports varying degrees of clearances.
The power button is easily recognizable - all Satellite laptops come with the same design.
The power button is easily recognizable - all Satellite laptops come with the same design.
It is surrounded by a glowing circle.
It is surrounded by a glowing circle.
Despite the laptop's matte surfaces, fingerprints can easily be seen.
Despite the laptop's matte surfaces, fingerprints can easily be seen.
The small power adapter provides 45 Watts.
The small power adapter provides 45 Watts.
The 48 Wh battery offers up to 583 minutes of running time (while idle).
The 48 Wh battery offers up to 583 minutes of running time (while idle).
The maintenance hatch is easily opened.
The maintenance hatch is easily opened.
Beneath, the RAM modules, the HDD and the CMOS battery can be accessed.
Beneath, the RAM modules, the HDD and the CMOS battery can be accessed.
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E: Unfortunately only with a glossy panel, as is often the case with low-end laptops.
Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E: Unfortunately only with a glossy panel, as is often the case with low-end laptops.

Similar Laptops

Similar devices from a different Manufacturer

Devices with the same GPU

» Review Lenovo IdeaPad S215 59372287 Subnotebook
A-Series A4-5000, 11.6", 1.3 kg
» Review Toshiba Satellite C70D-A-10L Notebook
A-Series A4-5000, 17.3", 2.7 kg
» Review HP Pavilion 15-n050sg Notebook
A-Series A4-5000, 15,6", 2.28 kg
» Review Toshiba Satellite C75D-A7286 Notebook
A-Series A4-5000, 17.3", 2.64 kg

Links

Price Check

Pro

+Quiet and cool
+Decent keyboard
+Low power consumption rate
+Great battery life
+Superb Wi-Fi reception
 

Cons

-Strong bluish tint (display)
-Weak viewing angles, reflections
-Low-quality touchpad
-Cheap-looking plastics chassis without much torsion resistance
-No Gigabit Ethernet
-Horrible speakers

Shortcut

What we like

So silent, so cool, so economical. The C50D-A-10E can just keep running without ever drawing a lot of power. Seven hours of real-life usage time are quite a lot for a $530-device.

What we'd like to see

A better touchpad, more stability and better build quality as well as brighter, matte display.

What surprises us

The low heat generation rate of the new APU - we barely measured any difference between the idle and high-performance states.

The competition

Up to $590 (some Core i3 models can be found in this segment); the exact test configuration mentioned in the following links may differ from that tested in our reviews.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E530c, Pentium 2020M, 320 GB (NZY72GE)

Lenovo IdeaPad P585, AMD A6-4400M, 750 GB (MA773GE)

Lenovo G580AH, Pentium B960, 320 GB (59373704)

Lenovo G500s, Core i3-2348M, 500 GB (59372562)

Lenovo IdeaPad N581, Core i5-3230M, 500 GB (MBA96GE)

Medion Akoya E6234, Pentium B960, 500 GB (30015960)

Acer Aspire E1-572-34014G50Dnkk (NX.M8EEG.012)

Acer TravelMate P253-M-33124G75Mnk (NX.V7VEG.020)

ASUS F550CA-XX078D (90NB00U2-M12030), Pentium 2117U

ASUS ASUSPRO Essential P55VA-SO054D, Pentium 2020M

HP Compaq Presario CQ58-311SG (D9T63EA), Celeron B830

HP Pavilion g6-2241sg (C4V46EA), Core i5 3210M

Fujitsu Lifebook AH532, Core i3-3110M, 500GB (AH532M63B7DE)

Toshiba Satellite C55-A, Pentium 2020M

Toshiba Satellite C855-2J1 (PSCBWE-0JG00WGR), Pentium B960

Toshiba Satellite Pro C850-1K0 (PSCBXE-02E00KGR), Core i3 3120M

MSI CX61-i330M245FD Pro  (0016GB11-SKU10)

Acer Aspire E1-531-B9608G50Mnks, Pentium B960

Samsung ATIV Book 2 - 270E5E, Pentium 2117U, 500 GB (NP270E5E-K03DE)

Wortmann Terra Mobile 1512, Celeron 1037U, 1 TB (1220271)

HP Pavilion Sleekbook 15-b114sg (D8Q52EA), Core i5 3337U

HP 650, Pentium 2020M, 320 GB (H5K65EA)

Packard Bell EasyNote TE11-HC-32328G50Mnks (NX.C0ZEG.082) Core i3-3110M

Sony Vaio SVE-1512H6E/B black, Core i3-3110M

Samsung 300E5C, Core i3-3110M, 500 GB (NP300E5C-A09DE)

Ratings

Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E
11/19/2013 v4
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
55 / 98 → 56%
Keyboard
80%
Pointing Device
60%
Connectivity
71%
Weight
85 / 67 → 100%
Battery
90%
Display
72%
Games Performance
61 / 85 → 72%
Application Performance
75%
Temperature
94%
Noise
93%
Add Points
+65%
Average
75%
75%
Office *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Toshiba Satellite C50D-A-10E Notebook
Author: Sebastian Jentsch, 2013-09- 5 (Update: 2013-09- 8)