Toshiba Satellite U925t impressions: The best laptablet yet

The best thing about Windows 8 is that everyone is finally rethinking the laptop. For decades, we’ve stuck with clamshell devices that all look roughly the same, but now things are getting a little crazy. Toshiba’s not the first company you think of when someone talks about innovative design, but lately, the manufacturer has been upping its game and delivering some unique products. Hot off the heels of its ultra widescreen laptop, Toshiba has revealed the Satellite U925t, a horribly named, but very cool new tablety, laptopy convertible PC running Windows 8.

There are other companies trying out crazy new designs for Windows 8, which is itself a crazy rethinking of Windows built around touch. Some designs, like the one shown by Samsung yesterday, are quite similar to the U925t, but Toshiba new tablet is less about the gimmick of sliding out a keyboard and more about how much of a benefit it provides. It probably won’t be as thin as some of its competitors, but Toshiba appears to have put build quality first. Holding the U925t in tablet mode is nice. It’s heavier and thicker than an iPad (3.2lbs), but with a 12.5-inch 720p screen, 128GB solid state drive, and new Intel Core i5 processor, it’s in a different league when it comes to power. This is a full PC.

Much like a smartphone QWERTY keyboard, the keyboard and touchpad on the U925t slides out. Once it’s fully extended, you can bend the screen up as far as you want, up to a full 90 degree angle. Unlike many competing laptabs, Toshiba’s appears to have solid hinges and a good sturdy feel to it. You can easily adjust it to any angle you want and it stays in place. There’s nothing worse than spending a grand on a computer only to have the screen flop around. The screen is also made of Gorilla Glass, so you don’t have to worry about breaking it.

Toshiba Satellite U925t - close screenThe hinged screen also has the benefit of being a lot closer to you than a traditional laptop, making the touchscreen more natural to use, and with Windows 8, the only fun way to use it is by touching it.

Common smartphone features like a 3-megapixel rear camera, front camera, NFC, GPS, Bluetooth, an ambient light sensor, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a magnetometer are also present, which should make the U925t a good tablet as well. The keyboard is backlit as well, so typing in the dark won’t be a problem.

Toshiba told me that the Satellite U925t will be available on October 26 when Windows 8 ships, but a price hasn’t been finalized. It will likely retail for a little more than $1,000 — maybe around $1200 or so. 

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