Toshiba Satellite U940 – Keyboard and Touchpad
You get a pretty standard compact chiclet keyboard with the U940, the likes of which you’ll have seen many times before on smaller 13-inch Ultrabooks. The familiar separated keys are backlit, which is always a plus, and the layout is the same as can be found on the likes of the Toshiba Satellite U840W.
When it comes to actually typing on this keyboard, the experience is merely adequate. We found the lack of travel on the keys a little disconcerting. Doubtless this will become less of an issue the more you use it, but we tend to like a little more give in our keys.
The touchpad fares better. It’s a little more textured than, say, any of Apple’s glassy pads, and it isn’t the most responsive example we’ve used, but it does the job pretty well. It also picks up on Windows 8’s multi-touch gestural commands quite reliably, making for easy panning and zooming.
There are no separate mouse buttons below the U940’s trackpad. Rather, Toshiba has switched to an integrated solution. Not everyone will be a fan of this approach, but Toshiba has made locating these clickable areas clear through two subtle side-by-side ridges just above the bottom edge of the trackpad.
Toshiba Satellite U940 – Internal Speakers and Cameras
Sound projection is rarely the strongest aspect of even the most hulking multimedia laptop, and it’s certainly not brilliant on the modest Satellite U940.
The speakers here are hidden away underneath the two front corners of the keyboard section. These curve up and away from whatever surface you’re resting on, ensuring they’re rarely completely obscured, but it’s still a clear (if arguably necessary) compromise.
The sound is a little tinny and weedy, lacking in base, but there’s no distortion and stereo separation is very good. Because of their location underneath the device, however, the sound changes depending on how you’re using the laptop. Resting on a solid surface like a desk gives a harsher, clearer sound, while using the U940 on your lap offers a softer, vaguer sound.
Either way, you’re better off with even a bog-standard set of headphones or plug-in speakers than relying on the U940’s built-in provision.
The Toshiba Satellite U940’s 1-megapixel camera is similarly low-spec, offering a blurry and washed out picture. Fine for Skype chats in decent lighting, but perhaps not ideal for recording your next YouTube diatribe.