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Sleek aluminum design, with a touchscreen.

Usability is given an upgrade over the traditional laptop archetype, as the touchscreen enables the full range of Windows 8 touch gestures. A flick of your finger will open the charms menu allowing touch operation of system menus for those who hate digging through the control panel for their advanced options.

Despite being an entry-level tablet, nothing about the exterior makes you think that at all. The brushed metal aluminum casing gives it a professional look, and should hold up against minor bumps and dings. There is also an elective backlit keyboard, for late-night hunt-and-peck typists.

In addition to a 500GB hard drive, embedded in the guts of the device is also a 32GB solid-state cache to help increase snappy performance. While it's not quite as effective as a single, high-capacity solid state drive, this configuration is somewhat of an intermediary step we're seeing from many computer companies including Apple.

It may not be the high-end of laptops, but this machine does have some surprises under the hood.

While not all the specs were immediately made public, at first glance, this laptop seemed cable of handling most of the day-to-day functions that a family or casual media consumer would require. And while it can also handle most games, it's not going to replace anyone's dedicated gaming rig.

Taking a peek under the hood for a minute, the U845t sports a 500GB hard drive with flash memory, and the latest Intel Core processors. In terms of core specs, the laptop has either an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor, up to 6GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 14" 1366 x 768 pixel touchscreen monitor. Like we said, nothing spectacular, but it should get the job done with Microsoft's new operating system.

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A solid entry-level option for a laptop

Overall, this is a laptop for the casual computer user in need of a something basic, something simply for web browsing and document creation. Artists and gamers: this is probably not for you.

It may not light the world on fire or dazzle enthusiasts, but this computer does have a baseline spec list that should be sufficient for use that doesn't require a juiced-up processor or graphics card. The Toshiba Satellite U845t laptop will go on sale March 10, 2013 for $799.

Meet the tester

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Staff Writer, Imaging


A seasoned writer and professional photographer, Chris reviews cameras, headphones, smartphones, laptops, and lenses. Educated in Political Science and Linguistics, Chris can often be found building a robot army, snowboarding, or getting ink.

See all of Chris Thomas's reviews

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