The Toshiba Satellite P845t-S4310 is a Windows 8 notebook that includes a 14-inch touchscreen to deliver a better experience.
The Satellite P845t isn’t an Ultrabook Convertible like many of the touchscreen Windows 8 notebooks we’ve reviewed, that transform from a notebook to a tablet. Rather it is a traditional notebook with a large touchscreen.
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Satellite P845t Design
Traditionally touch screen notebooks have not gained favor with consumers due to the lack of touch-friendly controls in Windows, but with the new Windows 8 Modern user interface is designed with touch in mind. In fact, it’s best with touch, even in a traditional notebook.
The Satellite P845t is bulkier than many notebooks on the market, especially Ultrabook Convertibles like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 and Dell XPS 12 Ultrabook Convertible, but it is $250 cheaper and includes an optical drive that isn’t found on the more portable models. In addition to the optical drive, users also get VGA, HDMI, microphone, headphone, three USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader and an Ethernet port.
Satellite P845t Display
The touchscreen is an essential part of the notebook, offering a better way to use Windows 8 apps even though the Satellite P845t doesn’t turn into a tablet. The touchscreen is responsive and after several days it doesn’t feel odd to reach for the screen instead of to the mouse. Users will find that within a few weeks of use they will figure out which actions, apps and activities work best for touch and which are better with a mouse and keyboard.
The display looks good, though it’s not as nice as what you’ll find on a high-end smartphone like the iPhone 5. The colors are good though a little washed out when not viewed head on. Viewing angles are good, but the display is best for one user, not a group.
Satellite P845t Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard on the Satellite P845t is good for a mid-range notebook. The key travel, the distance a key moves when pushed is shorter than we would like to see, but not so short that typing is as tough as on other notebooks in this price range. The keys are flat plastic squares without the small indent we look for on notebooks that are used for long periods of typing. While it’s not the best keyboard its better than we’ve seen on earlier Toshiba notebooks and better than many competing consumer notebooks
The touchpad is larger than on Windows 7 notebooks, to better support gestures in Windows 8. The touchpad is responsive and handles multi-touch gestures and Windows 8 gestures with ease.
Satellite P845t Performance
As a notebook the Satellite P845t performs well for basic computing tasks thanks to an Intel Core i5 3rd generation processor and 6GB of RAM. Boot time and opening applications is slower than competing notebooks that feature a hybrid hard drive with a small SSD or a SSD drive, but its a trade off for the price. Expect to play casual games, do basic photo editing and home office tasks, but don’t plan to game to do large video editing tasks on the Satellite P845t.
The harmon/kardon speakers don’t disappoint with above average sound for a notebook. The speakers are loud enough to fill a medium size room and deliver very good sound with clear and crisp highs, distinct mids, and as close to a low-end as you can expect on a notebook. From music to movies, most owners won’t need to go looking for a set of desktop speakers.
Battery life clocks in at just over four hours of web browsing and playing around in the touch friendly side of Windows 8. This is average for a notebook like this, but a bit low based on the processor and room for a larger battery. Unlike Ultrabooks, the Satellite P845t features a removable battery.
The Toshiba Satellite P845t-S4310 faces stiff competition from the IdeaPad Yoga 13 and a crop of new Windows 8 notebooks, but by delivering a responsive touch screen, the optical drive many consuemrs still want and great audio at $250 less than the cheapest Ultrabook Convertible the Satellite P845t is a good value for many home users.