Build Quality and Components
The Toshiba Satellite U920t might be a new design from Toshiba, but the build quality of the convertible tablet is very similar to that of Toshiba’s other Ultrabooks. It is made of the same materials (mostly plastic), which are even of the same brown and grey color schemes we've seen in recent times. Even though its mostly plastic, it doesn’t feel cheap, because the plastic used is quite rigid. And when the keyboard is tucked underneath the screen to provide a tablet form, the sliding mechanism holds the screen tightly down to the keyboard. This allows you to hold the U920t however you please, without any parts flexing or feeling loose. When the unit is fully open to reveal a notebook form, the entire unit holds together pretty well too. We tried shaking it, but the solid hinges and teethed rails hold everything together.
As you’d expect from most tablets these days, the glass protecting the display, is Gorilla Glass. This means it’s tough and scratch resistant, but it also means that the 12.5-inch glossy screen will pick up fingerprints very easily, especially since it’s meant to be touched constantly. We’re also quite disappointed that Toshiba opted to put a 1366 x 768 pixels resolution display on the U920t. This decision was probably made to keep the cost (thus price) of the unit to a reasonable figure. But again, Toshiba isn’t exactly known to make cheap notebooks, so a higher resolution display here would have given consumers much better value. The saving grace is that its an IPS panel with 300 nits brightness and since the screen is on the smaller side, its given resolution may just suffice.
The only other part of the machine that gives away its price range, is its keyboard. Like other Toshiba Ultrabooks, the plastic keyboard well has some flex on it. Thankfully, it doesn’t affect typing very much. The keys, while bouncy, are also very shallow, likely to keep the unit as thin as possible. And of course, it isn’t the greatest keyboard we’ve encountered on a notebook, but we’re quite pleased to see that it’s backlit - a premium feature often overlooked by some notebook manufacturers.
With its “rail” sliding mechanism, Toshiba is also able to fit in a trackpad at its usual place below the keyboard. However the sliding mechanism does take up quite a bit of space at the rear, which explains why the trackpad on the U920t is so tiny. But of course, having a trackpad is better than no trackpad. Here, the trackpad quality is exactly the same as the Satellite series of Ultrabooks. It’s sensitive, and has a satisfying click to give you some tactile feedback while using it.
Ports, Switches and Speakers
In terms of connectivity, the Satellite U920t isn’t going to blow anyone away. It’s got the usual twin USB 3.0 ports, and a HDMI port, but that’s all you’re going to get. This is unlike the Sony Duo 11, which even has a RJ45 and a VGA port despite its size. And lastly, for folks wondering if the speakers are any good, the speakers on the U920t are fairly adequate, like any other premium Ultrabook. You definitely can’t expect any quality audio or even satisfying bass, but the speakers are loud enough so you don’t have to strain your ears, even in a big room.