First impressions of Toshiba’s new 14-inch Ultrabook prototype

Having arrived early to the Ultrabook party with the Z830 series this fall, Toshiba moved on to bigger notebooks at CES 2012 with a new 14-inch model, which debuted Monday.

Unlike Toshiba’s 13-incher, which wore a Portege badge, the 14-inch will actually come branded as a Satellite – the company’s banner for less portable, more full-featured notebooks. Designers also gave it a smoother, less angular design, and swapped magnesium alloy for aluminum, which is slightly heavier but had a nice durable feel and surprisingly effective anti-smudge coating. At 0.78 inches deep, it’s also a bit thicker than the Portege Z830, which measures in at 0.63 inches.

Following in the steps of many Ultrabook competitors – and MacBook Air imitators – Toshiba also expanded the touchpad and switched to a buttonless design, which felt spacious but might need a bit more tweaking before it works as seamlessly as others we’ve tried.

The 14-inch Ultrabook will debut in May or June, but Toshiba hasn’t yet announced pricing information.

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