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Toshiba Satellite U940-11F 14-inch Ultrabook (Intel Core i3-3227U 1.9 GHz, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HDD, 32 GB SSD, Bluetooth, Windows 8)
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- Portable Ultrabook with 1.79 kgs and 20.7 mm thick
- Intel Core i3-3227U processor providing enhanced efficiency with Intel's Hyper Threading and improved battery life
- Uncompromised connectivity with HDMI, 3 x USB including USB 3.0 and an Ethernet port
- SRS premium sound 3D provides enhanced sound
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The stylish design of the Satellite U940 features a striking textured design in ice silver with curved edges and a 35.6cm (14.0”) Trubrite display for clear sharp images. A streamlined chassis with a large touch pad and integrated buttons make it as pleasant on the eye as it is good to use. An optional tiled keyboard looks stylish and is ideal for working in darker conditions.
Intel Core Ivy Bridge Ultrabook Processor
The Toshiba Satellite U940 comes equipped with the power of an Intel Core i3 or i5 Ivy Bridge ULV processor for Ultrabooks. Designed to give you the ultimate in efficient multitasking performance, the Intel Core processors enable you to work faster and have more fun, with less waiting. As well as faster performance, this processor enables better playback of high-definition content over the Internet, and allows you to enjoy the full Windows 8 experience on your notebook, all while consuming less power.
Intel Rapid Start Technology
Intel Rapid Start Technology gets your device up and running faster from even the deepest sleep, saving time and battery life. Without turning your Ultrabook off, you can enjoy up to 30 days of battery life in standby - up to six times longer than standard. With rapid start technology, you can place your Ultrabook into standby for the weekend, and start up on Monday with 90% of the battery life you had when you closed the lid. Not only does it make putting your Ultrabook into standby more efficient, it also make it faster to resume from hibernation, up to 5 seconds in total.
SSD Drive and Intel Response Technology
Each Satellite U940 is fitted with an integrated 32 GB solid state drive (SSD), a fast and robust storage solution that also helps to further improve overall performance, boot-up and shut-down times. An additional 500 GB or 750 GB hard disk drive (HDD) also provides ample storage space for large video files, photo libraries, music collections and more.
By utilising Intel Response Technology, the Satellite U940 gives you near SSD-level performance from your HDD as well. With its smart caching logic, it ensures that regularly used applications and data are stored on the solid state drive, while providing you the large capacity hard drive to store your data, such as music, movies, and work files.
High Quality Audio with SRS Premium Sound 3D
SRS Premium Sound 3D delivers the most complete audio entertainment experience possible for all PC applications related to music, movies and games. SRS Premium Sound 3D utilises advanced patented techniques to retrieve audio cues buried in the original source material, and adds near and far depth to the sound field to maximise the 3D surround effect. It delivers immersive surround complete with deep, rich bass and crystal clear dialogue.
Long Lasting Power
The U940 offers up to 6 hours battery life, for all day use without having to recharge the battery. The latest battery technology also means that the U940 battery has a longer life span and will last for more re-charges than a standard battery. This will give you a longer lasting battery over time, so you will still experience good battery life run times throughout the life of the laptop. A new eco mode utility also enables you to extend the life span of the battery by a further 30%-40%. Battery life is further enhanced by the use of energy efficient components and a higher capacity integrated battery.
Intel Wireless Display provides the Satellite U940 with a simple wireless streaming solution, enabling users to playback media from the Ultrabook on any compatible TV - freeing digital photo albums, videos and music, and allowing them to be enjoyed on multiple devices around the home.
SuperSpeed USB 3.0 for Fast Connections
Experience the transfer rates of the future with USB 3.0. By connecting to a compatible USB 3.0 device, such as an external drive, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 can offer up to 10 times faster transfer rates than today's Hi-Speed USB 2.0 standard. This means that files and folders that took hours to transfer now just take minutes, and you can move whole albums to and from your Ultrabook in just a few seconds, saving you time and making your media much more portable.
Sleep N Charge USB
There's no need to carry around multiple charging accessories when you have your U940. With the Sleep N Charge USB port you can charge your mobile phone, MP3 player and other digital gadgets even while your Ultrabook is switched off.
Wireless Sharing is Easy with Bluetooth 4.0
This Ultrabook includes Bluetooth 4.0 which allows you to connect and share files wirelessly over short distances. This makes it ideal for connecting to compatible mobile devices such as smartphones, MP3 players, and more. You can also use Bluetooth to connect to wireless peripherals, such as headsets, speakers, mice and keyboard, making it easier to use your Ultrabook on the move or at home without the clutter of connecting wires.
HDMI for HD Entertainment
The Toshiba Satellite U940 has an integrated HDMI port for added convenience and enhanced usability. Now you can connect your Ultrabook to an external device and stream high definition content. When using HDMI, audio and visual content are streamed through a single cable, removing the need for multiple connections.
1 x Satellite U940-11F
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The screen isn't the best in the world - it's absolutely fine, but it's not as vivid or clear as some other, much more expensive, devices that I've played with. It would be nice if it were touch-enabled, too, but to be completely honest the touchpad is excellent so it's not the end of the world.
The keyboard takes a little getting used to as well - the keys are well-spaced and backlit, but the travel is very short. Although this feels a little odd to begin with, if you're a touch typist (which I am), the short travel actually makes typing a lot faster. There's enough feedback to know if you've hit the key or missed it, and, compared to many laptop keyboards I've used, it's relaxing to type on. But it won't be to everyone's taste.
The battery - which I'd read wasn't very good - is lasting me around 5 hours on a charge. That's at 50% or so screen brightness, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on, and doing light tasks (word processing, mind-mapping, emails, web browsing). Personally I think this is pretty good, but I know a lot of people seem to expect 10 hours from a laptop nowadays!
Build quality is fine - it's no MacBook Air, but it's significantly cheaper. Yes, it's made of plastics, but no, it doesn't feel stupidly cheap. It feels solid and well-built, while retaining the admirable Ultrabook qualities of thinness and lightness. It really is easy to carry around all day.
The machine feels responsive and speedy. I think the i5 processor and SSD drive help a lot with that, as does the 6gb of RAM. The SSD is on a RAID system, which means you can't directly see or access it - as far as Windows is concerned you have a single 750gb drive. But the system uses the SSD to cache files, which means the whole thing feels very quick indeed. I'm not doing anything too heavy on it at the moment, but it's coped well with everything I have thrown at it so far. This includes a few games, which it has run reasonably well. Probably the most intensive game I've played on it is Skyrim, and it copes absolutely fine on the lowest settings.
Then there's the elephant in the room: Windows 8. I'm a long-time Mac and PC user, running the latest OS X on the Mac and Windows 7 on my desktop PC. I also use an iPad, and I was apprehensive about how well an OS designed for both regular computers and tablets would work. I know there have been a lot of terrible reviews, but I have to say that, so far, I really really like Windows 8. Sure, it's slightly schizophrenic (with the traditional desktop on the one hand, and the 'Metro' start menu on the other), but once you get your head around this (and it doesn't take long) it makes a lot of sense. I think this is the future of operating systems, to be honest - and my guess would be that, in future iterations, there'll be a much lower emphasis on the traditional 'desktop.' Unless you're a real power user, and want absolute control over every last element of your system (and personally I'm not, and don't, and would rather get on with using the thing than fiddling around with stuff behind the scenes), unless you need absolute control and can't bear the idea that Microsoft might be simplifying things, I think Windows 8 is pretty good.
So I'm glad I bought this laptop. If I have any problems in the future I'll update this review, but for now I'm happy to recommend it with 5 stars.
Mouse pad is a but big making it difficult to type without moving cursor, however using an external mouse and turning off pad resolves this. Otherwise very happy with the laptop
The unit is relatively light, as promised. The speakers didn't seem particularly loud although the audio was reasonably clear. The screen, as mentioned in many online reviews is not of the highest quality but is certainly acceptable for the price. The touchpad seemed to have some gaps around where it fitted into its casing, which illustrates the generally cheap finish of the computer. However, the processing quality is where this machine is supposed to prove its worth.
Sadly, no sooner had I completed the tedious process of setting up and registering the novelty-laden Windows 8 that the screen went blank, never to display another pixel. I tried everything to get the faulty unit working including the much-vaunted hard reset (disconnecting power sources and holding down the power key for a minute before reconnecting and turning on) but to no avail. In fact, in searching for solutions to my problem, I was dismayed to learn that such symptoms seem all-too-common with Toshiba machines, although, admittedly, in the vast majority of cases on the forums the hard reset seemed to solve the problem. The Toshiba troubleshooting walkthrough is pretty short on ideas too.
Of course, getting an item that works briefly before breaking down is rather more worrying that receiving one that doesn't even turn on as one can't help thinking that the replacement will also, at some point, give in though maybe after statutory protection has expired. As always, Amazon were polite and efficient in organising a replacement. Toshiba, on the other hand, have not inspired me so far with their manufacturing, web-support, or testimonials.
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