Toshiba Satellite U840 pictures and hands-on

The Toshiba Satellite U840 is the latest consumer Ultrabook from the company and the first to offer a 14-inch display, which was nice and vibrant when we got the chance to see it in action.

The hardware load-out is fairly typical for the latest generation of Ultrabooks, with a third-gen Intel Core processor and up 8GB RAM. There is a 32GB SSD to keep things speedy and 500GB of hard drive on offer.

With launch prices starting at £599, this Ultrabook isn't hugely expensive, but at the same time lacks some of the striking looks of something like the Asus Zenbook. That said, the brushed-metal finish has a nice premium sheen to it.

Unlike some Ultrabooks, the Satellite U840 doesn't taper down to a fine point at the leading edge, aping the style of the MacBook Air, which makes the 19.9mm thickness look a little fatter than it perhaps is. 

It weighs 1.59kg, light enough to port around, with a claimed battery life of nine hours, something we can't verify from the short time we've spent with the U840 so far.

In terms of connectivity you're well catered for, with 2x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, HDMI, a card reader and Ethernet port. You get stereo speakers which feature SRS audio enhancement.

We like the feel of the keyboard, although there is a little more flex than we'd like on the chiclet-style keys. The backlighting is a nice touch, perfect for those wanting to work in dim conditions.

Overall the Toshiba Satellite U840 looks like a solid offering. Although it swings in with Ultrabook specs, it perhaps lacks the drama of some of the rival models with want to stake their claim of being the slimmest or the lightest: Toshiba's offering looks and feels practical, with plenty of space on offer for daily computing tasks.

The Toshiba Satellite U840 will be available from Q3, from £599.