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  • quiksilvr - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link


    W--WHY?! Why, why, why, why, why. That is a deal breaker to the nth degree for me. I hate lugging a USB HD webcam because of subpar cameras. Why can't I find a decent Ultrabook with a good HD Webcam that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?
  • retrospooty - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    forget that, It lost me at 1366x768. WTF!!! its Q4 2012 and its still 768 lines? Never. Not in anything larger than 10 inches. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    Lost you at 1366x768? Lost me at Toshib....

    HP Folio 13 can be had for under $600 on eBay and it comes with a 128GB SSD. So I don't see any appeal, at all, to this thing. The keyboard is crap, the screen is crap, it has a hard drive (personally, I don't think any laptop that will be moved around at all during its lifespan should have a mechanical drive in it...) and it's pretty heavy to be considered an Ultrabook.
  • Belard - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    What part of "mainstream / low cost Ultrabook" did you and others did NOT understand? Want something better, pay the price. Most of the top 10 pc notebooks that sell are under $500. While the bottom end MacBook air starts at $1000.

    Hence Ultrabook sales are low. Because for most people, a $400~600 notebook will get the job done.
  • Samus - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Maybe you didn't understand. I just said you could get a high end ultrabook for the same price (or less) than this "mainstream / low cost Ultrabook"

    I'm not saying you can get a Thinkpad X1 for $600, but the Folio 13 and a number of Asus notebooks can be had for the same price as the U845, so I'm wondering why they are not being reviewed and THIS is.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Do you just not read the site?

    We've reviewed a view ASUS ultrabooks AND the Folio 13.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    *few. Reply
  • nbgambler - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    One of the few times in life I wish there was a '+1' button! LMAO Reply
  • quitesufficient - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    For putting 1366x768 on the first page so I can easily scroll down and stop reading the review immediately before wasting my time. Reply
  • r3loaded - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    I did exactly the same - Ctrl+F, typed in 1366, got a match, jumped straight to the comments section. Reading the rest of the review is pointless if a company can't get the basics right. Reply
  • chrnochime - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    Why bother coming to the comment section anyway if the product disappoints you so much? Reply
  • flashbacck - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    because we have the very slimmest of hopes that laptop designers will see the comment and consider for their next design?

    Probably not. But we can hope!
  • Galcobar - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    Count me in on the thin hope of a manufacturer reading the review and noticing the universal disdain for such a poor screen.

    I'll pay the extra $50 to get a decent screen. Workloads vary, but what makes for a good user interface really doesn't. I want thin and light, but I refuse to purchase a computer with a screen which will so greatly hamper my productivity.
  • Samus - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Unfortunately, we AT readers are the 1%. 99% of people don't really care about screen quality.

    Infact 90% of them don't even know what screen resolution even is.
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    I agree. This trend will never be mended unless the people that spec new laptops hear people's complaints about these things. Reply
  • howneat - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    1366x768 just doesn't cut it these days. If the low end ultrabooks had 1440x900 displays they'd be worth a look. Reply
  • KillerFry - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link


    I too saw the resolution and moved along, nothing to see here.
  • Marburg U - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    I know it sounds boring, but i stopped at "768p".

    My Acer from 2004 came with a 1280x1024 screen, which is 1.25 times more than 95% of modern laptops displays.
  • The0ne - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    The first thing I look for is the display spec. Nothing else matters as much to me anymore. It is a shame but what can one do. Reply
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    My workplace has a Toshiba laptop floating around, screen size in the vicinity of 15", that has a resolution of 1600x1200. I'm happy with my 1600x900 14" laptop, but you look at what used to be out there and you're like, "WHAT HAPPENED!?" Reply
  • ccd - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    If I want to consume media, I'm getting a tablet. If I want a machine to do office work, I need at least 15" screen which would also include a decent sized keyboard. Anything below 15", ultrabook or not, will soon become some form of tablet. Reply
  • teiglin - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    Strongly disagree. For casual browsing on the couch, I much prefer a laptop to a tablet. From the options of an iPad, a Galaxy Tab 7.7, and an 11" Samsung Series 9, the Series 9 sees by far the most couch use.

    For "media consumption" (which is a pretty ambiguous term, but which I take to mean "watching TV shows/movies), a tablet may or may not be better--of course, on the couch, I generally use the TV, and when travelling, an ARM tablet tends to have the advantage thanks to battery life.

    Personally, I tend to agree that the 13-14" form factors that seem to be the most common laptop screen sizes nowadays are not ideal; for me, 11" is more comfortable to use while lounging, and certainly stepping up in size gives you a more usable keyboard, but for any work involving actual typing, I find it hard to use any laptop keyboard at all--although I've never had a job that involved a lot of travel and typing concurrently, so I guess if you don't have the luxury of a real keyboard, it's just a matter of how much size you're willing to sacrifice to ease the weight of your carry-on.
  • Belard - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Dunno about you but, I'm on my iPad now.... Went from couch to toilet to bed... As Steve Jobs envisioned. My desktop is a few feet with a nice 24" display... But I'll type small messages like this on the tablet.

    You cannot hold a notebook like a book. You cannot share info on a notebook like you can on a tablet... As nAturally.

    Different people like different things, each their own. I do use a tablet a bit more than my notebook, but desktop wins.
  • SodaAnt - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    I disagree for a few reasons here. I think there's still plenty of space for a 11-13" ultrabook for on the go work. I can't do decent typing on a tablet, and unless I'm hauling around a lot, I'd rather not carry a 15" laptop. However, a light 11" ultrabook is perfectly fine for typing and writing up documents, and is also good for media consumption too. Reply
  • rwei - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Agree with this, and I've been flip-flopping. My 'portable' toolkit currently consists of an iPad 3 and a Thinkpad x120e.

    iPad is nice because the screen is purrty, and it barely weighs more than 1lb (don't need charger for anything up to a 2-day trip). Notable downsides include feeling like a tool.

    However, the Thinkpad is nice because of the keyboard, being a real computer (full Office suite, MusicMonkey, browser), and (ironically, seeing as the iPad is the media device) of being more convenient for watching movies and music, since I don't have to convert everything (e.g. FLAC) and/or manage to a 32GB capacity. Then again, icky screen and >3x the weight w/ charger (5-6hr life isn't enough).

    I'm always torn between which to bring. Bringing both would obviously be dumb.

    Hopefully this resolves itself once Windows 8 hybrids launch and mature, to get me all the best functionality aspects of the Thinkpad in a more iPad-like package.
  • kaalus - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    Must be a joke. Please stop even reviewing this crap. When someone soiled their pants there's no point looking in there. Reply
  • Conficio - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    So many people don't need thin and don't need light. Especially not when you buy on a budget anyway. What users need and want is good screen, sturdy chasis with a keyboard with little/no flex, good trackpad.

    Even a good venting system that does not need cleaning every 6 mo or a hinge that survives more than 12 mo of light use, is more important than slim and light.

    And in a 15" laptop add two 2.5" drive bays!
  • Conficio - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    Actually meant to add, I'm not surprised they are not selling that well. Reply
  • Bob Todd - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    The same thing passes through my mind on almost every Ultrabook review. Up at the ~$1000 range, these things are competing with higher end Windows laptops with quad core regular voltage CPUs, 8GB of RAM, dedicated GPUs, good build quality, and possibly an IPS panel or really strong TN (up to 1080p). And sadly the "regular" laptops that draw a lot more power aren't suffering in battery life since these Ultrabooks usually have freaking tiny batteries. Most of these haven't been good enough to be my only laptop, so I'll trade a little thinness and weight for a better overall package (e.g. Lenovo X230 all the way up to an Envy 15).

    10/100 Ethernet is a joke and these companies should be ashamed. Gigabit can't add much to the BOM in late 2012. It's far less frustrating when doing certain tasks (e.g. creating/restoring from images on the network, etc.), and not including it even at $600 is nuts. I could forgive some of this stuff if all of these Ultrabooks got 8+ hours of battery life. But as it stands, most of these aren't remotely compelling to me. I know why I see so many MacBook Airs in airports and so few Ultrabooks. The Air is a solid overall package, at least for the 13" (battery life, panel, SSD, etc.). There have been more impressive Windows "thin and lights" in the last few years than Ultrabooks. Hopefully they move the needle in the right direction for the average Ultrabook with the new models coming out and cheaper IPS/SSD component costs.
  • seapeople - Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - link

    I agree on the battery thing - if a machine's entire purpose is to be extremely portable, then shouldn't one of it's best features be battery life?

    I've voiced this complaint before, and all I seem to get are replies of "But 6 hours is all you need! Assuming you close your laptop between meetings that should get you through all day at work, right?"
  • Zodiark1593 - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    At $600, I can almost forgive the bad screen, but the fact that cheaper tablets are shipping with vastly superior displays want to make want to go to a Best Buy, and smash all their laptops (with eww displays) with a baseball bat. Reply
  • Yorgos - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    the funny(actually it is ridiculous) thing is that a smartphone at this price range has a 720p screen that costs about 30 $(not retail).
    imagine how people would react to a product that has 4 of those screens, even if there are bezels in the screen and give you a 1280+1280X720+720 screen, that's a 2560X1440.
    we have seen many crazy staff going on with the computers, that's one that is going sell like hell.
  • Hrel - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    I think you are very ignorant and should do some research on everything you just said. Reply
  • peterfares - Monday, October 08, 2012 - link

    At least the RAM is a little better than the pathetic 4GB machines have been shipping with since 2009. Reply
  • Calista - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    I have been playing around with computers for almost two decades and as a role of thumb a computer should support three times what can be considered a 'normal' amount of RAM to not be memory starved before the rest of the system has reach it's useful end of life.

    So in 2012 a laptop should support 12 GB of RAM even if only 4 GB is needed right now. But who knows, maybe we have made computers disposable too a much larger extent since they are so much more affordable today than ten years ago.
  • Belard - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    "it’s quite disappointing to see the lack of emphasis on notebook display quality. Let's hope Windows 8 changes that."

    Why would windows8 change anything? It's software. The point is to get sales from people who tend to not know the difference. Same with the $1200-1500 slates with windows7... How is 8 going to change the price of the hardware... It doesn't.

    Hence win8 tables are already fail.
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Just from the Windows 8 systems that have debuted, it should be pretty clear that manufacturers are completely rethinking the way PCs are designed and built. If you haven't realized that yet, I'd suggest paying a bit more attention. Reply
  • Belard - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    I've been paying attention.

    MS came out with the Surface, blaming their partners for making crappy tablets... in which case, please point out a tablet-oriented OS MS has ever shipped? WP7 was only for phones.

    I completely understand WHAT and WHY Microsoft is doing with Windows 8. They did it wrong. They hired untalented brain-dead middle-management to design a new OS UI called Metro, which at best - works on phones.

    I too think the Desktop as we know it, will become a very rare thing in the homes 5+ years from now. Win8 is a bad mixture of a consumer mobile UI and a classic desktop that has been cut off at knees.

    Ultrabooks are just think notebooks, nothing more. For 1/3 the price you gain about 1.5lbs and about 3/4 of an inch. They have been selling badly since Intel has started pushing it. Typical PC notebook sales are in the $350~500 range. A low end gamer notebook can be had for about $750~900. If you really want something thin and light, a tablet with a keyboard will do.

    WART tablets are really no different than WP7/8 are "Windows". They are going to sell for $400~600 to go against Android and iPads... *yawn*. bait and switch there, when the buyer realizes he doesn't have a "windows" device at all and would need to spend $1000~1400 for a good Slate.
    (In case you missed it, Ultrabook sales are tanking) So with ZERO compatibility with actual Windows Software, why bother? Then why bother with a $1200 Win8 tablet when you can get an iPad with a better screen for $500?

    Lets see those Win7 tablet sales... not exactly flying off the shelf there, are they?

    The same people who didn't buy WP7 phones, won't be buying WP8 models either. MS is in a battle 3rd place with RIM... and that is sad.

    The bad consumer experience many/most people will have with Win8's METRO will NOT generate sales of WP8/WART devices.

    The success of WP8/WART *IS* based on the reception of Windows 8. (Which I have running all by itself on a notebook)

    How do I feel about Windows8? I finally replaced my Q6600 desktop with a new i5-3570K build with SSD, 16GB of RAM, etc this week. Installed with a $140 Win7Pro, as I have ZERO plans of spending a dime on Win8. I have 4 various WinXP Retail discs from PC's retired long ago. So getting the $40 Win8 is a none issue. I would like to have gone for the deal, but Win8 isn't worth $1 to put onto my hardware.

    So again... Windows8 *WILL NOT* change the sales of Ultrabooks.
  • silverblue - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Well, let's put it this way. Windows 8 is Microsoft's first REAL entrance into the consumer touchscreen market, so now, we're talking touchscreens aplenty on not just laptops. Secondly, you get tablets with extremely good screens and resolutions and you're not having to spend the earth on them anymore. Finally, Microsoft Surface is coming in two flavours, and chances are it's going to rip Intel's Ultrabook strategy out from under its own feet. Why wouldn't you at least attempt to make a viable product? Reply
  • Belard - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    Ultrabooks are bombing... What Win8 tablet sells will only eat into Ultrabook sales.

    Remember the Netbook craze from 3~4 years ago? Cute little portable notebooks that were $250~300. The iPad murdered the market.

    I was in FRYs yesterday... the Ultrabook section has lighted displays... $$$ being spent by Intel. I was the only one there, I walked by - I think I touched one. *meh*. Most of the customers and sales staff were in the $350~500 notebook isle and I saw two people at the gaming notebook area.

    Ultrabook is sad.
  • Bull Dog - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    While I understand where some of the other commenters are coming from with regards to seeing a 1366x768 display and not bothering to read further, I am disappointed by the apparent lack of appreciation for Vivek's hard work in actually reviewing the product.

    I too, abhor low-rez, low-quality panels as much as the next guy. These low quality LCD screens need to die, three years ago. And this notebook in particular is even worse than "normal'.

    That all being said, I still enjoy reading through the review in it's entirety. My thanks to all the hard work that the Anandtech crew does to make these reviews happen.
  • KaarlisK - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Basically, the idea is to replace the mSATA SSD with a 128/256gb SSD, disable SRT, and use it as a laptop with two drives. Is this possible (does the bios/Intel RST driver allow this option?)? Reply
  • nbgambler - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    I second this... This, and a reasonably priced mSATA drive, would go a long way to un-mass market a lot of these laptops! Reply
  • StrangerGuy - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    We need to slap designers repeatedly in the face until they get the message of:

  • hybrid2d4x4 - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    That should say "NOBODY WANTS GLOSSY SURFACES." (emphasis on the period) Reply
  • Belard - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    Only the power light can be glossy. Reply
  • Calista - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    You guys seem to have such short memory, it was only a few years ago that glossy plastic was all the rage while dull matte plastics was considered low-end. And yes, I'm sure you bought those products as well, support the very same design you now moan at. Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    I agree with others. The whole idea of the "ultrabook" brand is to guarantee consumes a higher level of quality and refinement than most are used to; ie those cheap 300-500 dollar notebooks. Intel places requirements on ultrabooks, to use that brand, I cannot fathom why one of those requirements isn't AT LEAST a 1600x900 screen with a brightness of AT LEAST 300cd/2 and a contrast of at least 300:1, preferably 500:1.

    I don't really want to pay for an SSD. But use a Seagate Hybride 500GB or 750GB drive. They'll probably have a hybrid 1TB 2.5" drive out soon too. I have the 500GB one in my gaming laptop right now. Let me tell you, the difference between loading levels on my desktop (RAID 0) and on my laptop is night and day. I don't even want to play Mass Effect on my desktop anymore because the load times are literally 10 times longer. At the same time I couldn't possibly get by with anything below 500GB; even that is kind of a pain to have to manage. So having only an SSD in anything is out of the question, because 512GB SSD's are just too expensive.
  • nbgambler - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    By no means blazing fast write speeds, but for the gamers among us, a sub $300 512GB SSD ($0.58 per GB) solves most storage problems I can think of!
  • Belard - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    OUCH!! $300.... we are getting there. But honestly, a hybrid setup still works pretty good. $150 80~160GB SSD + $100 1 or 2 TB HD.

    Yeah, the point of the "ultrabook" is a level of quality and specs... which this thing is not.

    There is a reason Apple is selling a lot of $1000~2500 notebooks... as much as I hate Apple, their hardware is consistent.

    Toshiba Satellite U845
    Zenbook UX31E.
    ACER M3-581TG... Notice something about these? The NAMES!
    What the hell is a M3-581TG or UX31 or U845? "OMG!! I got the M3-581TG, I've been dreaming about this notebook for weeks" - doesn't happen. Who really knows those names?

    Go to Apple: MacBook Air (11 or 13") , MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac, etc.

    How about ThinkPad? They at least keep the model names for years. T400~T430...
  • Calista - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    I sometimes wonder what ever happened to the Thinkpad T50.
    We had the T20, T30, T40 and the T60. But no T50..?

    I must say the current naming convention make sense although, TXY0 where x equals screen size and Y equals generation. It doesn't tell the whole story, but it quickly gives an idea of generation and performance.
  • Netscorer - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    I looked at this portable briefly two weeks ago when it first started to appear at $600 price point. Ultimately, I chose Visio Thin and Light CT14-A0 14-Inch Ultrabook which is now available at the same price and is a definite upgrade to the Toshiba Satellite.
    Gorgeous IPS 1600x900 screen, 128Gb SSD Drive (ironically from Toshiba) and sleek unibody aluminium design, weighting 1/2lb less then Toshiba. Visio is not known to release laptops in the past but if they will be judged by this first attempt, they have great future. Design is a monkey copy of Samsung Ultrabook series, just more stylish. It looses few ports comparing to other portables but they are not essential. Ethernet, for example is not the port used often in ultrabooks whose primary goal is to go unhinged by any cords. With Dual Band 811.n Wi-Fi onboard I don't miss it at all. And if you have to have it, buy a cheapo USB to Ethernet adapter and you are in business. SD Card reader may be more important to me but I already have 3 or 4 USB-based mega readers, so if I need to toss one in a bag with me, I am fine with that too.
    The Core i3 ULV CPU may be the only thing that limits this Visio. Comparing to i5 in Toshiba it runs at the same (actually slightly higher) frequency but can not handle high-CPU loads, where i5 can boost it's performance significantly in these cases. Oh, and I am disappointed in battery life. It just does not last much longer then 4.5 hours for me before it needs to be recharged. I am still trying to understand if this is because of the hungry screen or design sloppiness by Visio or some bad drivers running in the background, but it is not acceptable.
  • bji - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    Pathetic. Reply
  • elitistlinuxuser - Saturday, October 13, 2012 - link

    Why note just get an acer Aspire v5-171 if you want an ultrabook that is affordable. Even if it isn't technically ultrabook Reply
  • Thegonagle - Sunday, October 14, 2012 - link

    Lost me at 768. (As has every single other notebook/laptop that only has 768 lines.) Reply
  • marvdmartian - Monday, October 15, 2012 - link

    Something is making the Office Depot link turn into gibberish, for their product search. Direct link (without the "detonator dynamite" garbage:
  • raok7 - Thursday, September 05, 2013 - link

    Thanks for the updated information guys, really impressive...
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