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Review: Toshiba Kira Ultrabook

The Toshiba Kira Ultrabook is a laptop that aims to revitalise Toshiba's premium reputation. Its top of the range Kira series does a good job of putting other ultrabooks in the shade.

It’s made out of a pressed magnesium alloy with a honeycomb base, providing a strong structure in a razor thin factor. Having been a Macbook Air user, this is up there with its build quality, thinness and attention to detail.

The screen, oh the screen. A 2560 x 1440 PurePixel Display (221 pixels per inch), that is glorious when working with photos and video. But there is a downside.

Programs have issues dealing with this level of definition. There was a lack of native scaling so buttons in programs could appear very small, although Toshiba include Desktop Assist that enlarges text. Hopefully, Microsoft will introduce scaling in future versions of Windows.

The review unit was a touchscreen Intel Core i7-3537U with 8GB of RAM and 256Gb SSD and easily tackled everything including video and photo editing (it does come with Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11). The small fan does spin up often with a high pitched whine that can be annoying.


  • Beautiful, rich high resolution screen
  • Touchscreen option is actually useful
  • Thin, light yet extremely sturdy chassis
  • Fully specced with all the latest hardware
  • Backlit keyboard with excellent travel
  • Harmon Kardon speakers pump out good sound
  • No network port – wireless only
  • Fan can be loud and annoying
  • Touchpad can activate Windows 8 swipe gestures too easily
  • Not a Haswell processor

The Toshiba Kira Ultrabook is hard not to like. With the high resolution and full range of features, if you’re looking at Ultrabooks, I can imagine this finely crafted machine being near the top of your wish list. The fan does run loud sometimes and the battery life at around 5 hours is at a disability against the newer Haswell processors.

Price: $2,599 – $3,099

Score: 4/5