Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-B-12U review

A no-nonsense machine up against some tough competition

Toshiba Satellite Pro R50-B-12U
Toshiba's newest business notebook

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Toshiba Satellite Pro R50's case

R50 case

Toshiba's system concentrates on good ergonomic design, which is why it's got a good keyboard and trackpad built inside a sturdy frame. That will help this system excel as a work laptop, and the Core i5 processor will help with general office software, too, even if it lacks the grunt to take on more demanding applications.

In other departments, though, this system disappoints. The screen quality is poor, battery life is middling, and its all-black chassis doesn't exactly set the pulse racing.

We liked

Toshiba knows the business market, so it's no surprise that it's concentrated on the practical aspects of the R50's design. Build quality is consistently good, and the keyboard and trackpad both have the quality required to get serious work done.

The R50 is slim and light, too, although it's design isn't much cop – this isn't a laptop for turning heads, and both of its rivals are better-looking.

Performance isn't anything to shout about, either, but the Core i5 processor provides enough grunt to get modest jobs done.

We disliked

The R50's modest budget means this is a dull-looking laptop, but that's not the only area that's suffered.

The screen lacks the colour accuracy, contrast and resolution for any sort of serious work, which means that the Dell is the easy winner in this category. Battery life is fine but no outstanding, and the Core i5 processor is only capable of handling mid-range work tasks – for anything more demanding the Dell Inspiron 15 7000's Core i7 would be a better bet.

Final verdict

The Toshiba's good ergonomics, reasonable build quality and Core i5 processor make it a solid business notebook, but the R50 does little to stand out. The display is poor, battery life is average, and that Core i5 chip won't handle applications in the same way as the Dell's Core i7. That Dell is a better option if you've got more cash to spend, and the HP Envy 15 x360 is better-looking. Only buy the R50 if you need a mid-range machine and you're content without it turning heads.

Mike has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has written for most of the UK’s big technology titles alongside numerous global outlets. He loves PCs, laptops and any new hardware, and covers everything from the latest business trends to high-end gaming gear.