Toshiba Satellite U840 review: a cheaper Ultrabook
8 March 2014
Excerpt: The Toshiba U840-10V comes in at the lower end of the price scale for Ultrabooks. Available online for around £650 (around AU$998/US$1,034), it beats the price of the likes of the Asus Zenbook UX31 by a couple of hundred pounds, and the likes of the Samsung Series 9 by enough to buy a whole second laptop. But Toshiba hasn’t skimped on the laptop’s specs, considering the low price. There’s an Intel Core i5 processor, 6GB of RAM and a 14-inch screen, for example.
Summary: The Toshiba U840 is priced Rs. 53,500, which makes it quite an expensive purchase. If it were somewhere close to 40K, then I could have recommended it, but we have the issue with the keyboard and trackpad which is a big let down. The U840 had the potential to be a very good candidate for an Ultrabook but the high price and a few issues in critical areas together prove to be a damper. I’d say, give this one a miss.
Conclusion: It’s a tough choice, and therefore the decision on whether to buy the Toshiba Satellite U840W will depend purely on the type of media you consume. If you’re looking to watch a lot of movie on the go, then the 21:9 ultra-widescreen of the U840W makes perfect sense. However, if most of your media consumption is based around TV shows, then perhaps a regular 16:9 sized ultrabook is what you need, of which Toshiba has a lot of varieties to choose from.
Summary: Toshiba's latest ultrabook offering in India, the Satellite U840 retails for roughly Rs. 53500. It faces some stiff competition from HP (Envy 4) and Samsung (Series 5). What we cannot get around is the fact that while the rivals are offering pretty powerful graphics with their ultrabooks in the same price range, Toshiba has sent out the U840 with just integrated graphics.
Pros: Good performance, Lightweight chassis, Sophisticated looks, Decent battery life
Cons: Feels sluggish at times, Build quality does not have the premium feel, No dedicated graphics
Conclusion: The Toshiba Satellite U840-10V just doesn't quite overcome the compromises that have been made to create something a fair bit cheaper than most Ultrabooks. The spec list is good, but it falls down in the more practical aspects. If you want something smaller and lighter than the average home laptop, but don't want to pay through the nose, it's a reasonable choice. But paying £150 more will get you a much better machine.
Summary: It's a little bit different, and we'd hazard a guess that only a few people will be sold by Toshiba's extra-wide display. For those who do get the appeal, they'll also find a well-built, well-featured laptop, with better than usual audio.
Pros: Extra wide screen, Significantly better audio than is usually found in laptops, Good build quality, Backlit keyboard
Cons: 100Mbps Ethernet; c'mon guys, shouldn't everything be GbE now?, ALT+F4 won't work in default keyboard mode