The best part about the new Atom N550 Toshiba NB550D netbook is that there is no Intel Atom processor inside. It boasts the AMD Fusion chip that has AMD c50 and ATi Radeon HD 6250M GPU. AMD has lots of faith in the platform and believes it is great for the netbooks that are often criticised for lack of horsepower.
Build quality seems to be strong and it should survive life in an office bag with few worries. The lid has a honeycomb design and comes in variety of covers. Thanks to AMD C-50 1GHz processor, multi tasking and web browsing was a joy. Pages loaded quickly and there is almost no delay when jumping from one task to another. I did the 720p YouTube video test and it played back the who trailer smoothly. However, the GPU was not able to handle the 1080p YouTube videos. Locally stored 720p and 1080p videos played back fine though. Just like the Toshiba NB520 netbook (dual core Atom N550), that was launched last month, the NB550D also comes with nice Harman / Kardon speakers. The sounds are great and it even has some bass – something totally lacking in all the netbooks out there. Moving away from Atom processor allowed the Toshiba to equip the NB550D with 2GB RAM which means more room to run apps concurrently and less paging. The screen size is 10.1-inch that packs 1024×600 which is found in all netbooks out there. The screen is bright and easy on the eyes.
Now, let’s talk about the keyboard. I have used Toshiba NB305 in the past and it truly had the best netbook keyboard I’d ever used. Same, unfortunately, cannot be said about this AMD powered netbook. The keys are cramped and I was making way too many typos. The right shift key has been shrunken down to make space for the page up and page down keys. Mouse buttons feel great and don’t require a lot of pressure to register a mouse click. All-in-all, the Toshiba NB550D is a very promising machine and packs a lot of power. Just don’t plan to type a novel on it and you will love it.
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