Review Price £838.00
Toshiba Satellite U920t
While there are plenty of innovative convertible tablet/laptop designs like the Dell XPS Duo 12 with its flip-around screen, most of the hybrid Windows 8 crowd seem to divide into two main types: there’s the clamshell design like that used for the Asus Vivo Tab, and the slider design like the Sony Vaio Duo 11. Toshiba is sticking to the latter for its only Windows 8 convertible, the Satellite U920t.
Read the full Windows 8 review here
So the U920t is a 12.5in tablet which slides up to reveal a narrow keyboard. In terms of power and connectivity it’s an Ultrabook equivalent, running Windows 8 X86 on an Intel Core-i processor with 6GB of RAM and offering goodies like a full-size SDXC card slot and USB 3.0.
Wondering which Windows 8 device to get? Have a read of our Best Windows 8 Laptops Tablets Convertibles and PCs roundup
Toshiba Satellite U920t Design and BuildThe Satellite U920t is very reminiscent of Toshiba’s own ‘cinema’ screen Satellite U840W Ultrabook in its build and materials, which is certainly no bad thing. It sports a similar mix of brushed metal and soft-touch rubberised finish, with Gorilla glass protecting the IPS touch-screen. It’s slim at just under 20mm and relatively light for its size, weighing 1.48kg.
It all feels incredibly solid, and just as importantly, its sliding action is smooth, easy and assured. In fact, the Toshiba Satellite U920t offers some of the best sliding action we’ve come across.
Our one complaint is that it’s kind of awkward that you have to slide the screen all the way up, revealing the keyboard completely, before you can tilt it ‘upright’. This makes it a little more difficult to put into ‘laptop mode’ than rivals like the Sony Vaio Duo 11 in a cramped space like on a bus or airplane.
Toshiba Satellite U920t ConnectivityConnectivity’s pretty much standard for the convertible Windows 8 X86 tablet game, with dual USB 3.0 ports, one on the side and one at the rear. Video output is handled by a nicely full-size HDMI port, while there’s a full SDXC card slot too, so you can easily transfer pics from your camera.
Toshiba Satellite U920t UsabilityThe U920t’s chiclet keyboard offers a pleasant typing experience. Though feedback is very shallow there’s a crisp click to each key, and layout is spot-on. There’s even a good set of dedicated shortcut keys along the right side.
The touchpad is inevitably a bit squished vertically, but this actually matches the aspect ratio of the screen quite well and it’s still great to use. However, its proximity to the Satellite U920t’s edge means it isn’t very usable on your lap - but then you can always resort to the touch screen.
While most premium Windows 8 convertibles offer 10-finger touch, the U920t only offers support for five fingers. However, this should be adequate for near every action and gesture – only two-player local touch gaming might be affected.
There’s no stylus of any kind included either, which again is something that most of the competition do offer. On the other hand, these are probably some of the ways in which Toshiba has managed to keep the price of its hybrid more affordable than most.
Toshiba Satellite U920t ScreenThe U920t’s 12.5-inch screen uses an IPS panel, as does nearly every other premium Windows 8 hybrid. Its 1,366 x 768 resolution is significantly lower than the Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) offered my most of the powerful Core-i convertible tablets coming to the market, but it’s still perfectly usable.
In our brief hands-on time colours seemed punchy and contrast decent, and naturally viewing angles were as good as ever on IPS. The entire touch-screen is protected by Gorilla glass, which does lead to the inevitable reflections that plague all un-etched glass tablets.