The Toshiba Satellite U845W, a 21:9 Ultrabook at 1792x768 resolution
A 21:9 aspect ratio Ultrabook will be arriving in storessoon, alongside the next generation of Toshiba's standard Ultrabook, the Portege Z930/935. Both notebooks will use Intel's Ivy Bridge processors and come with SSDs, backlit keyboards, and at least 7.5 hours of battery life.
The 21:9 Ultrabook, named U845W, is definitely an odd duck. Our initial impulse was to point and laugh'it seemed to be made exclusively for people who compulsively seek wider ground to watch 2.35:1 aspect-ratio movies, an odd niche to cater to. But Duc Dang, senior manager of product development at Toshiba, pointed out to us that customers could also use it to display a regular 16:9 movie side-by-side with a browser. Um, yep, we've tried to do that (with limited success) on our laptops.
The screen, which still has 768 lines of resolution (a bit lower than we'd like on a 14-inch laptop, but serviceable) can also show Excel cell columns from A to AA. The machine certainly won't meet everyone's design needs, but when you think of it as a portable dual-monitor setup, it seems less silly. The notebook has a resolution of 1792x768, weighs 3.5 pounds, and measures 0.82 inches thick. Ethernet, HDMI, and 3 USB 3.0 ports adorn the sides, and the computer gets around 7.5 hours of battery life.
The Toshiba Portege Z935, which looks almost identical to the Z835
The more conventional Ultrabook option, the 13-inch Portege Z930/935, is Toshiba's followup to the Z830/835 that we reviewed last fall
. The body remains materially the same, except it now has a total of three USB 3.0 ports, according to Toshiba. Retaining the body from the last model is an unfortunate choice on the company's part, as one of our main complaints about the Z830 was its flimsy build quality.