With 100% magnesium design, 2K resolution screen and Core i7 processor, is Kirabook worth the price? Toshiba has launched?
Increasingly, the Ultrabook race (ultra-thin, lightweight laptop running Intel processor) is getting hotter than ever. Both HP, Dell, Samsung and Sony tried to create a product that could beat the MacBook Air right in the game initiated by Apple itself. Among the well-known manufacturers, it seems that Toshiba alone is left out: the Japanese manufacturer has released too many unimpressive mid-range products.
Kirabook (called Kira-101 in some markets) is Toshiba's latest attempt to improve its position. This is the first product in Toshiba's new Kira product line with impressive first impressions: metal body shape, 2560 x 1440 pixel screen and Core i7 processor. The least attractive point of Kirabook is quite high price: 1400 USD, equivalent to about 29 million.
Let's come to the detailed statements of Trusted Reviews about this "top" Ultrabook of Toshiba.
Kirabook is designed to belong to high class Ultrabook, but nothing breakthroughs. The body uses only metal materials with polished surfaces. Casing of machines using magnesium instead of familiar aluminum material, makes Kirabook become more sturdy, lighter and more difficult to scratch.
Magnesium is the key material on Kirabook, and fortunately this material contrasts very well with the black keys and the dark-colored chassis. The lid also exudes elegance, with the most notable detail being the bright Toshiba logo.
Kirabook's body is equipped with "honeycomb" structure to help ensure durability without increasing weight for the body. The lower body of the machine is very sturdy, but the part for the hand has uneven hardness. More specifically, while the metal shell is almost not dented when pressed, the right side of the body creates a very strange click. The screen border is the weakest part in the shell of Kirabook: the edges will be bent when pressing disturbing images on the screen. While most laptops in the market suffer from this phenomenon, the noise level of Kirabook is worse than other laptops.
Kirabook's design also has another weakness: while you can say that Kirabook is a laptop model with a rather refined and smart appearance, Toshiba's product is just one of many laptop models with a body of equal size. metal ball, front edge rounded and black edges. Kirabook is not the first laptop model "learn" from the design of MacBook Air.
In addition, many other details of Kirabook design will also make users unhappy: the contours, the material on the body is too big and clear, can cause confusion during use, not to mention The front edge of the body is also sharp to the point of discomfort. On the right hand side are 4 logos that are connected to each other, creating a feeling of less luxurious than the MacBook Air.
Toshiba has used metal lacing around the touchpad of Kirabook to increase the high level of design, but this detail has been abused too many cheap laptop models and become "counterproductive" on Kirabook. All of these weaknesses are quite small, but overall they form a Kirabook with high-quality design but still disappointing.
With a thickness of 21.5mm in the thickest position (reduced to 4mm at the front), Kirabook is still thicker than the MacBook Air, Sony's Vaio Pro 13 and Samsung's Ativ Book 9 Plus. Kirabook's weight of 1.35kg is on par with MacBook Air but much larger than 1.06kg of Vaio and 1.36kg of Ativ.
The 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution of Kirabook is completely superior to the MacBook Air, because Apple 's ultra – thin laptop products have not yet been upgraded to Retina standard. The screen of the Vaio Pro 13 only has 1920 x 1080 pixel Full HD resolution, while the Ativ Book 9 takes the lead with a 3200 x 1800 pixel screen resolution – currently still the highest resolution on a Ultrabook.
Although still inferior to Samsung, Kirabook's 221PPI definition screen can still display text, images and applications in an extremely sharp way, as long as these graphic details are designed to display well on High resolution screen. Toshiba has used the available customizations of Windows 8.1 and its own software to optimize the size of the graphic elements. Unfortunately, the 3rd party applications interface is not really compatible with this too high resolution.
For example, the interface of some applications becomes tiny, while other applications display incorrect crossword. Low resolution images and small fonts on some websites will become ugly in a clear way on Kirabook's screen. This is Microsoft's fault because it does not support good high resolution on laptops with high resolution, but also a weakness that has not been overcome by Toshiba on Kirabook.
The brightness of 253cd / m2 and the black depth of 0.1cd / m2 is extremely great: the picture is not only bright, the colors are not only brilliant, but the black also ranks "deepest" in all models. laptop TrustedReviews tested.
Delta E index is very impressive: 1.84 (as close to 0 as possible). This score shows Kirabook displayed 94% accuracy of the sRGB standard color range. While the color temperature is only 7.075K, users can easily change this parameter. The biggest weakness of Kirabook screen is the narrow viewing angle and the screen is too glossy.
Overall, Kirabook screen just behind the screen of Vaio Pro 13: Kirabook quality display better than the Ativ Book 9 and also sharper MacBook Air. While the screen of the Vaio is not as many pixels as Kirabook, the "standard" 1080p resolution means that this screen will not encounter web page format / application graphics issues. The screen of Vaio Pro 13 is also brighter and has more realistic colors than Kirabook.
Toshiba equips Kirabook with Harmon / Kardon branded speakers. This set of speakers has a volume large enough for a small room, but the quality is not as good as expected.
Kirabook's bass has good beating power, but high sound is too thin. The middle sound is disturbed by high tones. While the bass drum sounds quite good, the deep notes are lost almost completely. Overall, Kirabook's speakers do not balance harmoniously the sound bands like the speakers on the MacBook Air.
Keyboard and touchpad
Like competing models, Kirabook has a Chiclet keyboard (square key, rounded corners) familiar. Keyboard with Kirabook's projector is not only beautiful but also very reasonable layout: the black keys become prominent on the metal body, the buttons are not too small.
Each key on Kirabook's keyboard also has a slightly concave body to increase accuracy and comfort level. Thanks to the "honeycomb" frame, Kirabook's keyboard keeps the background very solid, not sinking when pressed.
However, Kirabook's keyboard has some pretty serious weaknesses: the keys are not deep pressed, and therefore lack of force feedback. The space bar also occasionally receives no signal. All these weaknesses make Kirabook not really a laptop suitable for users who need to work for a long time.
While Kirabook's keyboard quality is still acceptable, both Vaio Pro 13 and Ativ Book 9 bring a better keyboard experience. In terms of keyboard quality, MacBook Air is still the "king" of the ultra-thin, ultra-light laptop market.
Similarly, Kirabook's touchpad is sensitive enough, receives good touch gestures and has two buttons "very" hands, but still inferior to the almost perfect touchpad quality on the MacBook Air.
The number of connections available on Kirabook will not disappoint you: 3 USB 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI port, SD card reader and headphone / microphone port combination. There is no LAN port, but there is 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity.
Kirabook is built to become a mobile machine with tremendous power, and Core i7-4500U processor is Toshiba's choice to achieve this purpose. The Core i7-4500U is one of Intel's most powerful power-saving processors. With 2 1.8GHz core that supports Hyper Threading hyper-threading technology, Kirabook's i7 processor far exceeds i5 chip on MacBook Air, Vaio Pro (mid-range version) and completely overwhelms AMD chip used on Ativ Book 9.
Other parameters of Kirabook are also very attractive: 8GB RAM and 256GB solid drive. The biggest disappointment is that this Ultrabook doesn't own an Intel HD5000 GPU but only Intel 4400, which is a lower-end version of Intel integrated graphics.
Anyway, the speed of Kirabook is still very impressive. On PCMark 7, Kirabook reached 4,971 points, higher than all competitors. Score 5,424 of Geekbench Kirabook double the score of the Ative Book 9. Only the Zenbook UX302 of ASUS is faster than Kirabook although also using Core i7 chip.
Kirabook hard drive test is also very impressive: reading speed reached 506 MB / sec, write speed reached 449 MB / sec, equivalent to the speed of SSD on MacBook Air. Kirabook is equipped with 256GB SSD, equivalent to choosing the largest hard drive on MacBook Air.
Even if you have turned off the Quick Startup option of Windows 8, Kirabook will only take 13 seconds to start the latest Windows version, 3 seconds slower than the MacBook Air and Ativ Book 9. When turning on Fast Startup, Kirabook It only takes 8 seconds to boot the operating system!
In the Ice Storm graphics test of 3D Mark, Kirabook reached 38,381 points, twice as high as Vaio Pro 13 and more than Ativ Book to 13,000 points. It should be noted that the Ativ Book is integrated with AMD's Radeon graphics.
In CloudGate test of 3DMark, Samsung shortened the distance to 600 points: Kirabook reached 4,626 and Ativ Book reached 4,008. While the benchmark of Kirabook is very impressive, this Ultrabook can only play top and old games at medium or poor quality levels.
For example, on a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, Dirt 3 racing game reaches 36 frames per second at a low custom level (Low). Toshiba's Ultrabook cannot run Dirt 3 on average settings (Medium).
Heat dissipation and noise
Comes with the superior power of Kirabook is an uneasy weakness: noise from radiator fan.
In the test requires strength, fans of Kirabook must be very difficult to dissipate heat at an acceptable level. You will quickly recognize the hiss from the radiator fan of Kirabook, regardless of whether you are in the room or sitting in a noisy hall.
Even, fan radiator Kirabook also cause noise even in light tasks. Comes with this less stable fan is the inefficient heat dissipation process, making Kirabook's lower body hot. This makes the experience of using Kirabook can become uncomfortable to users.
Although the heat dissipation is not good, Kirabook has very good battery life. In Powermark's test Trusted Review, this powerful Ultrabook reaches 9 hours and 10 minutes of battery life, 3 minutes higher than competing products. While not yet able to reach the 10-hour milestone of MacBook Air, Kirabook's figure is still too impressive.
In the Productivity heavy test on Powermark with Kirabook operating in High Performance mode (Optimized performance), this Ultrabook reached 9 hours 27 minutes, still higher than 2 rivals Vaio Pro and Ativ Book 9.
After half an hour of charging, Kirabook reached 35%, equivalent to 3 hours of use. Once again, Kirabook overcame Vaio and Ativ, but still worse than MacBook Air (40%).
In the US, Kirabook will be sold with a trial version of Norton Internet Security within 2 years. The Ultrabook will also come with two Photoshop software Elements 11 and Premier Elements 11 for free.
Kirabook also installed some applications to monitor the status and update the software on the device. Toshiba's own tool developed to change the font size on a high-resolution screen will also be pre-installed.
Some 3rd party applications such as eBay, Evernote and The Telegraph will also be installed on Kirabook. You can also choose the application from the Windows Store store.
– High resolution screen, excellent display quality.
– Powerful Core i7 processor.
– Good quality touchpad.
– Perfect battery life.
– Non-polished design.
– Poorly integrated graphics.
– Keyboard quality is too bad.
– The application does not support well for high resolution.
Price of 1400 USD (nearly 29 million, original price in the US) of Kirabook makes this laptop surpass both MacBook Air (starting price in the US 900 USD / 19 million) and Vaio Pro 13 (original price in the US for equivalent configuration version: 1300 USD / 27.4 million). Samsung's ATIV Book 9 Plus is the most expensive of these products: Core i7 version with original price in the US up to 1800 USD
(about VND 38 million).
While the price of nearly 30 million dong of Kirabook will be a barrier for many people, on some aspects Kirabook really deserves its price range: superior processing power, impressive battery life, screen High quality with "terrible" resolution useful for some graphic users.
But, in some other aspects, Kirabook is not really worthy of the price range and therefore will be inferior to competitors: the quality keyboard is not complacent and the fan is too noisy. In addition, the design problem is also a minus point for Toshiba. Instead of bringing a new wind to Toshiba's laptop portfolio this year, the 1400 USD design of Kirabook is still not really luxurious due to too many logo stickers, radiators lacking aesthetic and general design language. too lack of creativity.
Overall, Kirabook is a pretty good product, but the strength of the machine is not really worthy of the high-end price range as present. Even if you are not limited in budget, choosing the Vaio Pro 13 or a lower-level version of ATIV Book 9 will still be a more reasonable choice. If Apple decides to upgrade the MacBook Air to a Retina screen this year, the ultra-thin laptop labeled Apple will be a better option than the Kirabook in every way.