Toshiba Satellite U845-S406 review: Toshiba Satellite U845-S406

The 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U processor is a third-gen Intel Ivy Bridge CPU, the same processor that's appeared in a ton of other 2012 ultrabooks including the Satellite U845W-S410, the 13-inch Samsung Series 9, and the Dell Inspiron 14z. These laptops came out pretty evenly matched in our performance benchmarks, so close that they're nearly interchangeable. Intel's latest ultrabook processors, particularly the Core i5 series, are great for everyday computing, and even some video editing and media creation work. The Satellite U845 got warm on the bottom when streaming lots of Flash videos and keeping multiple applications open, however.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics are good enough for mainstream gaming with graphics settings turned down to more basic levels; Street Fighter IV, an older game, ran at 25.9 frames per second at 1,366x768-pixel resolution. That's fair but not particularly great; newer games sometimes run better on Intel's latest integrated graphics.

Juice box
Off (60%) 0.37
Sleep (10%) 0.67
Idle (25%) 6.82
Load (05%) 28.58
Raw kWh number 29.99
Annual power consumption cost $3.40

Annual power consumption cost

So, here's the $879 question: how did the battery perform? We were able to pull 5 hours and 37 minutes out of this Toshiba while looping continuous video playback. That's a little worse than the ultra-wide-screen Satellite U845W and Asus Zenbook UX31A, but better than the Dell Inspiron 14z. I expect at least 6 hours from an ultrabook to consider it truly excellent battery life; this is good, but I've seen better.

Toshiba offers a standard one-year warranty with the Satellite U845. Extended warranty plans can be purchased from Toshiba Direct's Web site when ordering directly from the company, at $139 for an extended three-year warranty or $224 for three years plus accidental damage protection. LoJack is another optional upgrade.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Toshiba Satellite U845-S406 is a capable, innocuous-looking 14-inch ultrabook that's not quite thin and portable enough, nor affordable enough, nor well-featured enough to stand out in a crowded room of ultrathins this season. If you can snag one in the $700-to-$800 range, you'll have yourself a decent deal, but there are plenty of alternatives that can perform equally well -- including Toshiba's own Portege Z series of ultrabooks, which, while a little more expensive, are frequently offered on discounts (and are far slimmer). As it currently stands, the Satellite U845 is, well, forgettable.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test Windows laptops.

System configurations:

Toshiba Satellite U845-S406
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Acer Aspire Timeline U M5-481TG-6814
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 640M LE / 128MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Samsung Series 9 NP900X3C (13-inch, 2012)
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 128GB SanDisk SSD

Dell Inspiron 14z-5423
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 1GB (Dedicated) AMD Radeon HD V18 + Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Asus Zenbook UX31A
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 128GB Adata XM11 SSD

Toshiba Satellite U845W-S410
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 64MB (Dedicated) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Toshiba Satellite U845-S406

Part Number: PSU4SU-007002 Released: Jul. 30, 2012

MSRP: $879.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jul. 30, 2012
  • Installed Size 6 GB
  • CPU Intel Core i5 (3rd Gen) 3317U / 1.7 GHz
  • Color sky silver brushed aluminum
  • Weight 4.1 lbs
  • Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000
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