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Innovation

Toshiba Satellite U845W goes ultra-wide with first Ultrabook with 21:9 display

Movie buffs should appreciate the 1,792x768 screen, but is there enough mainstream appeal for this laptop?
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor on

Among the many permutations of Ultrabook introduced recently at Computex, one of the most unusual was Toshiba's U845W, the first to feature a 21:9 screen. There have been a couple attempts at introducing 21:9 displays to the HDTV world, and the U845W is a similar gamble that some people will want a different aspect ratio than the more common 16:9.

Why would you want a 21:9 screen? One reason is to watch some movies without black bars above and below (a.k.a. letterboxing), as many are filmed in an aspect ratio closer to 21:9 than 16:9 (2.35:1, to be precise). It also comes in handy using Windows 8's snap features to lock down certain program windows to portions of the screen -- Toshiba's Split Screen Utility helps divide the extra screen real-estate most effectively to show multiple windows at once.

Other than its 1,792x768-pixel screen, the U845W comes with Intel Ivy Bridge processors options, up to 8GB of memory, 500GB hard drive, optional 32GB or 256GB solid state drive, and Harman/Kardon speakers. It's clad in aluminum, is 0.82 inches thin, and weighs as little as 3.5 pounds, depending on your configuration. Our sister site CNET has a hands-on overview, which shows that the system is longer than the conventional U845 laptop, but also shorter in depth.

The Satellite U845W will go on sale on July 15 starting at $999.99, not a bad price for an unusual design. Would you have any interest in buying a 21:9 laptop? Let us know in the Comments section below.

More ZDNet Ultrabook Coverage:

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