Toshiba expands Ultrabook lineup with 21:9 widescreen laptop

Toshiba Ultrabooks Summer 2012

Toshiba doesn’t tend to release the flashiest or fanciest products around, but lately, its been on a hot streak. In April, it unveiled three new Excite tablets, each with a simple, elegant design and one with an abnormally large form factor. We’re not sure if anyone wants a 13-inch tablet, but if they do, they’ll certainly be buying a Toshiba. With its new Ultrabook lineup, the manufacturer is taking a similarly safe, yet quietly bold approach. 

Though we highly recommend that Toshiba replace whoever is in charge of naming its laptops, its summer Ultrabook lineup consists of three new devices: the updated Portege Z935, the new low-cost Satellite U845, and the super widescreen Satellite U845W. All three will hit shelves in June/July and be priced at $1,000 and down. All three also meet Intel’s Ultrabook specs.

Toshiba Satellite U845W

Toshiba Satellite U845W widescreen Ultrabook

The Satellite U845W is Toshiba’s big gamble. Though it meets Ultrabook specs — meaning it’s thin, has good battery life, and boots quite quickly — the U845W is no ordinary laptop. Instead of a standard widescreen, Toshiba has built this guy with an extremely widescreen, with a full 21:9 aspect ratio; the world’s first laptop with a screen wide enough to fully display a fully widescreen film. We found watching movie trailers and other video to be quite enjoyable on the 14.4-inch super widescreen, which has large speakers on either side, which provide louder sound than I’ve ever heard from a laptop. Toshiba is also positioning this as a multitasker’s dream laptop. New software lets you easily create Window layouts and snap windows into new formations and grids. We’re not sure why Windows doesn’t already have these features, but we like them.

The Satellite U845W has a 500GB hard drive, 32GB or 256GB solid-state drive, 14.4-inch screen with a 1792 x 768 pixel display, up to 8GB of RAM, 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 SD card slot, 1 Ethernet port, runs the newest Intel Core processors, and weighs 3.5lbs (more if you beef it up). It will be released on July 15, 2012 and cost $1,000 and up.

Read our Toshiba Satellite U845W impressions or watch our hands-on video.

Toshiba Satellite U845

Toshiba Satellite U845 Ultrabook laptopThere is nothing remarkable about the Toshiba Satellite U845 except that it has a nearly identical name to its widescreen cousin. The U845 is Toshiba’s most affordable Ultrabook, costing about $750, but still offering Ultrabook specs. It has a 500GB hard drive, 16-32GB solid-state drive, runs the newest Intel Core processors (i3, i5, or i7), 14-inch screen with a 1366 x 768 pixel display, up to 6GB of RAM, 1 USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 SD card slot, 1 Ethernet port, and weighs 4lbs. It will be released on June 24, 2012, and cost $750 and up.

We’ve reviewed the new U845, make sure to check out our full Toshiba Satellite U845 review.

Toshibe Portege Z935

Toshiba Portege Z935 Ultrabook laptopThe Portege Z935 is an updated, but visually unchanged, version of the Portege Z835, Toshiba’s first Ultrabook. It features most of the strengths of its predecessor, but still has a flimsy screen and runs a bit loud. Mostly, it seems like the Portege is still around to make sure Toshiba has an Ultrabook in the $900 price range and one that can compete with other manufacturers on thinness and weight. We recommend you look at other characteristics, but if thin and light are your two most important attributes, the updated Portege Z935 may be worth a look. It weighs about 2.5lbs, supports Intel’s new Core processors, is only 15.9mm thick, has 8-hour battery life, and comes with a solid-state drive. The Toshiba Portégé Z935 will be available on June 24, 2012 and retail for $900 and up.

A solid (state?) lineup

Though we aren’t huge fans of the Portege’s flimsy design, the new Satellite U845 offers an affordable, no-frills Ultrabook to the masses; and the Satellite U845W may be oddly wide, but demonstrates some value. Representatives told us that the widescreen may come in handy as well. For example, if you’re on a flight, the U845W may fit on a tray table better than taller laptops. Cinephiles and those who like to multitask may also find a lot to like.

Overall, it feels like Toshiba has a well-rounded grasp on the current Ultrabook market. Though Windows 8 is on the horizon and these will undoubtedly be among the last Windows 7 laptops Toshiba creates, they are pretty good and shouldn’t disappoint for the prices. We can’t wait to see Toshiba’s first touch-enabled Windows 8 laptops and tablets this fall. It’s becoming a company to watch. 

Product Review

Why spend more? The Yoga Chromebook outdoes most laptops for $600

The Yoga Chromebook features great build quality, a 1080p display, and all-day battery life. All that for $540? That’s right, but there’s one catch.
Computing

Apple MacBook Air vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The MacBook Air was updated with more contemporary components and a more modern design, but is that enough to compete with standouts like Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 detachable tablet?
Computing

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX331UA -- will get the job done without digging too deeply into your pockets.
Deals

Here are the best laptop deals for December 2018

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some holiday shopping for a special someone, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Computing

Windows 10 user activity logs are sent to Microsoft despite users opting out

Windows 10 Privacy settings may not be enough to stop PCs from releasing user activity data to Microsoft. Users discovered that opting out of having their data sent to Microsoft does little to prevent it from being released.
Computing

Intel's discrete graphics will be called 'Xe,' IGP gets Adapative Sync next year

Intel has officially dubbed its discrete graphics product Intel Xe, and the company also provided details about its Gen11 IGP. The latter will include adaptive sync support and will arrive in 2019.
Computing

Intel answers Qualcomm's new PC processors by pairing Core and Atom in 'Foveros'

Intel has announced a new packaging technology called 'Foveros' that makes it easier for the company to place multiple chips together on one package. That includes chips based on different Intel architectures, like Core and Atom.
Computing

Razer’s classic DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse drops to $40 on Amazon

If you're looking to pick up a new gaming mouse for the holidays, Amazon has you covered with this great deal on the classic Razer DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse with customizable buttons, RGB lighting, and a 16,000 DPI optical sensor.
Computing

Intel's dedicated GPU is not far off -- here's what we know

Did you hear? Intel is working on a dedicated graphics card. It's called Arctic Sound and though we don't know a lot about it, we know that Intel has some ex-AMD Radeon graphics engineers developing it.
Computing

Firefox 64 helps keep your numerous tabs under control

Mozilla officially launched Firefox 64 by placing new features into the laps of its users including new tab management abilities, intelligent suggestions, and a task manager for keeping Firefox's power consumption under control.
Computing

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.
Computing

Installing fonts in Windows 10 is quick and easy -- just follow these steps

Want to know how to install fonts in Windows 10? Here's our guide on two easy ways to get the job done, no matter how many you want to add to your existing catalog, plus instructions for deleting fonts.
Computing

Email take-backsies! Gmail's unsend feature is one of its best

Everyone has sent a message they wish they could take back. How great would it be if you could undo that impulsive email? If you're a Gmail user, you can. Here's how to recall an email in Gmail.
Computing

These laptop makers produce the most reliable, quality hardware today

If you want to buy your next laptop based around a specific brand, it helps to know which the best brands of laptops are. This list will give you a good grounding in the most reliable, quality laptop manufacturers today.