Toshiba Windows 8 Hybrid Laptop Hands On: Better Than You'd Think

Illustration for article titled Toshiba Windows 8 Hybrid Laptop Hands On: Better Than You'd Think

Toshiba might finally have something here. The Satellite U925t is its new 12.5-inch Windows 8 hybrid laptop/tablet, and it looks deceptively good.

The U925t has the same design as the weird but endearing U845W ultrabook, though it's not a super-wide 21:9 ratio. It's a standard 1366x768 resolution, which is disappointing with 1080p screens flying around on these Windows 8 machines, but decent enough.

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To get the U925t from tablet to laptop mode, you slide the screen back, then up. The sliding mechanism can stop after an inch or so and be used as a camera—extraneous, but nice to have—and then extends all the way and is folded up into laptop mode. It's different than holding a traditional laptop, but after sitting with it for a few minutes, it's definitely usable. It's not going to topple over in your lap like you might fear.

Illustration for article titled Toshiba Windows 8 Hybrid Laptop Hands On: Better Than You'd Think

The U925t has a Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, a 128GB SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, HDMI out, and NFC on its front panel. It also has pretty much the same trackpad as the U845W, though it's a little smaller. That's a good thing! The U845W's trackpad was really good, and this one responds well too. The size is a concern, but you'll take usable over spacious every time. The keyboard too, which is a big concern on these sliding convertibles, is pretty good. Not amazing, and the throw is a little shallow, but it's pretty good. It's 3.2 pounds, and 0.78 inches thick, and will be out October 26th.


All of that sounds like standard stuff compared to everything getting announced right now. And it is, mostly. But that's only because everything is so similar, and what sets anything apart right now is stuff like how responsive the auto-turning gyroscope is, and how good the build quality is. How much sense all the separate features make as a whole machine. The U925t just seems like it has its crap together. Nothing feels thrown-together. And in that, it's way ahead of a lot of the hybrids coming out for Windows 8.

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DISCUSSION

The tablet looks great, but when comparing thickness the iPad spanks it. Granted, it comes with a keyboard built in, but so far the majority of Windows 8 tablets I have seen have keyboards built in. Maybe PC manufactures are trying to keep away from competing "directly" with the surface by adding in hardware keyboards. What I do find extremely interesting though is no company has announced a price yet for a Windows 8 tablet. I wonder if that has anything to do with either Apple or Microsoft with respect to their impending tablets coming this fall.