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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.