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Toshiba Satellite U920t – Battery, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Toshiba Satellite U920t – Battery Life

So far then, the Toshiba Satellite U920t has held up fairly well in the usability, build and performance stakes. However, how long it will last on a charge is crucial, especially as this is an area where many non-Atom Windows 8 convertibles fail to impress. Thankfully, the battery life from the U920t-108’s three-cell, 3,400mAh Li-ion unit is definitely on the good side of average, at nicely over five and a half hours.

Battery Result

(40 percent screen brightness, mixed productivity and web-browsing)

5 hours 43 minutes

Keeping in mind that this Powermark test includes some online browsing, with careful use the Toshiba Satellite U920t should just about see you through a working day. To put its score into context, the Acer Aspire S7 13-inch and Lenovo ThinkPad Twist S230U both offered over an hour and a half less away from a socket, while the Sony VAIO Duo 11 falls behind by around an hour - so Toshiba’s effort is holding up pretty well here.

Of course, if lengthy battery life is your thing, the Asus Vivo Tab is unmatched with nearly 20hrs, but it’s Atom-based.

Toshiba Satellite U920t 2

Toshiba Satellite U920t – Price and Value

At around £840 for the base configuration, the Toshiba Satellite U920t is one of the cheapest non-Atom convertibles going. Two comparisons are obvious; the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist S230U is a similarly specced twisting convertible with a similar price and the same 12.5-inch screen size, while the Sony VAIO Duo 11 costs quite a bit more but shares the same sliding form factor.

For £835, the Twist gets you a faster Core i5 processor, optional 3G, a nicer convertible form factor that folds the screen in when not in use, better connectivity placement, and a far superior typing experience. However, the U920t-108 comes with a pure SSD instead of a hybrid hard drive so wins out in overall performance unless you upgrade Lenovo’s hybrid. The Toshiba also beats the Twist in battery life by a significant margin. Personally we prefer the Lenovo but really, it will be a matter of horses for courses in choosing between them.

Toshiba Satellite U920t 14

Compared to the £999 Duo 11, Sony’s dinky slider offers a nicer Full HD screen, N-Trig stylus, and lighter weight. Its sliding mechanism is also more intuitive and easier to use in cramped spaces. However, the U920t-108 feels sturdier, is far nicer to type on thanks to the Duo 11’s nasty keyboard, and again wins out when it comes to battery life. Yet again, which one you might go for depends on what features appeal most. Either way, don’t forget that there are plenty of alternatives once you go over £1,000.

Verdict

The Toshiba Satellite U920t is a well-built and reasonably attractive convertible laptop/tablet with smooth and assured sliding action, although it’s rather awkward to open compared to other sliders. It offers decent connectivity, an average typing experience, good enough performance, and surprisingly impressive speakers. To keep the Toshiba Satellite U920t price lower than most rivals, Toshiba has been forced to cut a few corners: the screen resolution is not Full HD, it ‘only’ offers five-point touch, and there’s no pressure-sensitive stylus support. However, better battery life than most non-Atom hybrids we’ve tested means it’s still an attractive option.

Overall Score

7

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 8
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 7
  • Screen Quality 7
  • Value 8

Chris Beach

February 13, 2013, 12:31 pm

Pity about the piss poor screen...that resolution needs to be eliminated from every non-budget laptop!

TechVegan

February 14, 2013, 9:57 am

While I am definitely a fan of higher resolutions (and the screen isn't sterling in other regards), it's interesting how a few years ago most people were perfectly happy with this kind of resolution even on larger screens...

The fact of the matter is that unless you do imaging work, use massive spreadsheets, or do intensive multi-tasking with multiple windows, it's probably more than adequate. It also makes touch in the Win8 desktop a little easier.

Not that that doesn't mean we'd love to see at least Full HD on every display around :)

Chris Beach

February 14, 2013, 12:41 pm

We were? I can't ever remember seeing a review being happy with 720p on a Windows Laptop, mainly because Windows doesn't fit! Most of the dialogs were designed with 1024x768 in mind, and at 720p the buttons were often hidden behind the taskbar!

I know I specifically went with the 1440x900 on a Dell (when Dell did customisation options) to get the extra height. And at the time there were other resolutions around as well, all bigger than 720p...then they all stopped existing.

Suffering on a work 19" 1280x1024 at the moment, so damn inefficient.

TechVegan

February 19, 2013, 3:29 pm

Where do I mention 720p? There were very few laptops with 720p screens - nor does the Toshiba have one of those. The laptop 'standard' was 1366 x 768 (as per this Tosh), which means your example dialog would fit.

Mind you, my first proper laptop had 1680 x 1050 and I was glad of every pixel. I share your hig-res love, just saying 1366 x 768 isn't that terrible.

Ouch, I can empathise with the suffering there - working on anything less than 1920 x 1200 on a monitor is painful for me these days...

Ahmed Abdo

June 28, 2013, 11:31 am

can i play ( pes 2013 ) on it ???????

smith hammerson

September 12, 2013, 6:42 am

I need a laptop for school and I think that is a great ultra book exactly what I want considering some laptops are $600 and they are not touch screen.

Andreas Kjernald

November 2, 2013, 7:10 pm

Don't forget the simple fact that higher resolution on a small screen makes for tiny, tiny text AND that many third party (in desktop mode) programs don't scale right. Read about the new Lenovo yoga pro 2 or the Surface reviews. They all have to be upscaled, which mediocre results.

I think this is the perfect resolution for this size screen.

Dave P

December 23, 2013, 2:38 pm

mmm, Got 7 weeks out of mine before the screen packed up. It's now gone to Germany for 10 working day repair to err, be repaired. 7 weeks old & Toshiba will not replace it.
I have the feeling this is a common fault.....

Telstar

January 22, 2014, 1:54 pm

Try upgrading from 4 to 8G. Best part of £150. You cannot do it yourself as there is a specialised screw on the base and you will invalidate your warranty. So it has to be done by Topaz their dealer. Total rip-off. Do not buy this machine.

Derek

February 18, 2014, 7:53 am

My third Toshiba and easily the worst laptop I have ever owned. While the design is attractive and i thought just what I wanted. Because I am a professional in the software business and am constantly traveling I thought this was the complete answer. Had the RAM factory upgraded to 8Gb and the SSHD replaced to 480Gb. After that it is all downhill. There is no manual, not even a basic getting started guide and the Toshiba web site would have to be the worst. Type in U920t and you are told reference cant be found. The WiFi as reported by several other users is close to useless unless you are right by the router. This was reported by someone in Singapore on the User Forum but after searching for the last 20 minutes can not find the entry again. In an airport lounge I was surrounded by others typing away while I was watching the wheel go round trying to refresh. The Toshiba web is full of advertising guff but useless if you want hard information. The trackpad is unuseable as after locating the spot as soon as you tap it jumps down to the entry below. Pressing on the arrow at the bottom or top of scroll bar to the right does not work until you hit it two or three times and then it moves off and the scrolling stops. Works perfectly with an external blue tooth mouse so it is not a problem with Windows 8.1 which I also had installed.

I have downloaded all the new drivers and has made no difference. A complete let down, dont touch it, mine is going back.

Simon

September 11, 2014, 1:03 am

Hi,

I'm not a power user, but I have bought a second hand machine on ebay. It suits my needs perfectly, and have very little to complain about.
I use a mac at home and a windows desktop PC at work. My preference was for a windows laptop. I was aware of the glossy screen: reflections/fingerprints etc ...and sure this is the case...have ordered a matt screen protector.
I'll let you know how I get on
Thanks
Simon

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