New Toshiba Ultrabook Goes Super-Widescreen for Around $1,000

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When it comes to laptops, I’ll take as many pixels as I can get for as cheap as I can get them in as portable a package as possible. We’ve basically got the standard 1366×768-resolution screens found in 13- and 14-inch laptops that cost under a grand, then there’s the $1,300 13-inch MacBook Air’s 1440×900-resolution screen and a small (but growing) selection of 1600×900 Windows-based models starting at around the same price.

Toshiba may be on to something, then, with the Satellite U840W. The Ultrabook has a 14.4-inch screen with a 21:9 aspect ratio sporting a 1792×768 resolution – that’s an extra 426 pixels over 1366×768 screens, width-wise. It’ll start at $1,000 and be available mid-July.

(MORE: Sony Introduces an Ultrabook, and an Ultra-Ultrabook)

While Toshiba touts the 21:9 screen as “ideally suited for movie buffs looking to enjoy 2.35:1 movies in their original format,” the company also boasts about the extra pixels being useful for multitasking with side-by-side windows, which is probably the biggest draw here. Serious “movie buffs looking to enjoy 2.35:1 movies” would likely want a much higher-resolution screen.

Gizmodo’s Kyle Wagner got some hands-on time with the laptop and said the following:

The height of the screen is pretty close to that of an 11-inch ultrabook, which is totally workable, so the added horizontal workspace is just extra room for apps, like a chat client or a music player. Using it that way actually feels pretty natural; there’s enough space to view a website at full width while still accessing an app on the side. Toshiba even has some shockingly useful homebrewed software, which works like snapping windows in Windows 7, but for thirds and sixths of the screen.

The Satellite U840W measures 0.82 inches thin and will start at around 3.5 pounds, says Toshiba. Available upgrades will include a 256-gigabyte solid state drive (there’s a 500-gigabyte hard drive/32-gigabyte solid state drive combo for the base model) and up to eight gigabytes of RAM (I’d assume the base model comes with four gigabytes).

You may also have your choice of a “3rd generation Intel Core processor” though Toshiba hasn’t specified that. A backlit keyboard, HDMI port, three USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet port and memory card reader come standard.

Satellite U840W Ultrabook [Toshiba]

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