Here we take a closer look at the TOSHIBA Satellite U-840111 14″ Ultrabook, which is Toshiba’s most affordable Ultrabook of 2012.
Toshiba have made some extremely good laptops over the past 5 years in the name of their Portege and Satellite series of machines, and with the sudden rise of other manufacturers creating ultra-portables rocking the Ultrabook brand towards the back end of 2011, Toshiba followed suit in early 2012.
If you have been shopping around online for an affordable Ultrabook then chances are you have most probably been looking at Ultrabooks with a price tag in excess of £700 and then comparing many different stores for the cheapest prices to find a bargain. In the case of the TOSHIBA Satellite U-840111 though you need not really shop around for bargain basement prices because at just £599.99 online at UK retail store Curry’s, it is already pretty affordable especially considering other Ultrabooks ship with much higher price tags.
Of course there are some things you need to consider about this Ultrabook before you hand over your hard earned cash though. In this article we are going to take a closer look at this TOSHIBA Satellite Ultrabook to find out whether this ultra-portable is worth the money asked of it, and whether it can keep up against the competition.
Without further ado then you can find an analysis, review and verdict on Toshiba’s cheapest budget Ultrabook of 2012 below. Enjoy!
TOSHIBA Satellite U-840111 14″ Ultrabook
When taking the Toshiba from the box it is immediately apparent that this is no ordinary laptop. With a small-ish form factor with thanks to the 14” display and a brushed aluminium lid accompanied by a shiny Toshiba logo, this Ultrabook is one good looking piece of kit far in excess of what its modest price tag would suggest.
The Ultrabook is pretty light too, weighing in at a respectable 1.58 kg with an overall thickness of just 19.9mm. Whilst this book’ isn’t the lightest on the market a lot of that can be put down to the fairly robust 6-cell Lithium-Ion battery which provides power to the machine. There is an 8 hour battery life claim for the Satellite from Toshiba however in my tests I managed to get around 5 hours and 20 minutes from it through internet browsing and writing out this very post. So close, yet so far, however over 5 hours is pretty good for an Ultrabook at this price point.
The Satellite is brisk, if never quick, however handles everyday tasks well
Providing the oomph for the machine is a 2nd generation Intel Core i3-2377M processor which features a clock speed of 1333MHz as well as 4 GB of RAM. This particular version of Intel’s i3 processor is a tried, tested and reliable chip, offering decent enough performance for most everyday computing tasks. Whilst the i3 processor can’t hold up to second or more modern third generation i5 processors, Toshiba integrated an i3 to keep costs down.
Due to the second generation nature of the chipset within this machine Intel HD Graphics 3000 provide your machine with the ability to handle tasks, however as noted everywhere online, this is no replacement for discrete / dedicated graphics and also no match for the more up to date Intel HD Graphics 4000 as seen in Ivy Bridge processors of late. All in all however the i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and integrated graphics work well together to allow seamless internet browsing, document bashing and light (and I mean light) photo editing in Paint.NET.
Plenty of space for files with thanks to hybrid storage
Storage is handled by a 500GB HDD running at 5400rpm and a smaller 32GB SSD which allows the machine to boot up fairly briskly. Storing files to the SSD isn’t really made that easy however, with the machine wanting to constantly save files to the larger – but slower – HDD.
At this current time pure SSD storage is generally being reserved for higher price tag Ultrabooks, however hybrid storage has its merits, including the overall low cost paid by manufacturers which is then transferred to a retail price for consumers.
The display on the Toshiba Satellite U-840111 is a 14-incher with a resolution of 1366 x 768. Being LED, the display is super thin however due to the resolution you will not be able to enjoy watching full HD video’s online. 720p videos are handled well enough though, looking fairly bright and crisp if a little washed out occasionally.
This display features Toshiba’a TruBrite technology, which essentially offers a few more nits of brightness over one which does not, and sat alongside a last year Acer TimelineX 4820T I would say that Toshiba’s display is better across the board including viewing angles.
Connectivity wise you are looking at Bluetooth 4.0, a 4-in-1 memory card reader, 2x USB 2.0 ports and 1x USB 3.0 port, a HDMI out socket and a built in 1.3 megapixel camera for video calls or posing.
Processor – Intel Core i3-2377M (1.50GHz, 3MB cache)
Operating System – Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
RAM – 4 GB
Graphics card – Intel HD Graphics 3000
Screen resolution – 1366 x 768 pixels
Screen size – 14″
Screen features – Widescreen
Hard drive – 500GB + 32GB SSD
- SATA interface
- 5400rpm operating speed
The Toshiba Satellite U-840111 Ultrabook offers up decent enough performance from its Core i3 processor and boot up times with thanks to its hybrid storage, however it can’t cut it against machines which for £50 more (Samsung Series 5, for example) offer a newer generation Core i5 processor and a better keyboard. If you have just £599.99 to spend on an Ultrabook this may be a good choice for you, however if you can afford a little bit more, I recommend opting for something running hardware a bit more powerful.