Toshiba's latest SMB-friendly offering occupies an awkward middle ground. Its poor usability may turn off power multi-taskers and it's just-not-cheap-enough price tag may drive away the basic email and PowerPoint work crowd. Ultimately, only those users in need of port diversity may find the Tecra A50-C to be a good value for its cost.
For a budget machine, the Tecra A50-C looks and feels like a high-end laptop. In a world of chunky profiles and creaky bases, the Tecra A50-C's clean lines, wood grain-like finish and solid construction stand out. This is a laptop you'd be proud to open up in a client meeting.
Yet despite its expensive looks, the Tecra isn't a laptop you have to treat with kid gloves. It'll weather a fall out of your backpack. It'll socket up with any device, old or new. And it'll run unplugged throughout your whole presentation.
Unfortunately the Tecra A50-C's keyboard does not pass the business-grade test. It lacks feedback, a backlight and a thumbprint reader, all of which are nearly standard laptop fare.
And while its poor display is forgivable, its non-existent multi-touch – in today's iPhone dominated world – is not. The Tecra A50-C could use a little more function and a little less form.
The Toshiba Tecra A50-C can handle most physical challenges. Certainly that is a strong selling point. However, many users don't need a tough laptop. They just need one that works – and works cheaply.
Users who value a great external build and port diversity will love the Tecra A50-C and its budget price. But those who don't will find that there are more budget-friendly options available.