Toshiba Satellite P845t

With the looks of a Portege and a touch screen, this Windows 8 laptop is part of a big wave of touch-enabled PCs.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
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Scott Stein
Toshiba Satellite P845t adds touch
Watch this: Toshiba Satellite P845t adds touch

Are you feeling touch-curious but don't want to go Full Hybrid? Plenty of laptop manufacturers seem to be splitting the difference with touch-enabled laptops in time for the launch of Windows 8, and the Toshiba Satellite P845t is one of them. Unlike the more aggressively designed Satellite U925t, this Portege-like Satellite is an existing product that's had its screen transformed into a capacitive display.

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This is your standard compact clamshell laptop: a 14-inch, 1,366x768-pixel screen, Intel Core i5 CPU, 6GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive, and a DVD drive to boot. Upgraded Harman/Kardon speakers and an aluminum body place this Toshiba on the upper tier of Satellites (as the P series name implies, in case you follow Toshiba taxonomy). A wide clickpad like those seen on recent Satellite ultrabooks aims to make Windows 8 gestures easier, too.

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So, how does touch on a laptop work? I'm not sure on one this big. The distance from the screen to my hand often meant reaching over the keyboard and occasionally scraping the trackpad, a problem I can see many dealing with. On the other hand, this Satellite is one of the most complete and compact designs I've seen in a while.

The Satellite P845t will be available October 26. The only question is whether this touch-enabled version is significantly more expensive than a touch-free laptop; if so, I could see a lot of people hesitating to get touchy.