October 25, 2012
- Convertible tablet design
- Very fast boot times
- Responsive touch-screen
- Speedy performance
- Short battery life
- Poor keyboard design
- Slightly heavy for a tablet
With the release of Windows 8 only a day away, there are many new computers coming to market including the Toshiba Satellite U925t. While it may look like a laptop, it's also a tablet because the keyboard slides under the 12.5-inch touch screen. You also get a speedy solid-state hard drive and very fast boot times.
The new Windows 8 operating system is definitely designed with touch and tablet-based computers in mind, so it's no surprise that we are seeing these type of convertible laptop/tablets hit the market.
We like the overall design of the Toshiba Satellite U925t, especially its soft-touch rubberized bottom that helps keep a solid hold on the device. It measures 12.8 x 8.4 x 0.75-inches (wdh) and weighs 3.2-pounds. While it may seem lightweight for a laptop, it is heavy for a tablet, especially if you try to carry it around with you in your hands for awhile.
The 12.5-inch display has a native resolution of 1366 x 768-pixels, which is below that of the Dell XPS 12. The brightness also seemed to be less than the XPS 12 and other ultrabook laptops. We did like, however, the viewing angles and color quality. To use the U925t in tablet mode, just slide down the screen to cover the keyboard and to use it like a laptop, slide the display forward and tilt it up. This process is not quite as easy as the Dell XPS 12, which just flips around within its bezel. The display is made of Gorilla Glass so it's extra strong, but we still wouldn't leave it exposed while in a backpack or bag for fear of scratches.
We found the touch-screen to be very responsive and worked very well, especially with the new Windows 8 gestures. It definitely made using the touch-based Windows 8 interface more pleasing than with a traditional mouse.
The keyboard that Toshiba choose was slightly undersized and shallower than we would have hoped. While typing, we made some typing errors mostly due to the small key size and layout. At least the display is backlit, which is a huge plus. The touchpad is extremely small, so the touchscreen will probably be used for a lot of your navigation within Windows.
Toshiba's port selection includes two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI-out, a headphone jack and an SD card slot. There's no Ethernet, so the 802.11n Wi-Fi is your only way of connecting to the Internet.
The U925t is powered by an Intel Core i5-3317U (1.7GHz) CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB Samsung solid-state hard drive and Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics. In benchmark testing, it performed very well. PCMark 7 scored 4,434, which is about 1,000 points higher than the ultraportable laptop category. The Samsung SSD and optimized Windows 8 provided very speedy boot times much to our liking (about 12 seconds).
Graphics performance with the integrated Intel graphics, on the other hand, was below average. However, we didn't expect much in this category anyway.
Battery life maxed out at around 5-hours, which is over an hour less than the ultraportable category average. For a notebook that touts itself as being made for portability, we expected much more.