Toshiba Kira £1,299 ultrabook packs Core i7, Windows 8.1 Pro

Toshiba's new Kira ultrabook and £299 Chromebook are both hitting the UK in the next few months. Here's the skinny.

At 9.5mm thick at its thinnest end -- and 19.8mm at its thickest -- Toshiba's new Kira ultrabook isn't much chubbier than a tablet, but packs a full keyboard, a touchscreen, a Core i7 processor and big-boy Windows 8.1 Pro.

Coming to the UK in the next couple of months and announced today at CES, the slender Toshiba Kira will set you back a hefty £1,299, thanks to those top-notch specs. Its 13.3-inch touchscreen would cost a pretty penny by itself, with better than Full HD 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution (better than any MacBook Air), hardened Corning glass and 10-finger touch support.

Inside it's powered by one of a selection of Intel Core i7 processors, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and Harman Kardon stereo speakers. Three USB ports is one more than you'll find on the current MacBook Air, and an HDMI output is something you won't find on Apple's machine either.

It's also slightly more expensive than Apple's top of the range Air though, which comes in at £1,129 for the same storage -- but cuts corners with a Core i5 chip and a lower-res screen.

Toshiba's first Chromebook

Also announced today is the £249 Toshiba Chromebook, a low-cost laptop running Google's Web-oriented OS.

It has a 1,366x768-pixel 13.3-inch HD display, a low-power Intel Celeron chip, 'up to' 2GB of RAM and a tiny 16GB of storage, plus 100GB of Google Drive space and an SD card slot. It's a little chunkier than the ultrabook at 20mm at its thickest end, and like its more refined stablemate, it's out in the next month or two.

£250 is about par for the course if you're looking for a cheap no-frills laptop -- but you can get the HP Chromebook , with a similar screen and chip, but 4GB of RAM, for the same price. Cheap Windows 8 laptops are available for under £300 too, but you'll probably have to sacrifice a bit of screen size.

What do you make of Tosh's latest laptops? Decent value for money or overpriced for what they offer? Have your say down in the comments, or over on our money-saving Facebook page.

Update 7 January: A previous version of this story claimed the Toshiba Chromebook was £299. It's £249 and I've changed some of the comparisons to reflect this.

 

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