/// Toshiba’s Widescreen Ultrabook: Head-Scratching, but Good for Multitasking

September 10, 2012  |  All Things Digital

Let’s face it: Most Ultrabooks look alike. When browsing through rows of these tapered, lightweight laptops in a Best Buy, many consumers wouldn’t see much of a difference between models. So, in an effort to stand out from the pack, Toshiba has introduced an eye-catching, ultra-widescreen Ultrabook. Its display is much wider than it is tall, with a 21 by 9 aspect ratio — wider than even the rectangular, 16 by 9 aspect ratio that has become standard for most HD TVs. Called the Toshiba Satellite U845W, this laptop, with its extra screen real estate, is aimed at heavy media consumers and multitaskers. It measures 14.5 inches by 7.9 inches, and is .83 of an inch thick. At four pounds, it’s substantially heavier than the 2.96-pound MacBook Air, but in line with some other Ultrabooks. It felt surprisingly lightweight when it was open and resting on my lap. [ See post to watch video ] The Satellite U845W hit the market in late July. The base model, which has a mid-level Intel chip, comes with a 500 gigabyte hard drive plus 32GB of solid-state drive and retails for $1,000. The model Toshiba sent me for testing costs $1,500, and has a faster, 256GB solid-state drive and Intel’s third generation Core i7 chip. Both machines are built with 6GB of RAM. While the Satellite U845W was designed with Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system in mind, it’s currently running Windows 7. And, unlike some upcoming Windows 8 laptops, this one lacks a touchscreen. Overall, it’s a solid laptop, with fast processing and boot-up speeds and terrific speakers. I did find the widescreen display to be useful for multitasking, because I was able to view a couple of Web pages side by side on the screen, such as a live video stream next to my Twitter feed. But the design is a little too awkward for my taste. The wide screen feels lopped off at the top, and the laptop doesn’t fit some of my larger purses as well as other Ultrabooks do. Plus, I couldn’t find a ton of video content with a 21:9 aspect ratio to fully enjoy the widescreen experience

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Toshiba’s Widescreen Ultrabook: Head-Scratching, but Good for Multitasking

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