Toshiba Satellite U920t Premier Series Convertible Ultrabook Review (Updated!)

Launch SRP: S$2099

Performance Benchmarking

Performance Benchmarking

When the Satellite U920t isn't working part-time as a tablet, it also doubles up as an Ultrabook PC. And as such, it has all of the components that you'd associate with an Ultrabook, like its consumer-ultra-low-voltage processor to its 128GB SSD. We've picked a few similarly decked out Windows 8 touchscreen Ultrabooks, as well as the Intel reference Ultrabook (running Windows 7) to give you a gauge on its performance. In this line-up, the machines have identical processors, save for the Intel Ivy Bridge reference notebook, which is clocked slightly higher. Most of them also sport solid-state-drives (SSD), while the less premium Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch, and HP Envy 4 Touchsmart Ultra have mechanical drives supported by a small solid state cache. 

Test Notebooks Compared

Specifications/Notebook Toshiba Satellite U920t Samsung Series 5
Ultra Touch
HP Envy 4
Touchsmart Ultra

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga

Intel Ultrabook
(Ivy Bridge)
Processor Intel Core i5-3317U
(1.7GHz)
Intel Core i5-3317U
(1.7GHz)
Intel Core i5-3317U
(1.7GHz)
Intel Core i5-3317U
(1.7GHz)
Intel Core i5-3427U
(1.8GHz)
Chipset Intel UM77 Intel UM77 Intel HM77 Intel QS77 Intel UM77
Memory 4GB  4GB DDR3 8GB 4GB 4GB DDR3
Storage 128GB SSD 500GB HDD with 24GB SSD Cache 500GB HDD with 32GB SSD Cache 128GB SSD 256GB SSD
Video Intel HD Graphics 4000 Intel HD Graphics 4000 Intel HD Graphics 4000 Intel HD Graphics 4000 Intel HD Graphics 4000
Battery 37.7WHr 45 WHr 52WHr 54.7WHr 47 WHr
Dimensions 326.5 x 213 x 19.9mm 315 x 218 x 16.8 - 19.8mm 342.2 x 237.1 x 23 mm 333.4 x 224.8 x 16.9 mm 3329 x 223 x 16mm
Weight 1.45kg 1.73kg 2.12kg 1.54kg 1.46kg

 

PCMark 7

Previous PCMark 7 charts have consistently shown that notebooks with SSDs tend to fare better, no doubt thanks to their excellent read/write performance over mechanical disk drives. That pretty much explains the Satellite U920t's advantage over the non-SSD machines. However, the non-SSD machines in this comparison are also equipped with solid state caches, which reduces the performance gap. They aren't as fast as notebooks with SSDs like the Satellite U920t, but are fast enough for daily usage. The only times you will feel a tangible difference is when the operating system is busy loading files (be it the OS or heavy-weight programs starting up) and during files transfers.

 

 

3D Mark 11

In our 3D Mark 11 benchmark, you can see that what ever advantages the Satellite U920t has over the non-SSD notebooks do not apply. All of the notebooks here utilize the onboard Intel HD 4000 graphics engine, which explains the very similar scores. The only difference is the slightly higher clock speed on the Intel reference Ultrabook, but that didn't give it much of an edge.

 

Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2 is currently our go-to game for checking out the gaming capabilities of the notebooks we benchmark. This should give readers a better gauge on how a notebook performs in a real-life scenario. Here, the Toshiba notebook managed to keep up with the other Ultrabooks in gaming performance. Only the Intel reference Ultrabook and Samsung Series 5 Ultra touch managed to fare better, but not by an amount that would make much of a difference. That's because all of the notebooks rely on the onboard Intel HD 4000 graphics. Since the Satellite U920t isn't exactly built to be a gaming machine, the Intel HD 4000 graphics unit would be more than capable to get you past casual Windows 8 Store games (assuming you are willing to fork out the $5 for Angry Birds Star Wars or other such games) without any problems at all.

 

7.5
Design
8
Features
7.5
Performance
7.5
Value
7
Mobility
7.5
The Good
Unique yet functional form factor
Slider mechanism allows various screen angles
The Bad
1366 x 768 pixels screen resolution
Sliding rail puts pressure on screen
Plastic build
One-handed tablet usage not possible
Expensive