Toshiba Satellite U845T review: Great battery life and a slim body for only $799

While this Satellite U845T is a fixed-configuration $799 laptop, Toshiba does offer another model, also for $799, that swaps out the 128GB SSD for a standard 500GB, 5,400rpm hard drive. If you need a lot of storage space, that might be a good idea, but I'd stick with the SSD for its advantages in speed, power consumption, weight, and heat.

With a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5-3337U CPU, the Satellite U845T performed a tiny bit better than some other recent slim midsize laptops in our benchmark tests, most of which have a slightly slower Core i5-3317U processor. But the performance difference is slight, and for everyday use -- Web surfing, social media, HD video playback, basic productivity -- you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference.

Sarah Tew/CNET

One area where the U845T does stand out, however, is battery life. In our video playback battery drain test, the system ran for 6 hours and 4 minutes. Any laptop that tops 6 hours is impressive, and for a $799 14-incher, that's even more impressive. HP's similar Pavilion 15 Sleekbook ran for only a little more than 3 hours on the same test.

Conclusion
Every once in a while, a laptop comes along that's just a great example of what a shopper should be able to get for a specific price. While it doesn't massively overshadow what other PC makers offer in the same category, the Toshiba Satellite U845T is exactly what I'd hope for in a midsize $799 laptop right now. It's thin, with a decent brushed-aluminum body, a 128GB SSD, and even slightly better performance and battery life than the competition gives.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite U845T-S4165
446

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite U845T-S4165
241

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite U845T-S4165
121

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite U845T-S4165
364

Load test (average watts)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite U845T-S4165
39.4

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System configurations:
Toshiba Satellite U845T-S4165
Windows 8 (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i5-3337U; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 128GB Toshiba SSD

Asus VivoBook S500C
Windows 8 (64-bit); 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 500GB HD + 24GB SSD

HP Pavilion TouchSmart 15 Sleekbook
Windows 8 (64-bit) w/sp 1; 1.8GHz AMD A8-455M APU; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 512MB (Shared) AMD Radeon HD 7600G; 750GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Dell Inspiron 15z
Windows 8 (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Shared) Intel HD 4000; 500GB HD + 32GB SSD

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    Toshiba Satellite U845t

    Part Number: CNETToshiba Satellite U845t
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Regional specs shown for US. AU specs are unavailable.

    • Resolution 1366 x 768 ( HD )
    • Installed Size 6 GB
    • Color sky silver brushed aluminum, silver keyboard
    • Weight 3.8 lbs
    • Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000
    • CPU Intel Core i5 (3rd Gen) 3337U / 1.8 GHz
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