Toshiba Satellite C40-C review: Cheap, but not nasty

£200
Price when reviewed

The netbook is well and truly back, with the HP Stream 11 representing the best-value Windows laptop you can buy. Not to be outdone, Toshiba regularly shows off what it calls Cloudbooks, which are super-cheap netbook-style devices that assume you will store all of your files in the cloud instead of locally. The Satellite C40-C is just one of these.

Sadly, the offer of a year’s free Microsoft Office 365 is absent, something both HP and Asus were able to do last year. Still, what you get with the Satellite C40-C is a large, light laptop with bargain-basement components for an almost offensively low price – and it’s not half bad, either.

Despite being cheaper than the HP Pavilion x2, you get an extra four inches of screen – 14in in total – and an improved 1,366 x 768 resolution. Text and images have room, so everything feels a little more comfortable. There aren’t quite enough pixels to fit two windows side by side and work effectively in both, but you could snap a Twitter feed or other column-based apps to the left or right of your screen and still have room to work on a document. The screen has a glossy coating, which does suffer a little under the scorching British sun. However, on those rare cloudy days, it’s perfectly usable, even if you’re trying to save power by turning the brightness down.

Toshiba Satellite C40-C review: Battery life 

You won’t need to be too proactive with your battery saving, though, as the dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3050 only sips at the battery even when you’re pushing it to the limit, with a TDP of 6W. This helped the C40-C record a score of 7hrs 16mins in the looping-video battery test, and it achieved even better results with non-media tasks. This, plus the C40-C’s reasonable 1.7kg weight, makes it a superb companion on the road, and a worthy second device if your home laptop is too bulky to travel with.

Build quality is impressive for the price, with a stylish black, brushed-metal-style texture on the keyboard tray and lid. It feels solid, although if you push hard enough you will see the plastic flex. The keyboard is responsive, if not the most satisfying to type on, while the touchpad and attached buttons are sensitive and willing to obey various multi-fingered gestures, such as scrolling with two fingers. 

You get only one USB 3 port and two more USB 2 connectors for peripherals, along with a full-sized HDMI output and an SD card reader to supplement the meagre 32GB of built-in storage. There’s no Ethernet port, so you’ll have to rely on the single-band 802.11n Wi-Fi.

Toshiba Satellite C40-C review: Verdict

Of course, you don’t get an awful lot of grunt for multimedia tasks with such a low TDP, as our tough photo and video benchmarks prove. An overall score of 7 is a warning to those who edit photos in the field – you’ll spend an awful lot of time twiddling your thumbs. 

If you’re in the market for a budget laptop for lightweight work on the go, however, the Toshiba Satellite C40-C merits serious consideration. It may not be powerful, but its long battery life, decent build quality and near-unbeatable price will win over many.

Got a bit more money to spend? Make sure you check out our list of the best laptops of 2015 as well

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