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Toshiba Satellite U840W: world's first cinema display laptop

The 21:9 aspect ratio means no more black bars, though you might have to zoom in to get the effect.

Joe Svetlik

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Toshiba has launched the first laptop with a 21:9 aspect ratio. The Satellite U840W promises to be optimised for movies, eliminating the black bars that usually accompany watching films in widescreen.

The 14.4-inch laptop sports the same aspect ratio as the Philips TV that launched back in 2009. It's designed for "cinema enthusiasts", according to Toshiba, though I can't imagine any serious cinephile enjoying films on a laptop, especially one this size. I'd imagine with those guys it's a big screen or nothing at all. But I suppose they have to sit on trains like the rest of us.

There is a slight catch as well. Unless you're watching a movie made especially for 21:9, you'll need to zoom in to eliminate the black bars. And there's no disc drive so you'll have to download or stream the films, or load them on via USB or SD card.

The screen has a resolution of 1,792x768 pixels. Because it's so wide, it's ideal for opening plenty of windows side by side. The stereo speakers are designed by Harman Kardon, so your soundtracks should sound decent. There's also a gesture control touchpad that lets you swipe, pinch, zoom and scroll your way around.

It's an ultrabook, meaning it's slim, light and powered by an Intel processor -- a third-generation Intel Core one. Windows 7 Home Premium comes installed and it will cost from £899 when it goes on sale sometime around July.

Toshiba has also announced the regular Satellite U840 -- a similar 14-inch model, without the 21:9 aspect ratio.

And while it's at it, Toshiba unveiled the R9 Series, comprising three new business laptops and the LX830 desktop PC, which packs a Freeview tuner and Blu-ray player.

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Toshiba LX830

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