If you’re on a budget and only want to surf and type, this laptop will do the trick. The Satellite C40 is cheap, lightweight and blissfully quiet. Beware of the limited memory, and tiny storage drive that spares less space than many mobile phones.
Toshiba has a most affordable laptop for you if you cannot spend a penny more than £200. In fact you’ll likely get a penny’s change. Like other lowest-budget laptops we’ve tested it’s built out of the cheapest components that together just about runs Windows, with one concession to latest mod-con spec – a brand new 14 nm Intel processor. See also: Best Chromebooks to buy
Toshiba Satellite C40-C-10K: Build and features
This is no Core series chip though but a Celeron-branded N3050 CPU, with all the horsepower of a mobile phone processor. This must rely on just 2GB of memory, further straining the user experience once a few programs are open, while the very limited 32GB flash storage drive means you’re left with less than 10GB of usable space. There’s no easy entry inside so upgrade possibilities are uncertain.
The Satellite C40 has a 14in display, with a highly reflective gloss finish and the standard low resolution of 1366 x768, here giving a slightly improved 112ppi pixel density. In tests it wasn’t the worst we’ve measured, having a contrast ratio of 100:1 and colour gamut of 62 percent of sRGB colour space. Its colour fidelity was poorer though, averaging 8.2 Delta E (where a figure of 1.0 or lower is preferred).
Build quality is serviceable enough, the black plastic chassis and lid having a grained effect, and overall little signs of creaks or flexing. An overall weight of just 1.66 kg makes this a better proposition for your shoulder too.
There’s one high-speed USB 3.0 on the right and two older USB 2.0 to the left, and you can connect a display with its HDMI port. Bear in mind that, as with most modern budget laptops, there’s no CD / DVD drive.
Toshiba Satellite C40-C-10K review: Performance
The new dual-core Intel processor is built for power economy, and despite the small 32Wh fixed battery this Satellite was still orbiting after six hours of film playback (6 hr 02 min) in our HD video-over-Wi-Fi test. That’s great considering the price.
Just don’t expect much performance in heavier tasks than web browsing and text editing. Geekbench rated the processor and memory with 919 points, and 1671 points multi-core mode. Similarly PCMark 8 returned the lowest numbers we’ve seen – 1177 points (Home, standard), and 1536 with GPU acceleration. That comes just behind the circa-1270 points we found with last season’s Satellite L10W and its Intel Celeron N2840. That chip was clocked at 2.16- rather than 1.6GHz, indicative of how comparable performance is available with slower-looking chips today.
The Batman: Arkham City game warned us on startup that the machine didn’t meet minimum requirements, and sure enough even our lowest-rung bench test (720p, Low detail) only averaged 16 fps.
It may not have the pulling power of even a Core i3 but the C40 does have another commendable quality. There may be a cooling vent on the case side but it seems there’s no cooling fan required. Even under duress the Toshiba remained totally silent.
While the C40 comes with Windows 8.1 (64-bit), it’s eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10. We wouldn’t recommend diving straight in, however, as you may find things run slightly more slowly under the new OS.
Toshiba Satellite C40-C-10K: Specs
- 14.0in (1366 x 768) 112 ppi TN gloss glare display
- 1.6GHz Intel Celeron N3050 (2.16GHz Burst) dual-core
- Intel HD Graphics
- 2GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
- 32GB eMMC (Toshiba 032GE4) SSD
- 802.11n Wi-Fi (Broadcom BCM43142)
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 1x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0
- Kensington Lock Slot
- SD card slot
- stereo speakers
- 0.9Mp webcam
- 3.5mm headset jack
- UK tiled keyboard
- two-button multi-touch trackpad, 92 x 54mm
- 32Wh lithium-ion, non-removable battery
- 45Wh mains adaptor with IEC C5 inlet
- 343 x 243 x 23.5mm