Joined: 15 May 2012
|Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:36 am Post subject: Toshiba Dynabook CX/45J battery
|Review Toshiba Satellite U840W 21:9 Ultrabook
Trends come and go - some prevail, most are forgotten almost immediately. Display aspect ratios have changed over the years, first from 4:3 to the more widescreen 16:10; later some manufacturers adopted the change to the even wider 16:9. Toshiba Satellite L600D-015S battery That doesn't mean that the "old" aspect ratios are gone for good, since some manufacturers decided to stick with 16:10. Apple still uses the downright antiquated 4:3 ratio for the iPad - and with great success if the sales numbers are of any indication.
To distinguish itself from the rest of the pack and to offer potential customers a differentiating feature, Toshiba will be gearing up to launch an Ultrabook with a 21:9 aspect ratio. Toshiba Satellite L600D015S battery Movie fans are the obvious target, but Toshiba also expects advantages for the office-type user due to the additional 426 pixels of display width.
In addition to the Satellite U840W, a "regular" version (called the U840 and featuring a standard 14-inch display) will also be offered. In the following test, we are going to take a look at a pre-production unit of the Satellite U840 Ultrabook. Here, we specifically focus on the rather unconventional display. Toshiba Satellite L600D-07B battery
Since this is a pre-production sample, please keep in mind that not all specs or even the hardware have been finalized. Toshiba has cautioned us that the press images used for the U840W are not final, either.
Toshiba Satellite L600D07B battery We immediately noticed the different footprint during the unpacking process. It takes some getting used to - but we became comfortable with the new notebook after a few minutes of use. The Toshiba designers incorporated the widescreen theme into the appearance. As a result, the display lid has two separate sections: one part is aluminum, the other has a rubberized and textured coating. This visual separation continues on the inside: the keyboard has a frame in steel grey while the palmrest is black and textured. Toshiba Satellite A660D battery
As far as appearance and feel are concerned, our test sample makes a convincing statement. The U840W oozes high-end and feels like it belongs in the upper echelon of Ultrabooks. Build quality is already impressive considering its pre-production state. TOSHIBA Satellite L700 battery
The very wide display can easily be opened with one hand; the hinges allow the screen to be tilted back a maximum of 140° degrees. Although the display on our sample would rock a bit back and forth, the motion certainly remained within acceptable limits. The U840W does not feature a locking display; it's up to the hinges to keep the notebook closed.
Power Consumption TOSHIBA Satellite L745 battery
The measured 4.9 watts place the Toshiba Satellite U840W right in the middle of other Ultrabooks as far as minimal power consumption is concerned. We saw a noticeable increase with the display turned up to full brightness: 8.1 watts. Under load, we saw 36.6 to 43.3 watts - right where expected, although slightly higher than other Ultrabooks with a 13-inch display. TOSHIBA Satellite L745D battery It stands to reason that the 14.4-inch display in the Toshiba consumes more power than its Ultrabook competitors equipped with smaller panels.
Toshiba has left us in the dark about the capacity of the integrated battery. From the observed run times and the power consumption, a capacity of about 50Wh is probably a fair estimate. The battery is built into the chassis and is not user accessible. TOSHIBA Satellite L730 battery In our standardized real-world WLAN test (switching to a new webpage every 40 seconds with display brightness at 150 cd/mē), the Toshiba Satellite U840W achieved a battery life of 340 minutes (or more than five and a half hours) - a respectable figure when compared to other Ultrabooks.
Maximum battery life (BatteryEater Reader's Test, Power Saver profile) is very good at twelve and a half hours. This test is not significant in practice since it entails reading a text document with the brightness turned down all the way and all communications modules off. TOSHIBA Satellite L735 battery Under full load (CPU and GPU), battery run time decreases to under two hours. Of course, this is also a scenario that does not reflect day-to-day use. Charging our pre-production unit took about four hours.
When we ran the 3DMark 2006 benchmark test to compare the run times on battery (High Performance profile) to the run times on external power, we saw equivalent point scores. This means that the Toshiba Satellite U840W is able to provide full power even during mobile use. TOSHIBA Satellite L740 battery
Even though the form factor of the Toshiba Satellite U840 is quite unusual, the inside is standard fare and the device thus mirrors the hardware of current ULV Ultrabooks. Officially, Toshiba has not finalized the selection of CPU models that are going to be available; All we know is that they are going to be "third generation" Intel Core CPUs. Our pre-production model featured the well-known and frequently used Intel Core i5-3317U CPU. TOSHIBA Satellite L750 battery Depending on what final price point Toshiba is planning to hit with this Ultrabook, we could also see the more powerful Intel i7 ULV CPU available as an option.
To handle graphics duties, the Satellite U840W utilizes the Intel HD Graphics 4000, which is integrated into the CPU. The standard Satellite U840 might also offer a dedicated card in the form of an AMD Radeon HD 7550M. TOSHIBA Satellite L770 battery
The U840W will offer a choice as far as storage devices go: the buyer can pick a combo HDD+SSD cache or opt for a pure SSD option. Most likely the HDD-SSD combo drive will come in at a better price point, but the pure SSD option will likely offer the best performance. Since there is no integrated optical drive, movies need to be available as files and will be, in most cases, saved to the device itself. TOSHIBA Satellite L755 battery Choosing the 128 GB version might lead to a filled-up hard drive in a fairly short amount of time. For this reason, potential buyers should consider their storage capacity demands before making a decision.
Processor: Intel Core i5-3317U
What do the Asus UX31A, Samsungs 530U and Dells Vostro 3360 have in common? All of these notebooks use the same ULV-CPU from Intel, the Core i5-3317U. This modern chip, a member of the Ivy Bridge Generation, is built using a 22 nm process. TOSHIBA Satellite P700 battery With a TDP (Thermal Design Power) of 17 watts, the processor consumes about half the power of the standard-voltage counterpart (35 watts). This design feature makes this processor the logical choice for thin-and-light notebooks and therefore also for Ultrabooks. The chip has two cores but is able to process four tasks in parallel via Hyperthreading. The nominal core frequency is 1.7 Ghz, but Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 can overclock the individual cores to 2.6 GHz depending on the application. This allows the processor to easily handle short load spikes. TOSHIBA Satellite P740 battery
We tested the performance of the i5-3317U in the Toshiba Satellite U840W using the Cinebench benchmark tests. The result of the Cinebench R11.5 multi-thread CPU test was 2.39 points, a result very similar to the previously mentioned (and similarly equipped) Ultrabooks.
TOSHIBA Satellite P740D battery The Cinebench R10 test also delivered the expected results. The test showed a maximum core frequency of 2.4 GHz in both the single- and multi-thread test; a result we confirmed with HWiNFO. Even though we were not able to reach the theoretical maximum of 2.6 GHz, all CPU benchmarks fell within the expected ranges.
TOSHIBA Satellite P750 battery As we mentioned earlier, Toshiba is going to offer the Satellite U840W in different hard drive configurations. Our pre-production system features a combination of a conventional disk drive and a small flash drive for cache purposes. Running PCMark 7 on the U840W resulted in 2530 points - about the same performance as the previously tested and similarly equipped Dell Vostro 3360. Compared to pure SSDs, the configuration with the combo drive is seriously disadvantaged. TOSHIBA Satellite P750D battery The Asus UX31, featuring an Adata MX11 mSATA SSD (128GB), reached 5155 points - an increase of more than 100%. The SSD cache stores some frequently used data (not controllable by the user) in flash storage, but a true SSD reads and writes all data to flash. So while the combo drive definitely has advantages compared to a regular hard disk drive, it can never offer the performance of a true SSD. We expect the U840W to include full-fledged SSD drives as an option.
TOSHIBA Satellite P770 battery Our review unit performed very well when we tested office applications and movies. The U840W is - just like the other Ultrabooks with similar hardware specs - perfectly suitable for office work and light-duty multimedia applications, although its main application is without a question playing movies and videos.
TOSHIBA Satellite P770 3D battery When Intel switched to the 22 nm process, the company also reworked the integrated graphics unit. Compared to the Intel HD 3000 predecessor, the new HD 4000 shows significantly improved performance. Using the 3DMark Vantage benchmark, our sample unit reached 3148 points (within the range of similar Ultrabooks) and is able to outperform the older Intel HD Graphics 3000 solution by roughly 50%.
TOSHIBA Satellite P770D battery How much of a performance gain you will actually end up with will depend on the application, of course. Using the HD 4000 for the current crop of games, for example, decreases the performance advantage somewhat. When playing Anno 2070, we observed an average frame rate of 13.5 fps (high details), a performance level mirrored by other Ultrabooks with identical hardware. The Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook (based on Sandy Bridge / HD3000) managed just 9 fps. Toshiba Satellite L730 battery The HD 4000 in this case still manages to maintain a 50% performance advantage. To be able to play most games, either the resolution or the details need to be reduced so a decent frame rate can be achieved. Reducing the resolution to 1024 x 768 pixels, for example, causes a distorted image because the frames get stretched to fill the screen (unless the game is played within a window). It might be beneficial to stick with the native resolution in the above example and lower the detail quality instead.
Toshiba Satellite P740 battery The U840W on hand is pleasantly quiet despite being a pre-production unit. During light office duties, the fan is deactivated and what remains audible is the sound of the hard disk drive. Models using an SSD should be able to remain silent over long periods of time since they produce less heat to boot. During short load spikes, the fan spins up briefly to a recorded noise level of 31.2 dB(A) and is ultimately not disturbing at all. Toshiba Satellite L740 battery
Under constant load, we measured fan levels from 38.6 dB(A) up to a maximum of 40.9 dB(A) (stress test). During the typical daily use scenario (office applications and surfing), the notebook should remain largely silent. One more thought regarding noise levels: the final production units can differ significantly from the pre-production samples. It's entirely possible that hardware changes may occur or for the fan management to be tweaked. Toshiba Satellite R845 battery
Considering that the Intel Core i5-3317U CPU used in our review model is comparatively easy to keep cool, we measured somewhat high surface temperatures. Toshiba has warned us that the fan unit in our sample has not yet been optimized. We will conduct another test once production starts and when we are able to examine a retail unit. Toshiba Dynabook CX/45F battery
We were very positively surprised by the quality of the integrated Harman/Kardon audio system. Owing to the form factor, there was enough room to the left and right of the keyboard for Toshiba to integrate speakers and appropriately sized resonance chambers. The Toshiba Satellite handled our reference music samples very well as sounds were lively and present with solid levels and the maximum volume was more than adequate to fill an average-sized room. Toshiba Dynabook CX/45G battery The only thing we could wish for is an equalizer software, but maybe the final production model will have it included. For multimedia purposes, the Toshiba Satellite U840W definitely fits the bill as far as sound is concerned.
Toshiba Dynabook CX/45H battery Some of our readers might rightfully ask themselves the following question: "Why would I need an Ultrabook with a 21:9 aspect ratio?!" It's an interesting concept for sure. We do see some potential - not only as far as playing movies and videos is concerned, but also during daily use, as the extended display width has advantages when working with multiple windows. The 768 pixels of vertical resolution limit the workspace somewhat due to the need for unavoidable frequent scrolling when working with longer documents. Toshiba Dynabook CX/45J battery
Even aside from the unusual display, the Toshiba Satellite U840W manages to cut a good figure. The attractive chassis of the pre-production convinces with very good workmanship. the design is somewhat plain, but visually pleasing nonetheless. Port selection is unfortunately pretty meager. For example, no analog VGA port is offered. Toshiba Dynabook CX/47F battery
Performance-wise, the Satellite U840W is on par with other Ultrabooks without dedicated graphics cards. The choice between a dedicated SSD or a SSD-cache/HDD combo drive will not only have an impact on system performance, but we also would expect a price difference of at least $100 USD. Toshiba Dynabook CX/47G battery
Final pricing for the Toshiba Satellite U840W is not available as of this writing. Considering the high quality, the feature list, and the novelty 21:9 display, we would expect a price in the upper range, possibly around 1000 Euro. The more conventional U840 with 16:9 HD display should retail for a bit less.