Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430 review: No touch, but a very long screen

Stereo Harman Kardon speakers flank the keyboard, and offer big, booming audio. It sounds initially impressive when watching a movie, but certain sounds and music can sound distorted at higher volume levels.

Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430 Average for category [13-inch]
Video HDMI HDMI or DisplayPort
Audio Stereo speakers, headphone and microphone jacks Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks
Data 3 USB 3.0, (one w/power-off charge), SD card reader 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, SD card reader
Networking Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional mobile broadband
Optical drive None DVD burner

Just like before, the ports on the U845W are generous: three USB 3.0, HDMI, SD card, and even a pop-down Ethernet port (which came in handy when the U845W had trouble connecting to my home Wi-Fi network). Bluetooth is included, too.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Under the hood, you get an Intel Core i5 processor, 6GB of RAM, and a hybrid hard drive: 500GB HDD plus 32GB of SSD cache. It performs similarly to other ultrabooks with Core i5 processors, and nearly identically to the U845W previously reviewed. Graphics are Intel HD 4000 integrated, common in ultrabooks. It's more than sufficient for most purposes, even playing a good handful of games (although I can't think of any games optimized for this screen resolution).

Sarah Tew/CNET

This U845W-S430 lasted 5 hours and 42 minutes on our video playback battery drain test, a few minutes short of what the Windows 7 U845W achieved when we tested it. That's better than many recent Windows 8 ultrabooks, but lags behind devices like the MacBook Air .

Toshiba offers a standard one-year warranty with the Satellite U845W-S430. Toshiba's Web site and software-update tools make finding customer support and software not too difficult, but I wouldn't call the entire experience of using this laptop very user-friendly or intuitive.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Satellite U845W-S430 is a wide-screen experiment, but here's the rub: the Windows 8 world is chock-full of experiments already. Touch, folding hybrids, and tablets-turned-laptops are just the tip of an exciting and daunting iceberg. Going extra-wide-screen, frankly, is an experiment that Windows 8 laptops just don't need to undergo...not now, and maybe not any time to come.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430
568 

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430
184 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430
131 

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430
342 

Load test (average watts)
Sony Vaio T13
25.4 
Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430
29.41 

Find out more about how we test Windows laptops.

System configurations
Toshiba Satellite U845W-S430
Windows 8 (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Shared) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm / 32GB SSD Hybrid

HP Envy 4-1102
Windows 8 Pro (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 32MB (Shared) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Dell Inspiron 13z - 5323
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 Western Digital 5400rpm

Asus Zenbook Prime 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

Sony Vaio T13
Windows 8 (64-bit) w/ SP1; 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U; 6GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,333MHz; 32MB (Shared) Intel HD 4000; 500GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Installed Size 6 GB
  • Color midnight silver aluminum with soft touch trim
  • Weight 4 lbs
  • Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • CPU Intel Core i5 (3rd Gen) 3317U / 1.7 GHz
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