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Hands on: Toshiba's new super widescreen ultrabook

Productivity fiends and film enthusiasts unite: Toshiba has just announced a 21:9 widescreen laptop.

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Craig Simms

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Chalk this one up on the interesting board: Toshiba has just announced an ultrabook with a 21:9 aspect ratio, known in the film world as CinemaScope.

The 14.4-inch widescreen has a resolution of 1792x768, which can contribute to a little extra productivity — like having multiple monitors without the seams. It does make the device a little weighty, though, at 1.7kg.

Toshiba has also extended the Aero Snap function to respect aspect ratio when resizing Windows Media Player, so your 16:9 content will scale appropriately, allowing you to use the rest of the screen for the web.

We were shown iD Software's Rage on the laptop, which struggled due to the Intel HD 4000 graphics, but gave a significantly better field of view that felt closer to real vision.

Other specs include Intel's Core i5 3317U processor, 6GB of RAM, a 500GB hybrid hard-disk drive, three USB 3.0 ports and Harman Kardon speakers, which were rather impressive for the size of the laptop.

The Toshiba Satellite U840W will be available in mid-June for AU$1499.

The two-tone metallic look is rather fetching, and feels nice. The sheer horizontal size, though, makes this a heavier laptop to carry.

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It wouldn't look out of place in a board room.

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A pair of USB 3.0 ports and a pop-down Ethernet jack make the U840W reasonably well equipped.

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Headphone and microphone jacks, another USB 3.0 port, HDMI.

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The keyboard is backlit, and the speakers are actually quite good for a laptop of this size.

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Toshiba has added an extra button that will snap videos to the left or right in their correct aspect ratios, rather than just squashing to half screen as Aero Snap does.

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