Overall Performance

The Ivy Bridge CPU that beats at the heart of the Toshiba Satellite U845W isn't the fastest on the block, but it should certainly be adequate. Using a caching solution instead of a dedicated SSD is bound to hurt PCMark scores, but I did find in practice that it was a healthy step up from just having a straight mechanical hard disk in the system. You can at least feel the difference when using the U845W.

PCMark 7 - PCMarks

PCMark 7 - Lightweight

PCMark 7 - Productivity

PCMark 7 - Creativity

PCMark 7 - Entertainment

PCMark 7 - Computation

PCMark 7 - Storage

The lack of a dedicated SSD causes the U845W to jump around the charts a bit. PCMark Vantage should hopefully paint a clearer picture.

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

And there it is. Caching helps, but generally a dedicated SSD produces superior performance.

Futuremark 3DMark 11

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

3DMark performance is pretty much where we'd expect it, even a bit better. As you'll see later on, Toshiba's thermal solution for the Satellite U845W is actually a very good one, and that extra thermal headroom is probably allowing the notebook to run in turbo modes for longer than some of the competing designs (as seen in 3DMark06).

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark - First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark - Second Pass

The Satellite U845W and comparable U845 produce fairly consistent scores and are cetainly capable enough notebooks.

While ordinarily I eschew doing gaming benchmarking on HD 4000-equipped systems unless we just don't have enough scores, I'm making an exception with the U845W. The reason is a simple one: the appeal of potentially gaming at a 21:9 resolution. I will say that subjectively games do look really cool on the U845W, and that makes the lack of a dedicated graphics solution a little heartbreaking.

Batman: Arkham City - Value

Battlefield 3 - Value

Civilization V - Value

DiRT 3 - Value

Elder Scrolls: Skyrim - Value

Portal 2 - Value

Only Portal 2 offers truly playable performance, but it's worth noting that the increase in resolution doesn't seem to hurt the Ivy Bridge GPU too badly. If you're willing to bring settings even further down, there's a good chance you can make a few of the games here playable. That means the HD 4000 in the U845W will certainly do in a pinch, but I'd love to see Toshiba come out with a model that has even a low end 28nm die-shrunk Fermi in it. Something with just a little more kick than the HD 4000.

Around the Toshiba Satellite U845W Display, Battery, Noise, and Heat
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  • Alexo - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    What about people that want to WORK on the road, not just watch movies. Bring back the vertical space!

    I would be ready to pay a premium for a system similar to the old T61 but with more modern components (Ivy Bridge) and better battery life.

    The X230 could have been a great solution for me if it could be had with a higher resolution 4:3 (hell, I'll even agree to 16:10) screen.
    Reply
  • ATC9001 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I know this isn't a perfect IPS panel with 1920x1080 or 1200 or even going 21:9 with 1080 or 1200 in the vertical, but I think it's a HUGE step up from anything with a 1366x768 panel. If you think about the average joe six pack user/laptop in this market segment (500-1000) VERY few come with anything bigger than 1366x768 when 15.6" and below, this laptop has decent enough hardware (yeah optimus would be nice, but if you're not gaming it works) with the extended horizontal workspace. Wide screen is the way of future, with 2 windows open at once you have a much larger work area and the more this goes into the general public the more people will want the higher resolution.

    I give toshiba props for trying this radical concept...it's not perfect but it's a step in the right direction IMO. I'd be interested in buying one (granted I'd rip out the 32gb mSATA and throw in a 128 drive) for graduate school...only thing holding me back is i'll probably just splurge on a zenbook (but thats 400+ more).
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    If they are going to do anything "radical", I'd like to see a 16:10 display instead. It would be radical, since they don't seem to make 16:10 laptops any more (much less 4:3 laptops). Reply
  • rickon66 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    The all new Toshiba Bunker View Mega Scroll Ultra Book, featuring a screen no bigger than the firing slot in a WW1 bunker, amuse yourself with the endless delight of scrolling constantly to see any real web content as you enjoy the vast empty fields of space on each side. 21:9=fail Reply
  • deamon0 - Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - link

    I am looking forward to buy a ultrabook sometime this year end. Hence I am eagerly watching out for ultrabook reviews, needless to say the reviews here are informative, reliable and extensive. I love reading it.

    We know that in the coming months we will have a many new varieties of ultrabooks, it seems as though the race for the best ultrabook between popular brands has just begun. While it is good that consumers are spoilt for choices and now with the entry of Windows 8 some of them are also looking to multi-task as tablets. Though I'm not too keen on this type ultrabooks, if they can keep up the important features of a good ultrabook then they're most welcome.
    Basically I think what consumers want (or at least what I want) from a ultrabook are :

    1. Above average Performance
    2. Good Display, resolution and battery life.
    3. Good design with sufficient number of ports (like inclusion of Ethernet)
    4. Lastly a "worth it" price point.

    Hoping to find a ultrabook that satisfies above needs the best.
    Reply
  • KPOM - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    "The lower half of the U845W's interior continues the same tasteful aesthetic of the lid."

    Apart from the 5 annoying badges on the left and the (hopefully easy to peel) large sticker on the right. I get that Intel requires this for the Ultrabook subsidy, but some manufacturers put them on the bottom or at least make the colors blend into the color of the palmrest.
    Reply
  • Iketh - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    I got excited at the headline, then I stopped reading at the specs...

    Why bother with this design if you're gonna provide less than 1920 pixels wide?

    And then why bother if you're not going to make use of the extra keyboard space...

    Use this form factor if you're providing 2520 pixels wide and a full sized keyboard... then i'll be all over this
    Reply

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