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Toshiba Satellite U845
What's hot: Affordable, good build quality, good port selection.
What's not: Dull design, no features set it apart from other Ultrabooks.
Reviewed August 24, 2012 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
Editors Note: This is a lightning written review with full video review.
The Toshiba Satellite U845 is a mainstream, affordable Ultrabook. At 14", 4.1 pounds and 0.8" thick, it's actually a wee bit portly to match the popular Ultrabook sweet spot of 13.3" and 3 pounds, but this isn't the first time we've seen the definition stretched. The U845, not to be confused with the very unusual Toshiba Satellite U845W widescreen model, is the model of conformity. It has an understated aluminum lid and keyboard deck and a standard aspect ratio 1366 x 768 display.
While the Toshiba Portege Z835 and Z935 Ultrabooks represent Toshiba's high line for ultraportability (they're super skinny and weigh just 2.5 pounds), they're priced close to $1,000, while the Satellite U845 starts at just $649. That base model scores you a lowly Intel Core i3 ULV CPU and omits some of the niceties of higher end models like our $849 U845-S404 Core i5 model or the even better buy $779 U845-S406 that adds a backlit keyboard and upgraded Intel WiFi with WiDi. Typical of Toshiba, there are many -S40x models, so do check their website carefully to find the model that matches your needs and price range.
All Satellite U845 models have third generation Ivy Bridge ULV CPUs that are commonly used in Ultrabooks. They have Intel HD 4000 graphics and 4 to 6 gigs of RAM (Toshiba say's there's a RAM slot for upgrades). They ship with standard 500 gig 5400 RPM hard drives plus a 32 gig SSD for caching to speed up Windows boot, resume and operational speeds. The machine has WiFi 802.11b/g/n, either single band Realtek or Intel WiDi, depending on which model you choose. Bluetooth is available on some models.
While the specs are everyday stuff, the port selection is typical Toshiba, which is to say better than average for an Ultrabook. The U845 has 10/100 Ethernet, a full size HDMI port, an SD card slot, 3.5mm audio out and mic-in, and three USB ports (only 1 is USB 3.0). Also standard for Toshiba is louder and fuller than average stereo speakers.