Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15: Performance

October 8, 2015 by Charles P Jefferies Reads (69,389)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 6
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 6
    • Usability
    • 8
    • Design
    • 7
    • Performance
    • 7
    • Features
    • 8
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 7.00
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Performance

Our Satellite Fusion 15 review unit (model L55W-C5259) has an improved configuration compared to the base model. By comparison, our review model has a full HD display (1920×1080 pixels) over the regular HD display (1366×768); a 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200U processor instead of the base 2.1GHz Core i3-5015U; 8GB of RAM instead of 6GB; and a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD) in place of a 500GB hard drive. It is overall well configured for most usage scenarios, including demanding tasks like photo editing. The integrated Intel HD 5500 graphics have ample power for flash-based games and 1080p video playback, but aren’t enough for today’s 3D titles. The SSD in our review unit made the system feel extremely responsive and produced sub-15 second startup times, but 128GB is quite small space-wise and may not fit all your music and documents.

The Fusion 15 is offered with a slightly faster Core i7-5500U processor, though the difference between it and our review unit’s Core i5-5200U should be minimal. Configurations are also available with more RAM (up to 16GB) and larger storage options (up to a 1TB hard drive).

front 3Our Toshiba Satellite Fusion 15 (L55W-C5259) has the following technical specifications:

  • 15.6-inch touch display (1920×1080 resolution, IPS panel, glossy surface)
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Intel Core i5-5200U dual-core processor (2.2GHz, up to 2.7GHz Turbo Boost, 3MB cache, 15W TDP)
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics 5500 w/ shared memory
  • 8GB DDR3L-1600 RAM (2x 4GB; 16GB max. supported – 2x 8GB)
  • 128GB M.2 SSD (SAMSUNG MZNLN128HCGR)
  • No internal optical drive
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
  • Integrated Bluetooth 4.1
  • Integrated 720p webcam
  • 3-cell 45Wh battery
  • Dimensions: 14.9″ x 9.6″ x 0.9″
  • Weight: 5.1 lbs.
  • Starting Price: $549.99
  • Price as tested: $799.99

Benchmarks

wPrime processor comparison results (listed in seconds – lower scores mean better performance):
fusionwprimechart

PCMark8 Home (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for general activities from web browsing and video streaming to typing documents and playing games (higher scores mean better performance):
fusionpc8homechart

PCMark8 Work (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for work-related productivity tasks (higher scores mean better performance):
fusionpc8workchart

3DMark 11 is a benchmark that measures overall graphics card performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
fusion3d11chart

CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:
CDM

Heat and Noise

bottomThere are two openings on the back of the Fusion 15’s chassis: facing the back of the chassis, the opening on the left is the air intake and the opening on the right is the exhaust. The air intake is covered by a small dust guard. The fan was rarely on during normal usage scenarios such as surfing the web and office productivity. It has a noticeable whine at all speeds when it does turn on, though isn’t noticeable at its lowest speed in all but the quietest rooms. The fan gets marginally louder at high speed but is still quiet enough to be ignored in most situations. We’d prefer there to be no fan whine at all, however.

The chassis remained cool all over no matter what we were doing.

Battery Life

We use Futuremark’s Powermark benchmark software in Balanced mode with about 50 percent screen brightness to test battery life. This test runs a combination of automated web browsing, office productivity, video playback, and gaming workloads to more accurately simulate battery life. The results from this test should be considered a worst-case scenario.

With a time of three hours, 38 minutes, the Fusion 15 has only average battery life for a 15.6″ notebook. This translates to a time between five and six hours under a less demanding usage scenario with reduced screen brightness – remember, the numbers from this test are about as low as you’ll see. This would have been an impressive time for a notebook this size many years ago, but doesn’t quite measure up today.

Powermark battery life benchmark (higher score means longer battery life):
fusionpowerchart

Power Adapter

The Fusion 15’s 45W power adapter is notable because of its small size. The brick is compact and light; including the power cords, the whole setup weighs only a half pound. The cords end-to-end including the length of the brick total 12 feet – that’s about two feet longer than we’re used to seeing. The power connector has two prongs. The power brick became warm under standard usage and hot while charging the notebook, which is expected.


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