Performance is right where you would expect, solidly in the middle of the Ultrabook class. Ultrabooks are approaching CULV levels of dull performance metrics—all of them perform roughly the same, because there are only a handful of CPU parts (only three of which are commonly seen in review units) and they’ve all got roughly the same baseline performance specs otherwise (the differences between 4GB and 6GB RAM are rarely statistically significant in our benchmark suite). Obviously, some Ultrabooks come with optional dedicated graphics cards, like the ASUS Zenbook UX32Vd and Acer TimelineU M5, but other than that, the spec sheet a lot of times boils down to SSD vs cached HDD. Here's our current list of candidates:

Laptop Configuration Overview
Laptop CPU Graphics Storage Battery
Acer TimelineU M3 Intel i7-2637M GT640M/HD3000 256GB SSD 55Wh
AMD Trinity Prototype AMD A10-4600M HD7660G 128GB SSD 56Wh
ASUS Zenbook Prime UX21A Intel i7-3517U HD4000 256GB SSD 35Wh
ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A Intel i7-3517U HD4000 256GB SSD 50Wh
ASUS Zenbook UX31E Intel i7-2677M HD3000 256GB SSD 48Wh
Clevo W110ER Intel i7-3720QM GT650M/HD4000 750GB Hybrid 62Wh
Dell XPS 13 Intel i7-2637M HD3000 256GB SSD 47Wh
HP Envy 14 Spectre Intel i7-3667U HD4000 2x128GB SSDs 56Wh
HP Folio 13 Intel i5-2467M HD3000 128GB SSD 60Wh
Ivy Bridge Ultrabook Prototype Intel i5-3427U HD4000 240GB SSD 47Wh
Toshiba Satellite U845 Intel i5-3317U HD4000 500GB+32GB SSD 54Wh

The U845 falls at the midlevel of the class, with the i5-3317U, a 1.7GHz dual core 17W Ivy Bridge part with a max turbo clock of 2.6GHz and a GPU clock of 1.05GHz. This is the standard CPU in sub-$1000 Ultrabooks, and typically the only step lower would be the SNB i3 or i5 that’s used in the base U845 and other entry level systems. Performance is adequate if uninspiring, with the lack of a dedicated SSD definitely being noticeable during regular use.

Cinebench R11.5—Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5—Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark—First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark—Second Pass

Toshiba has always been pretty bad at bloatware, so much so that I once wrote them a letter about it halfway through my review of the Portege R700. Unfortunately, things have not gotten too much better since then, with Toshiba loading the U845 with a Norton Internet Security trial, NetZero, and about 30 different Toshiba utilities that are for the most part pointless. (Okay so I went back and counted—the actual number is 29, but close enough right?) Of those 29, I’d say they could dump about 18-20 of them. This is 2012, bloatware should not be acceptable as standard operating procedure when selling a computer. Microsoft’s Signature optimization on PC hardware sold at the Microsoft Store proves that. There is simply no excuse.

Toshiba Satellite U845: Design Toshiba Satellite U845: Battery Life


View All Comments

  • 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...
    <a href=" rel="dofollow"><strong>magento development company</strong></a>

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