Performance is right where you would expect, solidly in the middle of the Ultrabook class. Ultrabooks are approaching CULV levels of dull performance metrics—all of them perform roughly the same, because there are only a handful of CPU parts (only three of which are commonly seen in review units) and they’ve all got roughly the same baseline performance specs otherwise (the differences between 4GB and 6GB RAM are rarely statistically significant in our benchmark suite). Obviously, some Ultrabooks come with optional dedicated graphics cards, like the ASUS Zenbook UX32Vd and Acer TimelineU M5, but other than that, the spec sheet a lot of times boils down to SSD vs cached HDD. Here's our current list of candidates:

Laptop Configuration Overview
Laptop CPU Graphics Storage Battery
Acer TimelineU M3 Intel i7-2637M GT640M/HD3000 256GB SSD 55Wh
AMD Trinity Prototype AMD A10-4600M HD7660G 128GB SSD 56Wh
ASUS Zenbook Prime UX21A Intel i7-3517U HD4000 256GB SSD 35Wh
ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A Intel i7-3517U HD4000 256GB SSD 50Wh
ASUS Zenbook UX31E Intel i7-2677M HD3000 256GB SSD 48Wh
Clevo W110ER Intel i7-3720QM GT650M/HD4000 750GB Hybrid 62Wh
Dell XPS 13 Intel i7-2637M HD3000 256GB SSD 47Wh
HP Envy 14 Spectre Intel i7-3667U HD4000 2x128GB SSDs 56Wh
HP Folio 13 Intel i5-2467M HD3000 128GB SSD 60Wh
Ivy Bridge Ultrabook Prototype Intel i5-3427U HD4000 240GB SSD 47Wh
Toshiba Satellite U845 Intel i5-3317U HD4000 500GB+32GB SSD 54Wh

The U845 falls at the midlevel of the class, with the i5-3317U, a 1.7GHz dual core 17W Ivy Bridge part with a max turbo clock of 2.6GHz and a GPU clock of 1.05GHz. This is the standard CPU in sub-$1000 Ultrabooks, and typically the only step lower would be the SNB i3 or i5 that’s used in the base U845 and other entry level systems. Performance is adequate if uninspiring, with the lack of a dedicated SSD definitely being noticeable during regular use.

Cinebench R11.5—Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5—Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark—First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark—Second Pass

Toshiba has always been pretty bad at bloatware, so much so that I once wrote them a letter about it halfway through my review of the Portege R700. Unfortunately, things have not gotten too much better since then, with Toshiba loading the U845 with a Norton Internet Security trial, NetZero, and about 30 different Toshiba utilities that are for the most part pointless. (Okay so I went back and counted—the actual number is 29, but close enough right?) Of those 29, I’d say they could dump about 18-20 of them. This is 2012, bloatware should not be acceptable as standard operating procedure when selling a computer. Microsoft’s Signature optimization on PC hardware sold at the Microsoft Store proves that. There is simply no excuse.

Toshiba Satellite U845: Design Toshiba Satellite U845: Battery Life
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  • quiksilvr - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    *facepalm*

    W--WHY?! Why, why, why, why, why. That is a deal breaker to the nth degree for me. I hate lugging a USB HD webcam because of subpar cameras. Why can't I find a decent Ultrabook with a good HD Webcam that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    forget that, It lost me at 1366x768. WTF!!! its Q4 2012 and its still 768 lines? Never. Not in anything larger than 10 inches. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    Lost you at 1366x768? Lost me at Toshib....

    HP Folio 13 can be had for under $600 on eBay and it comes with a 128GB SSD. So I don't see any appeal, at all, to this thing. The keyboard is crap, the screen is crap, it has a hard drive (personally, I don't think any laptop that will be moved around at all during its lifespan should have a mechanical drive in it...) and it's pretty heavy to be considered an Ultrabook.
    Reply
  • Belard - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    What part of "mainstream / low cost Ultrabook" did you and others did NOT understand? Want something better, pay the price. Most of the top 10 pc notebooks that sell are under $500. While the bottom end MacBook air starts at $1000.

    Hence Ultrabook sales are low. Because for most people, a $400~600 notebook will get the job done.
    Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Maybe you didn't understand. I just said you could get a high end ultrabook for the same price (or less) than this "mainstream / low cost Ultrabook"

    I'm not saying you can get a Thinkpad X1 for $600, but the Folio 13 and a number of Asus notebooks can be had for the same price as the U845, so I'm wondering why they are not being reviewed and THIS is.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Do you just not read the site?

    We've reviewed a view ASUS ultrabooks AND the Folio 13.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    *few. Reply
  • nbgambler - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    One of the few times in life I wish there was a '+1' button! LMAO Reply
  • quitesufficient - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    For putting 1366x768 on the first page so I can easily scroll down and stop reading the review immediately before wasting my time. Reply
  • r3loaded - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    I did exactly the same - Ctrl+F, typed in 1366, got a match, jumped straight to the comments section. Reading the rest of the review is pointless if a company can't get the basics right. Reply

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