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Toshiba Satellite U925t-S2300

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Toshiba Satellite U925t

Toshiba Satellite U925t

©Toshiba

The Bottom Line

Mar 6 2013 - Toshiba tried to offer a unique hybrid laptop experience with the Satellite U925t but it just has a few too many small faults or just doesn't quite compare for price and features against most of the other hybrids available. About the best thing going for it is the fast boot times and data loads from its solid state drive. Beyond this, it has less resolution, lower running times, more noise and a keyboard and trackpad that just aren't as good as its competition.

Pros

  • IPS Touchscreen Display Offers Good Response and Wide Viewing Angles
  • Fast Solid State Drive Performance

Cons

  • Display Is Exposed Even When Closed
  • Subpar Trackpad and Keyboard
  • Below Average Battery Life

Description

  • Intel Core i5-3317U Dual Core Processor
  • 4GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
  • 128GB Solid State Drive
  • 12.5" WXGA (1366x768) Multitouch Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Two USB 3.0, HDMI, 5-in-1 Card Reader
  • 12.9" x 8.4" x .78" @ 3.35 lbs.
  • Windows 8, OFfice Starter, Norton Internet Security

Review - Toshiba Satellite i935t-S2300

Mar 6 2013 - With the Satellite U925t laptop closed, one would assume that this is a tablet along the lines of the Microsoft Surface Pro. This is because the display for this hybrid laptop faces outward rather than being protected by the lid. By doing this, the system can function as a tablet with the Windows 8 operating system. By lifting the screen from the back portion upwards along its sliding hinge, the keyboard underneath is exposed and it functions like a traditional laptop. While functional, the hinge system doesn't feel as straightforward for switching modes as a rotating or folding design.

At the heart of it, the Satellite U925t-S2300 is an ultrabook. It is powered by an Intel Core i5-3317U dual core processor that is found in many competing systems. It may not be as fast as a traditional laptop but it still provides sufficient performance for the majority of tasks that a buyer might have. The processor is matched up with 4GB of memory which is typical of an ultrabook but less than a traditional laptop. This isn't much of a problem with Windows 8 but it does restrict its ability to heavily multitask. When the system is under heavy loads, it can get a bit noisy as the cooling fans kick in.

Storage is provides through a 128GB solid state drive rather than a traditional hard drive. This means that boot times and application loads are much faster. In fact the operating system is accessible from a cold boot in just under a quarter minute. The downside here is that it does provide less storage but it is on par with most SSD based ultrabooks. If you do need additional storage space, there are two USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage. As with most laptops this size, there is no optical drive for use with CD or DVD media.

The display is a mixed based when it comes to the Satellite U925t. The 12.5-inch display uses IPS technology that gives it wide viewing angles and some nice color. The screen is coated with Gorilla Glass which is important given that the display is exposed even when closed. Even the hinge offers some nice adjustments for the screen when in laptop mode. The big downside here is the resolution of just 1366x768. This is typical of most smaller laptops but it is disappointing as it falls well below much of the competition and even the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet. As with all ultrabooks, the graphics are handled by the Intel HD Graphics 4000 that is built into the processor. This is fine for basic tasks and media viewing but has limited 3D performance. It can accelerate media encoding with Quick Sync compatible applications but does not offer any other non-3D acceleration for other programs like Photoshop.

The keyboard and trackpad of the Satellite U925t suffer a bit because of the display hinge. More space is needed at the back of the deck to allow it to slide and move up. The result is a keyboard that is a bit cramped and a narrower trackpad as well. They keyboard offers fairly short travel distance such that while it is functional, expect a fair amount of errors and adjustments. The trackpad suffers more though as this is very short but wide. It also uses an integrated button rather than dedicated ones because it would be far too small to fit them in. The trackpad is at least countered by the screen being multitouch capable which is fine for some things but precise work is better suited to the trackpad and it is hard to use based on its size.

Toshiba packs a 38WHr capacity battery pack into the body of the Satellite U925t. This is a relatively low capacity battery pack for its class and only a couple offer less. In terms of running time, the system was able to go for five hours of video playback before going into standby mode. This puts it below both the Dell XPS 12 and Lenovo Yoga 13 hybrid laptops for running time. It is decent compared to most traditional laptops but below average for an ultrabook. It is still well below the over six hours that the Apple MacBook Pro 13 with Retina achieves and with more power demanding components.

Priced just over $1000, the Satellite U925t is relatively affordable for a hybrid class laptop. In terms of size and features, the Dell XPS 12 and Sony VAIO D have the closest features and size. The Dell has similar levels of performance but offers a much higher resolution display and a design that protects the display when closed. Sony's us much more similar with an exposed display when closed but is a bit more compact and also offers a higher resolution display bit at nearly three hundred more. Finally, there is the Lenovo Yoga 13 which is certainly much larger but can be found for roughly the same price. It is a more traditional laptop design that can also fold into a tablet and also comes with a higher resolution display.

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