CNET First Look
The media-geared Toshiba Satellite U845WThe Toshiba Satellite U845W has an extrawide 21:9 screen and Harman-Kardon speakers, but no DVD or Blu-ray player. The screen is a novelty act that offers some benefits, but it's really no better than your standard laptop for most uses.
I am Scott Stein and you want as you twist and Alter bucks how about any super ultra wide screen laptop. The Toshiba satellite U 845 W. Is a new type of ultra book that is a strange mutation. -- -- we've seen before the screen has a 1792. By 768. -- screen resolution which is odd. And has a 219. Aspect -- your average. Thirteen inch laptop or windows laptop when a 169 screen. This is even wider and force cinema -- style movies -- movies that get letter box. You think well this to be perfect and that's what it's meant for the show movies without any letter boxing. Combined with some really over the top good -- card speakers that are included. Sounds great in theory and practice it's a little bit of it in this experience. And I'll tell you why because hey there's no dvd drive on -- -- that there's no Blu-ray drive on this laptop. This is an ultra book. But we've seen ultra books now with optical drives in the last couple months so it's not really much of an excuse. And for this type of laptop you'd wanna pop in your cool movies that you'd like to see in widescreen. And you can't do that here and lets you plug in dvd drive -- USB and are you really going to do that I would. So what you're stuck with here is downloads and streaming video. If you're downloading a video file are able to. -- -- record video files that you want to put into that format you've recorded. While ensure -- can show them off in this format streaming depends on the service provider and how they stream their videos. I tested -- on Netflix Hulu plus. And down YouTube for instance and the results were mixed. Sometimes you'd see that the video clip would show up perfectly within its borders. Other one showed up coloring or -- boxing which is that black bars on the sides not a surprise -- it's not a full widescreen video. And other show window boxing where -- and higher video. -- surrounded by extra container of black bars like a Mac -- a -- and that's pretty frustrating but there's nothing you can really do a couple of Netflix movie shows that. Trailers on Hulu plus. And there really isn't as easy tool on this Toshiba laptops to blow up that video to fit the screen. -- left a little bit between here and there. But this wide screen is also pretty good for -- two windows that your browsing on side by side. Now it's not quite the extra screen resolution of -- 1920 make an eighty. But it's close and I found that it was great for putting -- two windows or two word documents on one screen. There's another advantage here and at the footprint of this laptop. Is really shallow so you can fit into an airline tray or place that doesn't have a lot of -- there it is -- laptop feels a bit like -- And it may be -- tight fit in some bags. It's kind of the footprint of a fifteen incher but a -- -- a sought out barrel here because it's top -- here is actually lower than thirteen inch laptop. And let's get to some other details of that screen it's a fourteen point four inch screen but what does that mean real. Well if you use that you might find that the text is actually coming -- a little bit small. And that's because the height on that screen. Is five and three quarters inches but is actually a smaller screen height that you get on a fourteen inch laptop or even a thirteen inch. Or even a twelve point five inch. In fact I -- a -- third gen iPad up to it knew was about similar screen height so imagine that iPad screen stretch that super wide. And you've kind of got we've got here its -- its an odd -- the screen it's an odd type of terminology. And that's not the same is calling a regular thirteen inch laptop at thirteen inch screen and a fourteen inch laptop. Has its own beast and so buyer beware in terms of that. Now you may get some new setup screen you're getting a lot more use out of the speakers sound fantastic and are the best that I've heard on ultra book and the rest of the specs and here. Are pretty straightforward 500 gigabyte hard drive six gigs of ram. A core I 53 gen processor. That's ultra book we've seen that -- a lot of laptops the problem is you can get those specs and other ultra books for about 800 dollars. And this is 999. You are paying up for the feature set here with that wide screen and with those speakers if this excites you will then hey. -- does make -- -- concept laptop in -- to pay a lot of money to get into it and the battery life is good. But on the flip side are you really can use this ultra wide screen and what you're going to use it for. You -- That's the concern and certainly it's a valid concern and how many software programs are really going to take advantage of that screen resolution. You're basically going to have to -- those windows yourself. I'm Scott Stein and that's a look at the funky weird and kind of useful Toshiba satellite -- 845 W.