Toshiba NB550D netbook
Toshiba NB550 netbook review: AMD Fusion-powered netbook with HDMI port
- HDMI port, good performance for a netbook, good speakers, good build quality and looks
- Battery life not great, video playback was a little choppy on a Full HD television, touchpad texture was a little too rough, very reflective screen
The Toshiba NB550D netbook uses the AMD Fusion platform to supply good overall performance and better-than-usual multimedia features for a netbook. Its HDMI port allows users to connect it directly to a big-screen TV and its Harmon Kardon speakers produce the best sound we've heard from a netbook to date. We like this netbook a lot, but we wish it had better battery life, a less glossy screen and a slightly smoother touchpad.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The Toshiba NB550D is a netbook unlike many of the netbooks that have come before it. It has a 10.1in glossy screen like most other netbooks on the market, but instead of running an Intel Atom CPU, the NB550D is based on the AMD Fusion APU (accelerated processing unit), which is composed of an AMD C-50 CPU (1GHz) and ATI Radeon HD 6250 graphics. This APU supplies much better overall performance then a typical Intel Atom–based netbook, and it's also competitive (and in some cases faster) than netbooks based on Intel's dual-core Atom CPU.
See how the Toshiba NB550D compared to the AMD-based Dell M101z.
See how the Toshiba NB550D compares to the previous Toshiba NB300 netbook.
The NB550D looks great and feels good to use, despite having speakers located on its palm rest. These speakers are from Harmon Kardon and they are much better than what can usually be found on netbooks. Put it this way: you can actually use them to listen to music and watch movies. We like the overall build quality of the NB550D; it feels sturdy on all sides and its screen is held by strong hinges. The texture of the palm rest (the parts that aren't occupied by the speakers) and the lid feels almost rubber-like, which is good, and the overall design of the netbook is stylish — although the speakers on the palm rest do look ugly. (We'll stop talking about the speakers now, we promise.)
Despite being only a 10.1in netbook, the NB550D is actually a little bigger than a typical netbook, thanks to a deep palm rest and a wider-than-usual bezel around the screen. It has a good size keyboard that is very comfortable to hit; its touchpad is also fairly big (80x40mm), but it has a texture that can sometimes get on your nerves. Around the edges of the netbook, you'll find three USB 2.0 ports, a 10/100 Ethernet port, headphone and microphone jacks and an HDMI port.
It's the HDMI port that sets this netbook apart from others — never has it been easier to plug in your netbook to your big-screen TV and stream video off the Web or watch videos that you've already downloaded. When watching standard-definition content from the NB550D netbook on a 40in Sharp LCD TV there was some slight tearing noticeable in the video, but it wasn't a regular occurrence. Video playback was smooth on the netbook's own screen. By default, the video from the netbook is overscanned on the TV, and there is no scaling feature available in the AMD Catalyst Control Centre software to fit the screen exactly to the TV, which means the Taskbar is hidden from view.
As for performance, the test results we obtained are positive and they show that this netbook is indeed faster than most, even though it only runs at 1GHz and has 1GB of RAM. Compared to the fastest netbook we've seen to date, the Acer Aspire One Happy, the NB550D puts on a great show. It recorded times of 4min 25sec and 4min 54sec in the Blender 3D and iTunes MP3 encoding tests, with the iTunes time being especially fast for a netbook. What this shows is that the NB550D is indeed well suited to performing media tasks, more so than other netbooks on the market. However, you still won't want to use it for encoding media files, as it will still be too slow for most tasks.
The NB550D's hard drive transfer speed was a little slower than expected at 20.19 megabytes per second, but its 3DMark06 score of 1882 is better than we expected to see out of a netbook. It doesn't mean that you can use the netbook for gaming, but it gives it a little more oomph when it comes to processing videos and photos on the screen.
A battery life of 3hr 13min was achieved by the NB550D's 6-cell battery, which isn't a great result when compared to many recent netbooks we've seen, such as the Aspire One Happy and the HP Mini 5103, but you should be able to get more out of it when you enable Eco mode or a custom power profile and a low screen brightness. The screen itself is quite glossy, and reflections can get annoying, but it's bright enough so that you can use the netbook outdoors.
Overall, the NB550D feels sturdy, looks good, it's light and it has good speed for a netbook. The fact that it has an HDMI port should make it appeal to users who want something small that they can plug into their TVs to watch streaming videos or downloads. We just wish it had better battery life, as its performance in our battery test just doesn't stack up well against recent competitors.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
cloudandco Smart Cane
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Micro
Google Daydream View VR Headset
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Xbox One X
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Lenovo ThinkPad celebrates 25 years of cutting edge technology
- Crowdfunding campaign to bring wireless charging to the Macbook
- Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixelbook, Google Home Mini & Max: Everything Announced At Today’s Google Event
- MSI GE73 7RF VR Raider Gaming Laptop: Full, in-depth review
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- The Best Australian Black Friday Tech Deals That Aren't On Amazon
- Wolfenstein The New Colossus Review: a Nazi-stomping shooter that's more than the sum of its parts
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- TPContracting Specialist - Procurement AssociateNSW
- FTChange Manager, SAPConnect TransformationOther
- FTSenior Change ManagerACT
- FTSoftware EngineerSA
- FTApplication ArchitectOther
- FTService Desk Consultant - Part TimeOther
- FTFront End Developer - Java FocusedACT
- CCBusiness Process Analyst (Green Belt)NSW
- TPProject Manager - Pre Sales Development ProcessNSW
- FTManager, Platform Wealth OperationsOther
- CCField Services EngineerQLD
- CCDelivery Lead - Process Transformation (Six Sigma) - Telco in Pennant HIllsNSW
- FTEllipse DeveloperQLD
- CCAutomation Test Analyst - Regression TestingNSW
- FTSenior Field Services Telecommunication RiggerACT
- TPSystems Analyst / TesterVIC
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- FTIT Security Support OfficersOther
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTSolution Manager - SAPOther
- FTSenior Technical Engineer - MacVIC
- TPBusiness Process Improvement AnalystNSW
- TPieMR Program Director - Gold CoastQLD
- FTSenior Project Manager, Facilities & Asset ManagementOther
- FTDigital BAOther