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  • baronmog - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Wow. I was reading the specs and mostly thinking, "that's pretty cool," or "eh, I could live with that," until I got to the "no 5GHz wifi support." Dude, that doesn't cut it. The ThinkPad my work provided to me a year ago has 5 GHz support. My Galaxy S3 (from a year ago) has 5 GHz support. My Nexus 10 has 5 GHz support. The Netgear router I bought almost a year ago has 5 GHz support...

    Seriously, what was Toshiba thinking?
    Reply
  • danstek - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    $1599 but no dual band WiFi is just lulz. Seriously, all single band WiFi adapters and routers at this point should just be banned from existence. Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Agreed Reply
  • SirKronan - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    Yup! Reply
  • CajunArson - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I have a 5 year old Core 2 notebook with Intel 5Ghz wireless-N support fer crying out loud! Reply
  • elitegibson - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I think that's funny because my 2008 Toshiba Satellite has 5ghz wifi. I would probably cost them like $3 per laptop to put a good wifi card in it. Major misstep Toshiba. Reply
  • chrnochime - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    So one manufacturer finally makes a laptop with a good screen and all you have to complain is no 5GHz support? BTW 5GHz has crappy wall penetration so it's not like you're going to be using it anywhere BUT completely open space anyway. Besides there are crapload of 5GHz wifi adapters to buy to remedy this. Reply
  • sosrandom - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Yup 5Ghz is pretty bad on my router, upstairs in my plaster board house the signal is really weak. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I get better reception and speed on 5GHz than 2.4GHz throughout my entire (admittedly smallish) apartment. I'm certainly not willing to give it up especially if it's not user serviceable so I can switch in my own WiFi adapter. Reply
  • SirKronan - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    A sleek, expensive, premium looking/feeling ultrabook is not supposed to have unsightly things hanging out of it and taking up your precious few USB ports... just to get 5GHz. This is one standard where costs shouldn't have been cut. It makes an otherwise premium device at least "seem" less premium to consumers, and will chase away many "premium" buyers that expect 5GHz as a standard. Reply
  • wanderer000 - Sunday, May 26, 2013 - link

    Why does a laptop need to have things hanging out of it to achieve 5Ghz? It's all internal....... Reply
  • wanderer000 - Sunday, May 26, 2013 - link

    Whoops just ignore me, your comment confused me on first read. Reply
  • madmilk - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    They're not the one manufacturer that finally made a laptop with a good screen. They're the second, following Apple, and in any case being first doesn't mean no other standards apply. For comparison: the $1500 rMBP comes with a dual-band, 3x3 802.11n adapter, and that really should be the norm for a laptop of that price. Reply
  • Dalamar6 - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    They aren't the 2nd to use a "good screen" by far. They're the second to use one this good that's higher res than 1920x1200.

    In any case, I do not see the point to using such a high res screen on less than a 20" notebook, or at the very least, 17". 1080p pixel pitch is TINY on 15.6" already.

    I wouldn't buy this... that much money's better spent on an IPS screen laptop elsewhere.
    Reply
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Actually, the tiny resolution does make sense, because it makes texts and other fine details more readable if the software offers reasonable scaling. Which any office suite, web browser and a lot of other productive stuff do.

    When you view videos or play games, resolution becomes less relevant. Nevertheless, if the HD4000 is too weak to play the full resolution, it is nice to be able to use half resolution without major resampling artifacts. That actually works fine with the 1440p screen scaled to 720p, which is a design resolution for most modern games anyways, but you won't be able to scale anything modern to 960x540 and still enjoy it.

    Alternatively, you can try to play the full resolution an just switch of any kind of AA, as you basically get a biological AA due to the sub-visible pixel size.
    Reply
  • wanderer000 - Sunday, May 26, 2013 - link

    It is when it costs an arm and a leg. Reply
  • JoseAntinio - Friday, May 10, 2013 - link

    Hi I'm new here and would appreciate some advice.

    My understanding is that 2.4GHz Vs 5GHz have both plus and minuses and many believe that 2.4GHz is a better option for the home user.

    If I am right there are no speed issues, in fact as I understand it 2.4GHz can run quicker.

    Could it be that Toshiba have actually got it right for the target market?
    Reply
  • hp79 - Friday, May 10, 2013 - link

    Yup, both plus and minus. I use both at home. 2.4GHz is too crowded these days especially if you live in an apartment. That's when 5GHz does a great job.

    Wifi cards generally support only 2.4GHz, or both 2.4GHz&5GHz. It's very rare to find a card that only supports 5GHz. If you look at prices on ebay, intel 6300 wifi cards costs about $20 while the cheaper models costs about $15. There's not really that much price difference, so it's just crazy not to put a proper wifi card in a flagship device.

    My Galaxy Note1 also supports both 2 and 5GHz band, and my HTC One even supports 801.11ac (max 450mbps, 5GHz band). Toshiba should have put a card that supports 801.11ac since nothing is replaceable.
    Reply
  • CSMR - Sunday, May 12, 2013 - link

    Very few people will even know what this means, let alone notice the difference. Ultrabooks have clear compromises (e.g. 256GB total storage); this is an extremely minor point in comparison. Any wireless internet, regardless the speed or standard, will fill up 256GB in no time. Reply
  • jeffkibuule - Saturday, May 18, 2013 - link

    Umm... the problem with 2.4Ghz is that in an apartment complex that has 25 wireless networks around it, using that spectrum is bound to cause interference when there are only 3 non-overlapping transmit channels. That manifests itself in dropped packets. It has nothing to do with downloading data off the Internet. Reply
  • l_d_allan - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Valuable review, but I'd find it helpful to also see "corrected De2k after calibration". Or did I miss that spec? Reply
  • wendoman - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    > if it's running Windows, you need to charge less for it

    WTF??? Apple OS X has no apps!
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Yeah, but from a "what sells" perspective, consumers at large seem hesitant to drop MacBook Pro money on any PC notebook unless it's an Alienware or similar. PCs have inherently less brand value, and so PC manufacturers can't charge equal (or in this case, more) money to a comparable Mac and hope to have a sales success. The PC industry destroyed that part of itself in the race to the bottom, and now nobody wants to pay more than $700 for a general purpose notebook. While it may not be fair, PC manufacturers cannot use Apple's price points and hope to win unless they ship a significantly more compelling product (see Zenbook Prime vs MacBook Air). Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    "The PC industry destroyed that part of itself in the race to the bottom, and now nobody wants to pay more than $700 for a general purpose notebook"

    Very good point.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Vivek...why should be pay more than 700$ for a general purpose notebook. Why shouldn't tech be a commodity ? Are we supposed to pay premiums on looks only(as Dustin said) ? We should care about the unit as it is and not that "it doesn't look as posh" crap that Dustin highlighted.

    I doubt that consumers that agree to pay more on macs are the same that are pondering a pc. Generally speaking macusers and pcusers are mutually exclusive. A macuser buys a mac for OSX that is exclusive to Apple. A pc user feels constrained about Apple's spartan choices and one size fits all solutions.

    The main issue OEMs have is this. Ultrabooks are a more expensive choice within any OEM's lineup. In Apple's case you do not have a lower priced choice at all. The lineup starts with the MBA so if you want the entry level access to Apple's world you have to buy an ultrabook whether you like it or not. Thus it seems that people are validating ultrabooks when in fact they are aiming for the cheapest Apple unit and not the chipset type.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    "Posh" is such a fantastic word Reply
  • p_giguere1 - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    They are.
    Apple has a philosophy of "Trust us to make sure every detail is perfect so you don't have to".

    Your average consumer feels comfortable blindly buying any Apple product without reading this sort of comprehensive review or getting explained what a chipset or an ultrabook are. I can't blame them, that's exactly what Apple is trying to do and they are successful at it: delivering constant quality in order to gain trust and fidelity.

    Any ultrabook that would have the exact same price and specs as a MacBook Air would sell much less than it. Would it be strictly because of Windows vs OS X, proving OS X is more popular at the same price point? I don't think so. It would be because the Mac would be pretty much guaranteed to have no major flaw and deliver decent and constant quality across all components, even the small ones people don't usually consider or are even aware exist until they have trouble with it. Apple cares about details and people are willing to pay more for this peace of mind.

    On the other hand, ultrabooks, while costing more and offering better specs than you average $500 laptop, aren't guaranteed to be flawless and very well though-out computers. Some are, some aren't, and trying to figure out which one are is a pain in the ass a lot of consumers don't want to deal with. Somebody who doesn't already follow tech websites doesn't have the time and knowledge to start reading (and understanding) tens or hundreds of laptop reviews.

    Bottom line: Time and peace of mind are worth something and reputation matters to people. People are willing to pay more for Apple's reputation of constant quality alone and it's perfectly normal.
    Reply
  • bji - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    A well-thought out and logical post concerning Apple value vs. PC value in the Anandtech comments section? Is this even possible? Did Hell just freeze over or something? I am so confused! Reply
  • ananduser - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    This site is not about the average customers that blindly purchases macs. Furthermore time and peace or mind are not guaranteed with macs as are not guaranteed with any PC.

    Regardless of the willingness of the average Joe to spend whatever he wishes on macs, this site should not refrain, for example, from calling the vanilla mbp13" a poor choice(to say the least).
    Reply
  • zepi - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Imo Anand should grade their laptops over couple of axes, like "portability, performance, display quality and ergonomics". Price shouldn't even be mentioned or at most the MSRP could mentioned somewhere somewhere in small pring.

    As a customer I can sometimes find deals that are way under the MSRP if sales have been underwhelming and sometimes MSRP can be way too low considering the amount of units manufacturer can deliver.
    Reply
  • kevith - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I think that´s spot on what Mac-buyers think. Every one of them, that I know, points out just that, again and again. Very well nailed! Reply
  • robinthakur - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    Wow, a well reasoned argument, this site is not just catering to nerdy IT Types, the ultrabook is just a tool at the end of the day, not a toy to play with in and of itself. Apple's reputation for quality and customer service have ben hard won over many years, it is somewhat unfair to now expect PC manufacturers to offer the same when their margins are much less. I think the big difference now is that these machines cost as much as macs do, whereas in the past, you pretty much paid very little and got what you paid for. Reply
  • robinthakur - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    Does "Posh" equal build quality? When you ape Apple's design so closely, then cheap out on the materials, do they think people won't notice? There is a time in a potential customer's lifecycle where they evaluate what choices are out there, and solicit purchase advice from knowledgeable sources. If you are in the market for an ultrabook, the main competition is the MacBook Air, which is comfortably still the biggest selling ultrabook, not the PC variants. I personally know loads of people that bought MBA's and then run windows on them, usually they present a lot, and being able to kit it out with 8GB of ram was a big deal at the time, even if you are constrained to dual core CPUs. Reply
  • sxr7171 - Sunday, May 19, 2013 - link

    Having recently switched back to Windows for hardware reasons (Nec Lavie Z - lighter than any Macbook), I agree simply based on that touchpad. Apple touch technology is miles ahead of anything Ive used on Windows. I'm still playing with these synaptics settings and I'm not anywhere close to the "out of the box" feel of a Mac's touchpad feel. I really like the Thinkpad trackpoint on Windows but no touchpad can compare to the Apple touchpad.

    Also this OS is confused. Does it belong a laptop or tablet, I can't figure it out. It generally sends you back to the old Windows settings screen for any major settings changes. Apps launch off the start screen into desktop mode anyway. The RT mode has the same apps optimized for touch input.

    Also Windows still hasn't improved the overall amount of effort it takes set the machine up the way that one likes. A Mac out of the box takes about an hour to get to how I like it. A Windows machine takes 6-8 hours if not more. Some things are terrible like setting up a Wi-Fi priority list requires you to get into terminal. The time needed to research and implement things is much higher on Windows. I've had to run some Google Searches for Mac also but far fewer and the it rarely if ever necessitates going into Terminal.

    All in all I couldn't agree more that competitors of Apple have to undercut Apple on price. The only exception would be if they have very compelling hardware features that Apple doesn't have and those are few and far between.
    Reply
  • happycamperjack - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I think you missed the point. Retina 13 can run both Windows and OSX. But this laptop can only run windows. So it is a subset of Retina 13, therefore it should cost less. Reply
  • wendoman - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    But Macbooks runs Windows very bad usually. Poor battery life, bad drivers etc.
    I don't know about Intel only GPU Macs, but Macbooks with discrete GPU can't switch graphics and drain battery.
    Reply
  • lukarak - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    You can always run it in VMWare. Which you can't easily do with OS X on Windows Reply
  • KPOM - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I run Windows 7 on my 13" rMBP and it works pretty well. Sure, Apple doesn't prioritize their WIndows drivers, but it is certainly doable. You are right that battery life takes a hit, though. Sometimes replacing the Boot Camp drivers with the native Intel drivers helps. Reply
  • SirKronan - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    I did this with my video card drivers on my MBP and noticed not only an improvement in battery life (albeit a small one) but a significant difference in performance and stability. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    This laptop could probably run OSX. Hackintosh style. Reply
  • madmilk - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    Yes, but one option is legal, and the other isn't. While you may not care, real businesses with real legal departments buying laptops do.

    Also, the common complaint of Boot Camp is that Windows doesn't really run well. A Hackintosh is even worse, in that 90% of the time there is some piece of hardware that just isn't supported. Which leads to the obvious conclusion: If you want to use Windows, get a Windows laptop, and if you want to use OS X, get a Mac.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Windows8 Pro is 200$ worth of software that needs to be added to the cost of the macbook. Also the bundled Adobe software isn't exactly cheap either. Add those to the bottom line also. All in all the mac will end up costing more while performing worse. Reply
  • Sm0kes - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Umm... a Windows 8 Pro license can be had for much less than $200. Also, factoring in bundled software (that may or may not be used) can't just be added to the bottom line dollar for dollar. Sure it may increase the value proposition for those interested in it, but I suspect the vast majority could care less. Reply
  • robinthakur - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    WTF??? You can run Windows in bootcamp on a Mac, better than you can on a dedicated PC. Can you say the same for this laptop? Can you run OSX even in Hackintosh? Doubtful. I run OSX these days having stopped building my own pc's a while back running dedicated windows, and have no trouble with "Apps". I have Windows Server 2012 environment running in a vm for my SharePoint development and otherwise just use OSX which is reassuringly familiar and stable.

    I certainly wouldn't spend this sort of money for something as written in the review with a flexing cover, dubious build and no dual band, and with resale value which will be wiped out when the next revision hits. It's simple economics really.
    Reply
  • Zink - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Awesome. It would be nice to have an option at 3.5 lbs with a bigger battery though. 4-5 hours isn't enough for many days. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Remember that our battery testing is particularly strenuous. You can probably eke out another hour or so just dropping the brightness by 100 nits. Reply
  • Voldenuit - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Magnesium alloy can have a plasticky appearance, especially after being treated with corrosion resistant finishes. For instance, the mag-alloy shift paddles on my steering wheel look like plastic, but I am definitely glad they're not aluminum on hot sunny days (when my aluminum shift knob burns my hands but the mag paddles are comfortable to the touch). Reply
  • bji - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I can confirm this. The Panasonic Y2 that I had for 7 years before getting my rMBP had a magnesium alloy case and there were times I was sure that Panasonic had lied and that it was really plastic. But after I didn't need the laptop anymore I disassembled it and found that the body panels bent like metal after all. Reply
  • Silma - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Wishing for an update soon with decent Wifi + Haswell Reply
  • Silma - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    "You can make something that's ostensibly better than an Apple product, but if it's running Windows, you need to charge less for it". Fanboyism at its best.
    Why should you charge less with a Windows laptop when you get a vastly greater software choice, that there are very very few interesting software available on the Mac that isn't available on the PC, that you get tremendously better device support and touch as well if you so desire.

    The real lesson pc manufacturers have so tough a time to learn is: stop putting crap on your notebooks sur as 1368x768 1:200 contrast ratio screen, 2.4 GHz wifi, 20 Wh excuses-of-a-battery or I-suck-aplenty-3200rmp HD.

    Where Apple is unfortunately - for wintel notebook users - vastly Superior to notebook manufacturers is that Mac laptop are generally much more coherent. It is rare to get a crappy component on a Mac whereas it is the sad norm on pc notebooks. It seems Apple is goal oriented (let's have 6h battery life even if this means bigger 70Wh batteries) whereas the pc notebook manufacturers are crap-orientated (let's see how much crap I can hide in my notebook and let's pray consumers don't notice it). But consumers do notice and vote with their wallet. The industry, instead of mending its ways is putting the onus behind Windows 8's supposedly lack of success but they really should clean their own house and drop the blinders.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Don't forget OSX. OSX only runs on macs. If you want or need OSX you have no choice but to get a mac. Windows compatibility ads to the desirability. Mac sales really "exploded" when they switched to Intel. If they were mutually exclusive with Windows I doubt they would've passed the 1-2 million/year volume.

    About crap ... the mbp 13". 1280x800 resolution(TN panel), 5400 rpm, integrated graphics. All for 1400$(in Europe). Ironically it is the most purchased item within Apple's line up.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    » "Mac sales really "exploded" when they switched to Intel."

    That doesn't mesh with the time lines as Intel Mac sales jumped immediately but the ability to do dual boot or run a VM came later. Sure, people could have assumed this would soon be a viable option but that hardly seems like the primary reason to drop $2k for a notebook

    The MBP were a new design in a time when PPC had long sense drop the ball for mobile chips. The boost in performance per Watt and the anticipation was tremendous. Mac users knew these were coming, they just came much sooner than Apple had promised.

    » "If they were mutually exclusive with Windows I doubt they would've passed the 1-2 million/year volume."

    I'm not so sure. As Silma says, they are goal oriented. I think if they only sold Windows they would be the best Windows notebook vendor on the market.

    On top of that it doesn't really jibe with your previous comment that they only became popular because of Windows.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I always thought that if Apple would start pumping Windows only macs they would eat(at least in the States) Dell and HP's lunches.

    They are still "relatively" popular in the States alone(even there 11% or 12%); don't overdo it. Apple is after margins not share, so in absolute terms I believe I am right. Windows compatibility definitely made many people switch that were on the fence due to some win exclusive software. There isn't a single macuser without parallels/vmware and a Win license, metaphorically speaking ofc.
    Reply
  • B3an - Friday, May 10, 2013 - link

    "Don't forget OSX. OSX only runs on macs. If you want or need OSX you have no choice but to get a mac."

    It's easy to get OSX running in a VM. Or theres always the hackintosh route. How can you not know this...
    Reply
  • KPOM - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Macs also have better trackpads. Until the Chromebook Pixel, no non-Mac notebook came close to the Mac. It can't be that much more expensive to put in a decent trackpad. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    yeah. My issue is nobody seems to make an end to end good computer. With desktops I could build my own and choose what I was willing to compromise on (if anything). But laptops you can't do that.

    At this point in my life I'm not interested in compromising on much of anything in my work computer. At least not if it's just cost related (like a wifi card and touchpad). Obviously there are heat/weight/performance tradeoff's that a little money can't fix, but otherwise I'd really like a premium machine start to finish. As a software developer/enthusiast/occasional gamer, ideally it would have an excellent screen, keyboard, touchpad, connectivity (network, audio/video,usb etc), graphics, fast encrypted storage, everything :-). I really don't think it's impossible or unreasonable, but nobody seems to have built a laptop that caters to me yet. Macbook pro's are close but I have extremely little interest in mac os. I have a mac mini for occasional mobile development and that's it. My most important apps are visual studio, eclipse, sql server, postgres, chrome, and internet explorer. Half of those are windows only.
    Reply
  • bji - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    As a software developer I greatly prefer OS X to Windows. It's probably because I come from a Unix background and my primary development environment for nearly 20 years was Linux. I find that OS X gives me nearly the same set of nice development tools (oriented towards my preferred development style) as Linux did, while also giving me a first class graphical environment and graphical development tools.

    Of the software that you listed, unless you are truly wedded to Visual Studio, there are equivalent or identical software choices available on Mac OS X and Linux. I know that a development environment can be a very personal thing and it's hard to switch, so if you have to have Visual Studio, I guess you're stuck on Windows. If you can handle a different IDE then nothing that you listed sounds like a reason to stick with Windows.
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    My primary employment is enterprise .net apps running on microsoft sql server databases :-). To be honest, I really like Visual Studio and c# is my favorite programming language. Windows is ok. It would be nice if it had a bourne shell and gcc and great posix support, but virtualization is so easy these days it's not a big deal anymore. I write most of my linux applications (c/c++/ or mono .net) in visual studio as well. I certainly could use a different IDE for those but it's a workflow thing :-) Reply
  • robinthakur - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I just run server 2008r2 in a virtual environment on my MBP and it works great for Visual Studio Development. This is a handy setup for me because you need a Mac to run Xcode and iOS development. Reply
  • ahamling27 - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    About 4 years ago now, (wow I can't believe I'm still using this laptop) I was in this same predicament. But I found the Gateway P-7811FX and I'm still using it as my laptop of choice. Sure it's not an ultrabook (it's nowhere close) but it has a dual core 2.2 ghz proc, and that hasn't changed a whole lot anymore. It's a 17" screen which turns some people off, but it's 1920 x 1200 resolution is impossible to find today. Sure you can argue that a 1080p 17" screen is only 120 pixels less top to bottom, but you tend to still find more 768p monitors than anything, 4 years later.

    Plus it has 2 bays for hard drives. I don't have an SSD in it, because I threw in a couple 500 GB WD Blacks in raid 0, and I don't want to mess with that. But it's plenty snappy.

    Also the Nvidia 9800m GTS can play most games, just nothing like Crysis 3.

    Anyway, my point is, there was a time before "Ultrabooks" that they did try and make some great laptops for a great price, hell I only paid $999 for that Gateway. Now that they have a buzz word, I think it gives laptop manufactures a excuse to charge more for a laptop that really should be priced lower.
    Reply
  • robinthakur - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I couldn't agree more, having prepared to disagree with you over your opening salvo! On paper, Windows has many more applications available, and perhaps in a business context this would be important. I thought I would have to compromise a little when I went over to Mac but have not found I have to so far. He only thing is visual studio for SharePoint development and I run this environment in a VM with no issues. The touchpad and gestures on a MBP are so fantastic I could never go back to a PC laptop ever again, regardless of whether it is running Microsoft's latest attempt at an OS. I am used to the admiring oohs and aahs when I show them the natural momentum scrolling and the gestures , Exposé etc. and several have purchased Mac's since I got one in the team.

    I can't fault MS's advertising trying to make Windows 8 seem less threatening to consumers, they are blanketing adverts across all media I consume. They must be one of the few companies that this strategy does not work for, which leads me to think that there is something wrong in between users deciding to take a look at the Windows 8 machines available and the final decision to buy. Perhaps bad feedback from friends and trusted sources, bad battery life, lack of apps or unfamiliarity are causing this to not translate into sales, or even the fact that MS have been so absent from the tablet market that all they remember is their previous attempts at convertible tablets which failed, as did their smartphones.
    Reply
  • 8steve8 - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I don't agree with the conclusion that a better laptop must be cheaper if it runs windows... the problem is more that none of the non-apple laptops are better (with the possible exception of the chromebook pixel)... they all seem to miss something here or there... usually touchpad, often keyboard or screen.. For example the power connector on apple laptops are amazing, so much better than any non-apple power connector i've seen... and actually it's pretty important since we are all constantly plugging and unplugging the device.

    I would pay the same amount for an apple quality laptop running windows, maybe more.

    but 5Ghz wifi is pretty important to me, and I cirtainly wouldn't consider a high end laptop that couldn't use it.
    Reply
  • ananduser - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    The Zenbook and the Sammy Series 9 are both better than the MBA in every aspect. In fact the only excellent mac Apple sells is the 15" rmbp(and even that is pretty closely matched in all areas except panel). All others are surpassed by PC laptops. Reply
  • repoman27 - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I get that you're just trolling, but with the 13-inch MBA, for the same or less money you can get a faster processor (Core i7 3667U), larger SSD option (512 GB), more RAM (8 GB), DisplayPort, Thunderbolt (can drive two 2560x1600 external displays), better trackpad, etc. The only specs where the MBA loses are the number of horizontal pixels (1600 vs. 1440) and the number of MP for the camera (where Asus bothers to mention a number). And then of course there's all the usual places where OEMs try to hide the crap in the spec sheet and save a few pennies: does the SDXC card reader support UHS-I, what type of controller does the SSD use, how well is the display calibrated at the factory, does the WiFi solution support 3x3:3 MIMO on both 2.4 and 5 Ghz? Reply
  • ananduser - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    The devil is in the details and I admit I haven't researched all aspects that you demand. Can't answer and won't bother searching. But off the bat I will say that(to me at least) TB and Displayport mean jack. I'd rather have ethernet instead of TB and spare myself the adapter cost. I'd also demand a W8 pro license included with the MBA for the same price... oh and a touchscreen just because. Reply
  • mhampton - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Wow, that's not even close to true. I've bought both, and the Zenbook is a nightmare to configure right (mainly the trackpad) compared to a mac laptop. Reply
  • sweenish - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    It's a statement driven by sales numbers. It's stupid consumer logic. Consumers buy cheap Windows laptops that suck, get frustrated, and then spend three times as much on a macbook. They never consider spending more on a windows laptop, because in their heads, all windows laptops are the same, regardless of price.

    My wife is a rockstar at work with her Zenbook Touch. It just never enters peoples' heads that they could also spend more money on a Windows laptop.
    Reply
  • Jon Tseng - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Nice, but somewhat familiar design... KIRFabook? lol Reply
  • heelo - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    When a product has a certain amount of success it can get to the point where it defines the category, and that's what's happened to Apple with the Macbooks and the iPhone (pre-Galaxy S3).

    Apple spent a lot of time and money selling people on the idea that glass clickpads and island-style back-lit keyboards are the best, and that aluminum unibody construction was the strongest, most attractive housing available. But they did such a good job of convincing everybody, that the natural result is that their competitors were forced to adopt those features in order to compete at/near the high end. That's just the price of success.

    And while I'm somewhat sympathetic to the idea that Apple should get to "own" the look that it invented, I simply can't overlook the fact that their notebooks haven't undergone a significant design change in more than half a decade.
    Reply
  • Mikhail - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Stop. Where is DisplayPort here? Premium laptop'2013 without DP? I'm dissapointed. Reply
  • nportelli - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    The only reason I didn't pre-order one last night was because of the pending Haswell release and only 8GB. I'd rather have more. But if the first few new Haswell laptops come out with crap resolution... read not at least 1080p no matter the size of the screen. No 5Ghz? I can live with that since I don't have it now. Reply
  • TrackSmart - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    That and the 256GB SSD, with no option for anything larger. That's partially a limitation of it being an mSATA SSD (only 4 NAND chips), but that issue should be solved soon with Crucial's new higher capacity modules. Another reason to wait a bit longer. Reply
  • Gunbuster - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I know it’s Japanese but really Kira on the name? Did they do any user testing to see if naming a $1500 laptop Kira was a good idea? Jennabook, Beckabook, Kirabook

    Hi, this is my cool new laptop with a 10 year old girls name.
    Reply
  • solipsism - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    1) It's a town in Japan, among other things.

    2) "10 year old girls name"? Where are you from that girls are giving new names based on their age? Where I'm from a name is given around birth and is kept throughout one's life.
    Reply
  • chrnochime - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Nothing else to whine about other than the name? If they name it Jenna you'd whine about it being named after a p0rn star. Reply
  • cknobman - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Personally I was onboard @1599 until I read no touchscreen unless you pay $200 more.

    F_CK THAT Toshiba!
    Reply
  • akp - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Don't be too quick to dismiss the lid flex as a problem. Google for 'Portege Z835 cracked screen' and then ask yourself if you'd really want to put down $1599 for one of these. Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    You mention this is Toshiba's way of "getting their foot in the door". But then you lament the colors of the notebook? Doesn't it make sense to use silver/grey for the "foot in the door"? Sure there are probably very few people who SEEK OUT grey, but there's an equally small number of people who would actively avoid it. Seems like a pretty safe bet, cover the widest base. Then once they've established market share they can be more aggressive with designs they know will only appeal to certain people; and then cover the difference with more designs. Obviously this increases operating costs and required resources; not to mention risk.

    So, to me, it makes perfect sense to design it this way. Really the only thing that makes no sense at all is the wifi card and I think they'd have a really solid offering if only they had used a dual band ac card.
    Reply
  • Hrel - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    The reason I bring it up is I feel that this counter point should be raised in the article after lamenting the color/design choices. You sacrifice sophistication anytime you want to hit the largest possible audience. Reply
  • KPOM - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I'm a bit surprised by the resolution. 2560x1440 translates to 1280x720 when scaled. That gives less usable real estate than the typical 1366x768 display. Sure, you can scale to less than 200%, but I think Toshiba would have been better off going with 2560x1600 like the 13" rMBP. Lots of programs (e.g. Quicken 2013) "expect" to have 768 pixels of usable vertical space, and when scaled, this screen won't give it to them. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I thought that as well. But I don't have a 2560x1440 panel to test scaling on so I'm not sure if it's really an issue. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    though I could probably set a 2560x1600 monitor to that resolution temporarily to test it... Reply
  • jhoff80 - Friday, May 10, 2013 - link

    Is the scaling actually set to 200%? I didn't see that anywhere in the review, but I'd tend to think it's more likely to be set to 150%

    Not that your complaint applies to Metro apps anyway, but even those are designed for 140% and 180%, so 200% isn't happening there either.
    Reply
  • jhoff80 - Friday, May 10, 2013 - link

    Set that way out of the box, I mean. Reply
  • PEJUman - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Dustin, is that a DS9 homage? I took me a while to realize where I heard 'major Kira' before... Reply
  • my3rc - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    Haha Major Kira, I love it! Reply
  • deeps6x - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Touch on a laptop is stupid. If you actually use it heavily, you destroy the hinge. Have one with it and hate it.

    Glossy screens suck as well. Just when it looked like we were finally putting that shit behind us, MS goes and tries to cram Win8 with touch down everyone's throat. It is enough to make you want to switch to Apple products.
    Reply
  • B3an - Friday, May 10, 2013 - link

    "Touch on a laptop is stupid. If you actually use it heavily, you destroy the hinge. Have one with it and hate it."

    Thats you're own fault for buying junk. Theres loads of Win 8 laptops that don't have this problem, and theres always things like the Lenovo Yoga, Asus Taichi, or hybrids with tablets + docks that wont have this issue. But i guess you're probably lying anyway to make a stupid incorrect point.
    Reply
  • Conficio - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    "The essential ingredients to any PC computing experience are the keyboard, the mouse/touchpad, the display, and responsiveness." - Yeah sold - Notice this does not include super thin or super light.
    Anyhow, the price is not to be justified - MacBook 13.3" retina includes a longer lasting battery, an OS that supports the retina display well + thunderbold and costs less? Not even speaking about single band Wifi support.
    P.S.: I'm not an Apple fanboy, just to old to spend my day with crappy tools.
    Reply
  • The0ne - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I had to laugh at the comments. I'm sorry, it's not meant to be rude. I'm just reading and thinking to myself that some of you will NEVER be happy regardless of any expectations. There will always be something that is or will never be to your liking. That's just how alot of people are.

    For me, the screen is a great addition and one that IS and SHOULD be a lot more important than whether or not you have your dual wifi band options. For that I can fix easily with a better router or dongle. The screen, good luck. Priorities I guess.

    Haven't read the article yet but when I have the time I will. Just had to respond because these comments made me laugh.
    Reply
  • patelkedar - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Is it just me or... does it look exactly like my Asus Zenbook? Lol. Reply
  • sweenish - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    It looks a lot uglier than a Zenbook, to me. The colors and shape are just so plain. Nothing pops. But I may have a bias as I think that the Zenbooks and Series 9s are the best looking laptops on the market. Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    What about display scaling though? That resolution would make elements tiny without setting Windows scaling, and Windows scaling breaks some things (usually old or poorly coded, but still) since it's not perfect integer scaling like the rMBP at default. I'd be interested in some commentary on that. Reply
  • zogus - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I'm not sure if it's really fair to compare 13" retina MacBook Pro to the Kirabook, considering that the rMBP is 20% heavier. In fact, the Kirabook's weight (1.35kg) is identical to 13" MacBook Air. Reply
  • repoman27 - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    Well, going by the specs though, that 20% is just 270g. And the MBPR is only 6% larger. In exchange for that very small sacrifice in portability, you get a 42% larger battery (74 Wh vs 52 Wh), a 2.6 GHz Core i5-3230M or 3.0 GHz Core i7-3540M as opposed to a 2.0 GHz Core i7-3537U, up to 768 GB SSD options, and a 2560x1600 display. I guess my point being the price for thin and light is getting a little ridiculous when you compare either the high-end MacBook Airs or the KIRAbook to the 13-inch MBPR. Reply
  • surt - Friday, May 10, 2013 - link

    Kudos on the DS9 reference. Reply
  • seapeople - Friday, May 10, 2013 - link

    Have to agree about the lack of screen discussion. You basically just reviewed a revolutionary (for Windows) 1440p 13" laptop and did not say a single thing about how the display works or looks with Windows 8. Can you scale this to 1280x720 and get sharp graphics for gaming, like you can with the rMBP? Reply
  • barry spock - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    Got to say,
    I'm really liking the little pithy commenty thing in the top right of the article headers.
    And dead-set right, Dustin, on the point about why doesn't anyone do a gunmetal/"titanium-colour" or bronze-coloured metal chassis.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    "You can make something that's ostensibly better than an Apple product, but if it's running Windows, you need to charge less for it."
    Ain't monopolies grand? :D
    Reply
  • MelodyRamos47 - Sunday, May 12, 2013 - link

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  • augustofretes - Sunday, May 12, 2013 - link

    You should really go on and review the Chromebook Pixel, especially with I/O around the corner. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, May 12, 2013 - link

    Kudos to Toshiba for stepping up the quality of the screen, but frankly I'm not buying a screen that small that is 16:9. The smallest acceptable size for that dimension, for me, is a 27".

    Apple still wins. I'm sorry, I'm not an Apple guy, I'm a PC guy, but I wouldn't shoot myself in the proverbial foot by buying one of these over an Apple MacBook just because I prefer the OS. OS X just isn't that bad - it's actually good, it's just not as good, imo, as Windows. And, there is no "price premium" downside here, either, in buying the MacBook. (Regardless of what you think about Apple's prices, their support for consumer level products is second to none. Of course, considering their profit margins, it should be.)
    Reply
  • crinosil - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    What I don't get is why be excited about this...I'm a longtime PC user (writing this on my home gown Windows 8 Pro tower PC as a matter of fact)... but I just bought a Macbook Pro 13 Retina for $1799.00 ... It included an i7 CPU running at 2.9/3.6mhz, 8GB DD3 1600 RAM, 512GB SSD, etc, etc....and only about half a pound heavier.... and by the way....I installed Parallels on it and am running Windows 7 on it in a virtual machine. Could have dual booted into Windows with Boot Camp but I find I actually like OSX.... So with this available... from an American company (yes I know they all build them in China)...why would anyone buy this this Toshiba?? Reply
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Did you know that 96% of the worlds population, owning 85% of the worlds money, are not American and thus do not care at all if a product was designed by an American company? And that even of the 4% who live in the US, a large percentage is not actually affected by that kind of nationalist concepts?

    The 1599$ is a proposed price, the market will quickly figure out what the majority of customers consider to be the worth of the unit. As Dustin wrote in the article, you can expect to see it sell for 100$-200$ less than the Toshiba proposal if you just look around a bit. Add to that the fact, that the Toshiba already includes the Windows-License, which you need to buy separately if you want to dual-boot or parallel Windows on the Mac, and the Toshiba is a very credible and reasonably priced competitor for everybody who wants to use Windows.
    Reply
  • crinosil - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    But $1599 is for the lowest spec-ed version... to get closer to my Mac Pro they'll want $1999 and that's we a slower CPU and 256GB SSD... and single band WiFi.... the Window's Licence is a valid point...however, I had about 6 of them lying around so not an issue for me.... Still I also found Windows 7 Home Premium on Ebay for about $65-$75 dollars from reputable sellers.... Still not sure the value here.... and as to world not caring about American designed products....the queues outside the various stores around the world every time Apple releases some nick nack would seem to counter that opinion... Reply
  • ShieTar - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - link

    Nah, I've lived in 5 different cities over the last 20 years and visited about 30 more, and never seen an Apple-Shop anywhere (except on TV). I'm not entirely convinced they exist anywhere outside the US and France. Almost everybody around here buys his electronics either through the Net or from the big markets like Media Markt or Saturn. And Apple is striving to get to half the market shares it holds in the US and France.

    Made in America is just not considered a positive aspect on consumer electronics by anybody in Europe. It's not nearly as negative as it is for cars, it just doesn't matter to anybody if a phone or PC is American, European, Japanese or Korean.
    Reply
  • sxr7171 - Sunday, May 19, 2013 - link

    This one has one hardware feature that Apple does not have. It has Macbook Air weight packing a Macbook Pro Retina quality display. Apple hasn't done that yet. Maybe the new 2013 Macbook Air machines will have 2560x1440 displays.

    But long story short there are people who would find in this something Apple doesn't yet offer.
    Reply
  • relativityboy - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    As soon as an updated Kirabook (Haswell) comes out I hope you guys do a performance review. Reply
  • sxr7171 - Sunday, May 19, 2013 - link

    Having recently switched back to Windows for hardware reasons (Nec Lavie Z - lighter than any Macbook), I agree simply based on that touchpad. Apple touch technology is miles ahead of anything Ive used on Windows. I'm still playing with these synaptics settings and I'm not anywhere close to the "out of the box" feel of a Mac's touchpad feel. I really like the Thinkpad trackpoint on Windows but no touchpad can compare to the Apple touchpad.

    Also this OS is confused. Does it belong a laptop or tablet, I can't figure it out. It generally sends you back to the old Windows settings screen for any major settings changes. Apps launch off the start screen into desktop mode anyway. The RT mode has the same apps optimized for touch input.

    Also Windows still hasn't improved the overall amount of effort it takes set the machine up the way that one likes. A Mac out of the box takes about an hour to get to how I like it. A Windows machine takes 6-8 hours if not more. Some things are terrible like setting up a Wi-Fi priority list requires you to get into terminal. The time needed to research and implement things is much higher on Windows. I've had to run some Google Searches for Mac also but far fewer and the it rarely if ever necessitates going into Terminal.

    All in all I couldn't agree more that competitors of Apple have to undercut Apple on price. The only exception would be if they have very compelling hardware features that Apple doesn't have and those are few and far between.
    Reply

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