Apart from crowds, cheap cola and stressed journalists, the next most likely thing you’ll see at this year’s IFA is some kind of hybrid laptop and tablet device. The Toshiba Satellite U920T is exactly that featuring a sliding mechanism that reveals a full physical Qwerty keyboard.
Packing Windows 8 and a choice of the latest Ivy Bridge processors, it looks to be as powerful as the rest of the competition. No discreet graphics, but there is Intel's HD 4000, which is good enough. The Tosh handles quickly and Windows 8 does a good job responding to things like touch when you have the screen slid over the keyboard.
Design-wise, its the usual Toshiba fare. Inoffensive is a word that spring to mind as the laptop tablet combo doesn't really feel cheap, nor premium. The sliding mechanism is reassuringly solid and the inclusion of Gorilla Glass is a nice touch, as it keeps the screen from getting scratched while you are using the Tosh in tablet mode.
Interestingly the U920T features both a 32GB SSD and a 1TB HDD, meaning you get instant boot times but also quite a lot of space to play with. 6GB of RAM should keep multi-tasking decent. A slight let down is the screen, which at 14-inches and with a 1366 x 768 resolution, it is fairly pixelated. It is also fairly heavy, at 1.79Kg.
A 1-megapixel webcam on the front is paired with another on the rear, which is apparently used for when you want to Skype with the rest of your family or in business.
Connectivity is good too, with two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0, HDMI, Ethernet LAN, SDTM card reader and things like Bluetooth 4.0 and Intel Wi-Di. SRS Premium Sound 3DTM speakers sit next to the display. We didn't get a chance to hear them in action, but they look like they could put out a fair old blast of audio.
Definitely something a bit different from Toshiba, but then there is a lot of other folding Windows 8 devices being announced right now. Having had a play it looks like this could be a good effort, especially if it is cheap enough when it is launched in Q4 this year.