Toshiba 21:9 Widescreen Satellite U845W Review Roundup

Toshiba has unleashed what is said to be the first-ever laptop with a 21:9 aspect ratio screen on a 14.4-inch display. The Satellite U845W ultrabook’s wider-than-usual widescreen was designed to appeal to big-screen movie lovers and multitaskers alike.

For multitasking, a split-screen feature makes it easy to have multiple application windows—like a Web browser and a Word doc--open at the same time. Drag a window into one ‘tile’ and it automatically resizes to fill that tile.

The ultrabook will be available in mid June for $999 and up. Here’s a look at some early reviews/hands-on articles:

TechCrunch notes that most streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu don’t support the 21:9 aspect ratio. “However, you can still watch a movie on Netflix in the standard 16:9 ratio with enough room for a little light browsing on the remaining real estate of the display. And certain programs like TweetDeck give you the most comprehensive view you’ve ever experienced, displaying 7 columns at once,” writes Jordan Crook.

The Satellite is “a tad heavier than most everything on the market right now, at 3.5 lbs, but with that texturized rubber finish it is certainly comfortable in the hand,” Crook adds. “This is clearly a niche notebook but an interesting approach for Toshiba to take in a land of monotony.”

Mashable’s Peter Pachal writes that “in our brief hands-on with the U845W, we couldn’t really tell if the split screens actually made the thing more efficient for work, but we can tell you this: This sucker plays loud. It boasts Harman Kardon speakers, enhanced with SRS Premium Sound 3D audio processing, and when we watched a trailer for The Bourne Legacy on the laptop, it nearly blew our ears off — and that was at about half maximum volume.”

“Niche or nonsense”,” asks SlashGear’s Chris Davies. The article doesn’t answer the question but does note: “Unfortunately, you’ll have to be buying your widescreen movies digitally, since the (ultrabook) lacks an optical drive of any sort. That’s sacrificed in the name of a compact chassis – 368.5 x 200 x 20.8 mm and 1.57kg – finishes in brushed metal and with an optionally-backlit chiclet keyboard.”


Toshiba, satellite, ultrabook