Toshiba Kirabook - Toshiba Attempts To Refresh With A Premium Ultrabook (Part 3)

8/13/2013 11:53:06 AM

Performance and battery life

Toshiba Kirabook (Core i7-3537U 2.0GHz, Intel HD 4000)

·         PCMark7: 5,275

·         3DMark06: 5,272

·         3DMark11: N/A

·         ATTO (highest drive speed): 553MB/s (read); 500MB/s (write)

Toshiba Kirabook

Toshiba Kirabook

Acer Aspire S7 (Core i7-3517U 1.9GHz, Intel HD 4000)  

·         PCMark7: 5,011

·         3DMark06: 4,918

·         3DMark11: E1035/P620/X208

·         ATTO (highest drive speed): 934MB/s (read); 686MB/s (write)

Acer Aspire S7

Acer Aspire S7

MSI Slidebook S20 (Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz, Intel HD 4000)        

·         PCMark7: 4,043

·         3DMark06: 3,944

·         3DMark11: E1053/P578

·         ATTO (highest drive speed): 484MB/s (read); 286MB/s (write)

MSI Slidebook S20

MSI Slidebook S20

ASUS Taichi 21 (Core i7-3517U 1.9GHz, Intel HD 4000) 

·         PCMark7: 4,998

·         3DMark06: 4,818

·         3DMark11: E1137/P610/X201

·         ATTO (highest drive speed): 516MB/s (read); 431MB/s (write) 

ASUS Taichi 21

ASUS Taichi 21

Microsoft Surface Pro (Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz, Intel HD 4000)  

·         PCMark7: 4,673

·         3DMark06: 3,811

·         3DMark11: E1019/P552

·         ATTO (highest drive speed): 526MB/s (read) ; 201MB/s (write)

Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft Surface Pro

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 (Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz, Intel HD 4000)

·         PCMark7: 4,422

·         3DMark06: 4,415

·         3DMark11: E917/P572

·         ATTO (highest drive speed): 278MB/s (read); 263MB/s (write)

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

Toshiba Satellite U925t (Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz, Intel HD 4000)

·         PCMark7: 4,381

·         3DMark06: 4,210

·         3DMark11: E989/P563

·         ATTO (highest drive speed): 521MB/s (read); 265MB/s (write)

Toshiba Satellite U925t

Toshiba Satellite U925t

Dell XPS 12 (Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz, Intel HD 4000)        

·         PCMark7: 4,673

·         3DMark06: 4,520

·         3DMark11: N/A

·         ATTO (highest drive speed): 516MB/s (read); 263MB/s (write) 

Dell XPS 12

Dell XPS 12

This time we will pass the benchmarks: all you need to know about Kirabook is that it’s noisy. It’s noisy when it works, and when it do nothing. More than once, the sound from the fan makes the people nearby stop working and look at the wheezing machine sitting in front of them. This actually become excessive to the extent that we can only run PCMark 7, a Windows test with is so basic that it can also works on the cheapest laptops. However, that test surely made the fan spin noisily, the keyboard tray became hotter and the screen was freeze, making us have no choice but to do a hard reset.

That’s the same story with 3DMark11, which will say something about how much you can expect in the game in that high-res screen. Sometimes the system has worked noisily after idle run, without any program operating. To be fair to say, there’re lots of times it runs quietly, but it’s hard to predict when the noise will become the distraction.

And indeed that’s something regretful because the raw testing score of Kirabook is glowing. With 2GHz Core i7-3537U CPU and 8GB RAM, it can reach the score in the 5000 range in PCMark7 and 3DMark06, with startup time of about 10 seconds. I/O speed is also flagship, with read/write speed reaching their max of 553MB/s and 500MB/s.

Toshiba rates 52Wh battery for lasting more than 6 hours a little bit, which results in about 5 hours in our heavy battery test (repeating a video with WiFi on). specifically, it lasts an average 5 hours 12 minutes, obviously not as long as advertised. But at least it matches the other touch-screen Ultrabook Ivy Bridges.. Kirabook also deserves some scores for catching up with the heavier laptops such as Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 – based on its weight of only 2.9 pounds, we think that its running time should be much worse than that. However, in any case, if more than 5 hours is not enough, the best thing we can propose is that you should wait for the Haswell version. Who knew? Maybe Haswell will help for the overheated problem.

Software and warranty

Like what HP is doing with the premium Spectre line, Toshiba is trying to excuse for the “huge” price by introducing the full versions of the renowned software, and providing warranty time which is longer than normal. In brief, the additional software includes the full versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Element 11; Microsoft Office, and 2-year Norton Internet Security subscription. Also present are Netflix, Vimeo, Hulu Plus, Amazon and eBay. And…that’s all. It’s not a clean Windows setting, but at least it doesn’t have trial software.

About warranty, the standard warranty pack include 2 year of warranty with its own phone support line which promises the almost-instant answer time, along with the support for the questions which are not related to the technical support. If you ‘re interested, the phone technicians all have headquarters in north America, which is what customers of Toshiba is demanding. That somehow helps to explain the 1,600 price, in which Dell, HP and other companies charge 90 to 100 bucks for 2-year pack. However, though it’s not there, this will still be a costly kit.

Configuration options

This part will be short and sweet, and you should thank Toshiba. Because 8GB RAM, 256GB of capacity and 2,560x1,440 screen are standard, there’re a few spots to discriminate between the configurations. All told, there’re 3 models for your choice, starting with the touch-free Core i5 version with the price of $1,600. If you want the touch screen (of course you do – this is a Windows 8 that), you will need to choose the 1,800USD model, which also has Core i5 processor. Finally, with 2,000USD, you have a full version: a touch screen laptop with Core i7 processor inside. No matter which of them you choose, you will see the Ivy Bridge processor – at least for now. However, something tells us that Haswell is coming: Toshiba has spent lots of efforts into this so as not to update the latest components.


It’s less than 3 weeks until Intel releases the new battery-life-improved Haswell processor at Computex, except that you’re crazy to buy the laptop at this moment. Many ultraportables will be displayed at the exhibition in that week, in which Asus and Acer has confirmed to hold their own press. So if you’re waiting for an alternative model for Acer Aspire S7 or any touch-screen Zenbook of Asus, your patience can be reward within the several weeks.

Besides Computex, we won’t be surprised if we see that Apple refreshes its MacBook Air line at sometime this summer (like it always do), this time is with the 4th-generation Core processor and shaper screen, Kirabook certainly will gave its refresh of the CPU within the next few months, so if you like it, it’s not the best time to buy.


There’s not debate about Kirabook being the best Ultrabook of Toshiba until now. But is it good enough to convince the prudent customers? We will say no, at least with this price. With all the things Toshiba doing right, (attractive design, improved keyboard, stable technical specs, long warranty), there’re some important details it’s ignored. That’s the 2,560x1,440 screen with narrow viewing angle, and noisy fan overwhelms the performance quickly. Despite all of those, it’s still a good laptop in many respects. But we’d recommend for a price reduction, even with the Haswell refresh a few months later.

There’s not debate about Kirabook being the best Ultrabook of Toshiba until now.

There’s not debate about Kirabook being the best Ultrabook of Toshiba until now.


·         Price: $1,600


·         Prominent 2,560x1,440 screen

·         Comfortable keyboard

·         Lasting warranty, rich software package

·         Fast startup


·         Extremely noisy fan

·         Limited viewing angle

·         Non-standard touch screen

Key point

·         Kirabook is the best ultraportable of Toshiba till now, but it’s still not good enough – at least with this price.

Technical specs

·         Type: Ultraportable, Ultrabook

·         Processor Name: Intel Core i7-3537U

·         Processor Speed: 2 GHz

·         Operating System: Windows 8, Microsoft Windows 8

·         RAM: 8 GB

·         Weight: 2.77 lb

·         Screen Size: 13.3 inches

·         Screen Type: Widescreen

·         Native Resolution: 2,560x1,440

·         Touchscreen: Yes

·         Storage Capacity (as Tested): 256 GB

·         Rotation Speed: SSD

·         Networking Options: 802.11n





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