We go hands-on with Toshiba's very wide-looking ultrabook.
This time last year, ultrabooks were a totally new concept. First announced by Intel at Computex 2011, we had yet to be inundated with offerings from every manufacturer under the sun. Since then, we've seen an awful lot of ultra portable notebooks. Between CES, CeBIT and Computex, they're all starting to look the same. However, earlier this month, Toshiba surprised us with the unveiling of an ultrabook packing a 21:9 display.
Toshiba gave us the chance to go hands on with the Satellite U845W/U840W earlier on today at an event in Toronto. Obviously, the defining feature of this notebook is its wide 1792x768 14-inch LCD display. To help you make the best use of this display, the U845W/U840W (outside of the U.S. market, including in Canada and Europe, it will be sold as the U840W) boasts several pre-configured and customizable viewpoint grids for arranging multiple application windows on your desktop. After selecting the arrangement you want from the list (or designing your own), you drag the windows into the approximate positions and hit Toshiba's special 'refit windows' button. This will resize your windows and align them with the grid you selected.
Here's the U840W next to Toshiba's U840, a more traditional offering with a 14-inch 1366 x 748 display:
The U840W packs Intel's latest third generation Core i-series of processors, Intel HD 4000 graphics, an LED backlit keyboard, harman/kardon speakers, Toshiba's Sleep & Music technology, up to 6GB of RAM, a hybrid storage solution comprised of a 500GB HDD with a 32GB SSD, three USB 3.0 ports, standard HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, and an eight hour battery life. The casing is constructed of machined aluminum, with a soft-grip rubberized material on the base as well as the palm rests and a portion of the laptop's lid.
Toshiba is pushing this machine as an entertainment and productivity machine with enough screen real estate for multitasking and a sound system and widescreen aspect ratio worthy of blockbuster movies. Pricing for the U840W will start at $1099.99 CAD, which is a bit more than the $999 USD starting price we heard when its American counterpart, the U845W, was revealed at Computex earlier this month. We're still waiting to hear a specific release date for the Canadian market, but, last we heard, this machine was hitting the U.S. on July 15. We'll keep you posted on the release.