Toshiba Windows 8 Hybrid Laptop Hands-On: Better Than Expected

Toshiba is turning heads with its new Satellite U925T, a 12.5-inch Windows 8 hybrid laptop/tablet. It has the same design as the weird but endearing U845W ultrabook, although it's not a super-wide 21:9 ratio.

It has a standard 1366x768 resolution, which is a little disappointing considering all the 1080p screens flying around on these Windows 8 machines, but it's more than decent. To get the U925t from tablet to laptop mode, you slide the screen back and then up. The sliding mechanism can stop after an inch or so and be used as a camera — extraneous, but nice to have — and then extends all the way and folds up into laptop mode. It's different to holding a traditional laptop, but after sitting with it for a few minutes, it's definitely usable. It's not going to topple over in your lap.

The U925T has a Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, a 128GB SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, HDMI out and NFC on its front panel. It also has pretty much the same trackpad as the U845W, though it's a little smaller. That's a good thing! The U845W's trackpad was really good, and this one responds well too. The size is a concern, but we'll take something usable over something spacious every time. The keyboard, which is a big concern on these sliding convertibles, is also pretty good despite the throw being a little shallow. The U925T weights 1.45kg and measures 19.8mm thick. It's due out on October 26.

It's easy for something like this to get lost in the sea of news coming out of IFA. What sets the U925T apart from the crowd are details like build quality and the responsive of the auto-turning gyroscope. The U925T feels like it's been built with extra attention to those details — nothing about it just feels like it has been thrown together. And that's why it has an edge over many of the other Windows 8 hybrids being announced.

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