Toshiba Satellite U840W review: Toshiba Satellite U840W

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Extra wide screen. Significantly better audio than is usually found in laptops. Good build quality. Backlit keyboard.

The Bad 100Mbps Ethernet; c'mon guys, shouldn't everything be GbE now?. ALT+F4 won't work in default keyboard mode.

The Bottom Line It's a little bit different, and we'd hazard a guess that only a few people will be sold by Toshiba's extra-wide display. For those who do get the appeal, they'll also find a well-built, well-featured laptop with better than usual audio.

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Toshiba has gone for something unique in the U840W. Whether it was an opportunity to grab panel offcuts or a genuine want to bring something different, the U840W features a 14.4-inch, 21:9 screen, with a resolution of 1792x768.

Connectivity

  • USB 3.0: 3
  • USB 2.0: 0
  • Optical: None
  • Video: HDMI
  • Ethernet: 100Mbps
  • Wireless: Single-channel 802.11n, Bluetooth 3.0

Toshiba's argument is that it's perfect for 21:9 movies — if you've picked up a DVD or Blu-ray that's kept the original aspect ratio (albeit within a 16:9 container), you can use Toshiba's DVD player and hit the cinema button, effectively scaling and cropping the black bars so that it mimics the theatre experience.

If you've got a 16:9 movie, Toshiba's added an extra button to Microsoft Windows' title bars as well — move the window mostly to the left hand side and click it, and it'll snap the window to aspect scaled 16:9. Move the window mostly to the left and click, and it'll snap to take up the remaining space. Apparently, this is for tweeting or taking notes while watching a movie. You can adjust exactly how the apps scale through Toshiba's Split Screen utility, allowing you to select from four default templates, or to create your own.

An extra-wide screen might also appeal to those who have to work between two windows a lot, like multiple documents or file management tools. Windows 7's Aero-snap tool definitely comes in handy here.

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Where to Buy

Toshiba Satellite U840W

Part Number: CNETToshiba Satellite U840W

Typical Price: $1,499.00

See manufacturer website for availability.