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on 2 October 2013
I bought the U940 in January and since then it has been in repairs 3 times and is sure to go back another time as it is not working since I received it from the repairs centre yesterday.
The laptop came faulty in the first place and when I sent it of for repairs it came back after a month (!) with it's rubber feet missing. The it took another month and two phone calls to get replacements which turned out to be rubber SONY stickers that didn't actually fit. After being told by customer services that despite me having additional insurance for cosmetic damage I should just be satisfied with the stickers, I emailed the head of Toshiba UK. Through him I was put in contact with the head of customer services. Even after long interactions over email with her and the laptop being sent off it came back without the new mechanical fault (RTC) being fixed. So I had to contact the next person in Customer services to send it in and fix that. Now that has been fixed m y laptops drivers are broken and I can't use it. Out of all of the time I owed the laptop it has been out of my possession for more than 2 months and Toshiba' engineers have simply been incompetent. I have asked for a replacement or refund numerous times and have not got a positive reply.

In short, I wish I never bought this laptop, as although it might be just my laptop that is faulty, dealing with Toshiba has been terrible.
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on 3 January 2013
Well I bought this Toshiba Satellite U940 - 100 14-inch Ultrabook (Intel Core i3 - 3217U 1.7GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD Plus 32GB SSD, Windows 8, Bluetooth)for portability and after spending days on end that I should have spent on writing theses rather than on reading reviews.

Format- Why 14"?

I wanted a 14" rather than 15" because I need to carry it around. At home I have my desktop and 14" is not bad for looking at text and surfing the net.

Why this model?

Well as I said I spent a lot of time on reviews and I actually set off to get an Asus as they are good (my PC is mainly Asus - self built). Anyway I found an Asus 14" book but one had an i3 Sandy bridge processor (New ones are Ivy bridge)and the other an integral battery. An integral battery means that; 1. I cannot have a spare handy and, 2. if anything goes wrong I'll need an expensive 'expert' to replace it.

This model has an extractable battery and can be easily upgraded which leaves the new owner (me) some freedom to operate in. So far its good. Usually I hate laptops or their variants due to the mouse pad as they are usually over sensitive but this one is cool.

The keyboard is fine too. I mentioned it as in some reviews I read some people complained but that is taste not a product feature flaw. Some like x and some like y. If you look at the specifications of the hardware and compare it to other offerings I think Toshiba is being fare.

On the Negative side.

The bloat-ware they use as an operating system (Wind 8) is horrible.It is not designed for laptops with traditional screens but touch screens! It is Microsoft's competition to the over priced fruit company's touch pads; Microsoft though advertise it as good for any device because if they only advertised it for touch screens they would be competing with Android too. It has applications ('apps.') I will never use and do not want. It tries to make you dependent on Microsoft for everything as their competitor Apple does.

I spent a little time on the web and thanks to some enlightened software designers downloaded 2 mini programs to convert it to the Wind 7 style as it is more functional for a none touch screen device.

Conclusion.

Toshiba is offering an honest deal to consumers. So far I am happy with the hardware. (In a few months time I will update my review if need be).

PS. Amazon delivery was fast and DHL efficient but I am sure my Toshiba got banged as there was no padding in the delivery book. On the other hand we use too much resources any way I suppose.

Update

Well the machine is excellent apart from the Wind operating system as it is so damn annoying. Each time I glide the mouse over something it opens it and I know it is Wind's fault as it did the same on an Acer laptop I had. I have tried tweaking the touch pads sensitivity and got rid of the two finger gestures ( to Wind) as it kept magnifying and reducing the size of the page I was on by just brushing against the mouse pad.

I need Wind OS for Uni. as their systems use Wind but soon Linux Ubuntu will be sitting on my wicked Toshiba U940.
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on 18 February 2013
I spent an age looking and choosing a laptop and in particular Ultrabooks as I wanted something that would take seconds and not minutes to fire up like my old 10 year old laptop does!
This is a great piece of kit. It goes from cold to connected to the net in around 15 seconds. It has a nice size screen and a backlit keyboard - something that is usually only available on more expensive laptops. I like Windows 8 too, once you get to grips with its new interface.
It's light and compact but slightly plasticy but that's why you can pick one up for £415!
It does the job that I want for everyday home use and hopefully it will do so for many years to come. Toshiba is not a make I would usually look at but when you consider that lots of the components are made by bigger manufacturers (HDD made by Samsung) it will hopefully be OK.
One other feature that is rare on an Ultrabook is that you can access and change the RAM and HDD allowing you to upgrade from the standard 4GB to 16GB and add an SSD rather than the HDD. You can also access the battery and replace this yourself.
One negative point that I have is that I think I have a dead pixel but it doesn't really affect day to day use and it seems like a fairly common issue on LCD screens these days.
So all in all, I would recommend this laptop (and the service from the suppliers, George and Freddie)
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on 29 October 2013
i had to come back to this review to change the opinon.

having brought this laptop in october, i had this laptop for 30days, the laptop suffered a complete hardware failure. windows ran a dionogstic check then next thing the black screen of death resulting in me returning back to amazon for a full refund. and i thank them for that.

having no disc drive you can not get repair cd from toshiba but in my case nothing could be done.

also many other people on the reviews section of these models, have also experienced the same hardware or driver failures on the U series so it is a very common problem.

my advice is to stay away from the satellite U series and invest in the next grade up satelitte series.

i brought the laptop, thinking that the other people had very bad luck, but it turned out it was not the case.

toshiba is a fantastic brand (the computer im typing this on is my brothers who had it for 6 years and is still going strong) but this time they messed up.
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on 12 March 2013
So we bought this ultrabook for my partner a few months ago and she loves it.

Despite the relatively big screen the device is very thin and lightweight, it's easy to move it around at home, even with one hand. Specs-wise you can't really ask for more. As long as you don't want to play new games on it the SSD drive, the i3 processor and the expandable (up to 16GB memory) will do the job for years.

Screen quality is average, the resolution and the viewing angles could be better, so overall the display is nothing particular. Oh, it's not a touchscreen but we don't miss this feature at all.

The only real downside is the rubbish speakers. The sound quality is terrible, especially compared to most other new laptops. The audiocard is fine, when connected to a hifi system the sound quality is excellent. Only the built-in speakers feel like cheap Chinese mobile phone accessories. That's a pity, otherwise the laptop is a real joy.

It comes with Windows 8 which is a stupid system BUT it works extremely fast with this machine. The notebook turns on in a few second and thanks to the SSD drive everything you do happens in a blink of an eye.

If you're an audiophile forget this laptop. But go for it if your audio is mainly connected to headphones or external speakers.
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on 17 March 2013
Conveniently light and portable. Used extensively on my recent trip to the USA. Modern looking and stylish. Miss the internal CD/DVD drive but that's part of the price one pays for low weight. Much easier to travel with than my Satellite Pro 770-136 but still prefer the 770 for my home office primarily because it has a number pad.
Two USB 3.0 ports are an added advantage but to benefit I have had to purchase USB 3.0 memory sticks. Why don't Toshiba offer them (and portable CD/DVD players) as an option at the initial sales point?
The model is pleasant to look at and easy to use but I have yet to find an extended (3 yr) comprehensive guarantee against defaults.
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on 22 September 2013
I have bought this as an overseas holiday item, I could have gone for a tablet as a replacement for my"died a death" previous travel laptop, it decided to overheat and fry the motherboard, but instead chose this due to the good reviews here.
So far I'm not disappointed at all. When you get it out of the box the instructions are virtually nonexistent, the Quick Start guide basically shows you where the ports are and says plug it in and turn it on. The other pamphlet goes on and on about recycling and seemingly nothing else, a waste of ink and paper in my opinion.
The first thing I noticed but had not expected is the back-lite keyboard, nice surprise.
Alas then of course it goes into set time and date then on to the setup also known as "the living hell that is Windows 8", did all that rubbish ensuring that I said no to everything that this O/S tries to keep you as a captive market and wholly reliant on its products and services for and then installed Classic Shell, which keeps you as a familiar desktop rather than that useless tile screen.
Not this items fault as its just what it comes with.
I have battled to uninstall the McAfee software and quite a few of the other bloatware "Apps" and seem to have rid the system of them.
Up and running and I must say its very responsive, the keyboard could be better but I'm getting used to it and the track pad should certainly be smaller and the speakers are not ones that anyone one would want to listen to music on but plug in headphones and the sound quality is very surprisingly good.
Its very light, the screen is quite good, the fan has hardly kicked so far, hope that's not going to be a future issue though, is it working properly ?, only time will tell. I was concerned about how the I3 older model processor would cope with spreadsheets, video clips and mail applications all running but it works really well. The WiFi is also very good, not like some other manufacturers lower end products ! - read the reviews of them and you will see what I mean, for me the WiFi is very important as where I'm going to has very poor signal strength and having wandered around away from my home it still maintained a good connection for quite a distance from the router.
To conclude, it will not survive a fall onto a hard surface from more than say 3 foot, in my opinion, but for the price and for my purpose I am delighted with it and as a travel laptop under £360 it cant be currently beaten, USB 3 + HDMI + Bluetooth + SSD cache as well !
I would actually have paid far more for this as I think its a steal at this price. Not the 5 stars though due to the speakers and track pad but I'm probably being picky, one point, the 14" screen size is a very comfortable one for reading full web pages unlike the 11" ones around.

Update 14/04/2014 Ive had no problems with it at all except for trying to install Windows 8.1, after which it wouldn't connect to the internet but I think that was probably a software issue from my AV - uninstalled everything and then it worked fine - judging by some of the reviews on here Ive been very lucky but as I said - no problems and its been knocked around in overhead lockers on planes and dumped on car seats but Ive found it both fast and very reliable. Of course since I bought it newer models with faster processors have come out and can probably be found at the price I paid for this but its been good for me, so far.
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on 10 May 2013
I am a big fan of Toshiba laptops, but this was the first one I have bought which has the ulv processor, I was worried I would notice it being a lot slower than the previous full speed i3 processor that I have been used too but I honestly have not noticed any difference!

I have to say though one of the selling features was the solid state hdd which improves boot up however as this is the first time I have used Windows 8 I was unaware that the operating system does not encourage proper shut down, instead it just likes you to shut the lid!
This is excellent and what I have always done but because it is not fully starting the operating system up each time you are not really making the most of the solid state hdd, so if like me this is one of the reasons to buy this laptop unless you are going to shut it down fully after each use than you will not take full advantage!

Finally Windows 8, yes it takes a bit of getting used too but its not too bad, if you download a free program called classic shell you can get the old icons/shortcuts back that you are used too, which also makes it easier for full shut down etc!
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on 15 October 2013
I must say the ultralbook has been pretty good to me. I bought it for two reasons it was light and the battery life. I love it's weight and quick start up the most but I must admit the battery life is a little underwhelming. As a complete package I would say it's worth the purchase with a price of around 350 and lower
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on 29 November 2013
I got this laptop initially because it hit all the sweet spots: Sub £400 price, SSD, 14'', backlit keyboard. But this is a simple case of one component unravelling the entire purchase - the hard drive.

But first the pros of this laptop:

Lightweight - doesn't feel heavy on your lap

Backlit keyboard - no more squinting in the dark to see which letter you hit

SSD - One of the only laptops at this price point which offer an SSD

Windows 8 - Yes, I'm listing this as a big plus because if you can neglect the metro interface it's pretty good. The OS boots up in just 15 seconds from a complete shutdown - that's amazing in any way you look at. My only complaint about Windows 8's Metro feature is that it was designed for a tablet to be used with fingers, and so is sort of difficult to use with a mouse. (With Windows 8.1 you can have a separate Desktop screen prominently).

Now the cons:

The hard drive making noises - To be sure, the make of the hard drive is listed as Hitachi - so this could be Hitachi's fault rather than Toshiba's. It would make clicking sounds accompanied by the hard drive slowing down and speeding up. This happened a few times for a few minutes every day or so. Here's what the clicks sound like: [...] . Searching on the web suggests it could be 'hard drive parking' and is common in modern laptops to save battery power, but I couldn't fix it. It also made sudden jerking sounds now and then.

The three headlights below the mousepad that are just too bright - What were Toshiba designers thinking? Those three lights which indicate charging/laptop on etc were so bright I covered them with tape (I keep the laptop at eye level, so while lying down the lights would be in your eyes). All other laptops I've used have lights, but they are soft - they are on but not 'in your face'

Function keys/special functions didn't work well - In this laptop the default is not F1, F2 etc but rather the volume etc. So if you want to press F1, you have to use the Fn key. I'm ok with it, but it didn't work for combinations - Ctrl+F5 for example - do I press Fn+Ctrl+F5? It didn't work. Also the 'switch display' key didn't work. I don't know why.

The keyboard - It's not completely US style, so the @ symbol is next to the enter key. You can change the settings to reflect a US style keyboard though.

Ultimately though, I had to return the laptop because of the hard drive noises. When I buy a laptop with my hard-earned money, I want to keep it for long and have some peace of mind. I have kept my previous one for over 6 years now. I PARTICULARLY don't want to keep worrying if the hard drive will fail today or tomorrow with it making all those noises.

A big thanks to Amazon for allowing returns. I got my refund and will now proceed to buy another laptop from Amazon. Haven't decided which one yet.
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