Toshiba Satellite U920T review

Can Toshiba's hybrid take the market by storm?

Toshiba Satellite U920T
Ooh, slidey

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The Toshiba Satellite U920t's form factor might be the future of laptop-tablet hybrids, and it's one of the most simple and effective mixes of tablet and laptop we've seen. However, the chunky build, questionable quality and bland looks mean that the Toshiba U920t has missed its opportunity to become a market-leading PC.

At £899/AU$1,699/US$1,149, the Toshiba isn't a bargain Ultrabook, and with the likes of the Asus Vivobook S200 offering touchscreen Windows 8 for around half the price, there's no way we can let the Toshiba off the hook for its shortcomings. The performance is average, carrying significant bulk and a disappointing build.

However, we can't fault the longevity of the battery, which aside from the nice mix of laptop and tablet functionality, represents the key reason to buy the Toshiba U920t. What it lacks in style it makes up for in pragmatic benefits, but in the days where looks count, it isn't enough to make a hearty recommendation.

We liked

Fantastic battery life makes the Toshiba a real proposition in our eyes. Four hours of looping HD is a great score by any standard, and since we didn't notice any performance issues when running Windows 8 apps, we'd say that Toshiba has balanced the needs of its users perfectly.

The form factor also makes a lot of sense, with the tablet mode giving way to a usable and natural laptop experience that's better than many of its competitors. We'd encourage Toshiba to stick with the design and refine the build, weight and screen on future models.

We disliked

The lack of attention to the finer points of the Toshiba U92t0t's build quality is frustrating. While it feels solid and tough, the pill-sized power button, the slight flex in the keyboard, the low travel keys and average screen make us pine for the kind of high-spec superior build quality we've seen elsewhere.

The Toshiba U920t could have done with a crash diet in order to really excel as a portable device. As a tablet it's a little too chunky to be used comfortably.

Final verdict

Slash £200/$300 from the price and the Toshiba Satellite U920t is one of the best value hybrids on the market. Add a better screen and refine the mechanism and it's one of the best quality. But as it stands, the Toshiba Satellite U920t under delivers in both categories.

However, the excellent battery life and great usability make it a strong entry to the world of Windows 8 hybrid laptop-tablet devices.

The trouble is that the bulk of the Toshiba laptop isn't going to convince many people to down their iPads and choose this as their primary go-everywhere device, and that's a problem that hybrid manufacturers must address.