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Toshiba unveils new high-end ultrabook

Toshiba has pulled the wraps off a new series of notebook computer called the KIRAbook. The machine is an all-new ultrabook promising a lightweight and compact design thanks to its magnesium alloy chassis.

The 2.6-lb machine has a 13-inch PixelPure display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 (221 pixels per inch). Toshiba promises that the screen delivers razor-sharp clarity for text, photos, movies, games, and other content types. The KIRAbook will be available in standard, and touch screen versions -- the touch screen version of the ultrabook supports 10-points of touch and Windows 8 gestures.


Toshiba says that a high-capacity lithium polymer battery promising all-day battery life, while storage duties are handled by a 256 GB SSD. The ultrabook will offer 8 GB of 1600 MHz memory and a range of third generation Intel Core processors.
 
Pre-orders for the KIRAbook will kick off on May 3 with purchases starting May 12 online. Pricing begins at $1599 and goes up to $1999 depending on the processor chosen.
 
The KIRAbook joins other high-resolution 13” notebooks like the 13” Retina MacBook Pro and the 13” Google Chromebook Pixel.

Sources: Toshiba, The Verge



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RE: Brilliant
By retrospooty on 4/17/2013 12:28:04 PM , Rating: 3
Ya, who wants higher res? More pixels, sharper picture, better definition, more screen real-estate... ick. What are they thinking ;)


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 12:43:08 PM , Rating: 1
They're thinking that people who don't think will think it makes their product "better."

People who can think will realize that there's no point in having such high resolution on such a tiny screen. The "resolution wars" are nothing but spec-sheet fodder.


RE: Brilliant
By retrospooty on 4/17/2013 12:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
I have to disagree. 2560 x 1440 might be overkill for some people on a 13 inch screen, but not as badly as 1366x768 is "underkill"... It's ridiculous and unworkable. There just isnt enough real estate to get anything done without scrolling down every 10 seconds. It looks like crap and is inefficient as hell. 1920x1080 would be fine for 13, but no lower.


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 1:17:07 PM , Rating: 1
Not a chance in hell.

Walk around an average office building. Look at hoe many monitors you find running at ridiculously low resolutions. People will run a 22" monitor at 1440x900, if not 1366x768, because they can't manage to read anything if it's running at 1920x1080.

I challenge you to try to convert these people to running their monitors at their native resolution, and then use larger font sizes and scaling in their browser, etc.

Doesn't work. They don't do it.

And especially on a tiny 13" screen - holy crap does that make no sense. That's a screen that categorically *should* be run at 1366x768. Anything beyond that is just BS.


RE: Brilliant
By retrospooty on 4/17/2013 1:25:24 PM , Rating: 2
"Walk around an average office building. Look at hoe many monitors you find running at ridiculously low resolutions. People will run a 22" monitor at 1440x900, if not 1366x768"

Some people have bad eyesight, and others have just gotten used to the low res mediocrity. It doesnt mean higher res isnt better.

"I challenge you to try to convert these people to running their monitors at their native resolution,"

I am not talking about your avearage old lady in an office with bad eyesight, I am talking about a high end laptop here. IF someone wants a low res laptop there are a thousand to choose from. This one is better. Like I said though, at 13 inches, 1920x1080 would be fine. Its just better overkill than underkill to me, for a high end product.


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 1:37:06 PM , Rating: 1
K, you're just nuts. I don't even know what to say to that kind of lack of rationality.


RE: Brilliant
By retrospooty on 4/17/2013 1:46:35 PM , Rating: 1
LOL... OK, I can see if you don't have good eyes, or just don't do alot on your PC that requires more screen real estate and not needing higher res... But to say anyone that wants higher than 1366x768 isnt being rational? You have left the realm of reality now. Not only are you being irrational, but insulting as well. OMG, 1366x768 sucks to work with on ANY size screen. It's not even about DPI, it just not enough room.


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 1:57:47 PM , Rating: 3
On a 13" screen? Yeah, 1366x768 is probably about right. The vast majority of people would scale their interface to something equivalent thereto, granted that they found a way to do it. Either by just changing the resolution like in Win7 and all previous versions, or by scaling it in Win8 or some other OS to about that profile.

At the end of the day, you get the same amount of content displayed on the screen, regardless of the number of pixels that got use for each character on it.

Maybe *you* like running tiny screens at ridiculously high resolutions...but you're not a normal user.


RE: Brilliant
By retrospooty on 4/17/2013 2:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
"At the end of the day, you get the same amount of content displayed on the screen, regardless of the number of pixels that got use for each character on it."

Ummm... Until you open a spreadsheet... Or log in to a server/different computer remotely , or try to set up a preview panel in outlook or any # of other things... Or even try to real almost any website without needing to keep scrolling down.

"Maybe *you* like running tiny screens at ridiculously high resolutions...but you're not a normal user."

Again, this isn't a cheapo $500 laptop for the average user. Its a high end laptop. If you like 1366c768, then good for you. You get off cheap, this isnt the product for you. I would be fine with this in a 1920x1080 flavor, but nothing lower. Not even 1600x900 at that size.


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 2:43:12 PM , Rating: 2
In my experience the people throughout that office building are more likely to be running their monitors at lower resolutions the higher up they are on the food chain.

Basic accounting guy? Yeah, he's running dual 27" monitors at resolutions so high they warp timespace.

Mahogany row? They're running their 27" monitors at 1024x768.

Guess who's more likely to pay more money for an expensive laptop vs. an inexpensive one. The executives are the ones running around with $1,000 ultrabooks. Running at 1024x768.


RE: Brilliant
By retrospooty on 4/17/2013 3:24:25 PM , Rating: 2
Again, this isn't a cheapo $500 laptop for the average user and having higher than 1366x768 does make a difference. It makes a bbig difference in sharpness/clarity and it makes a HUGE difference in screen real-estate. For those with not so great eyesight, the sharpness/clarity issue goes away, but real estate is real estate. For example... Just Launching Excel 2010 full screen on my 1920x1080 I see 28 columns and 43 rows. At 1366x768 I see 20 columns and 27 rows. That alone makes it worth it. I cant believe you are arguing in favor of lousy display resolution. FFS, I agree 2560 x 1440 is overkill, but 1366x768 is ridiculous.


RE: Brilliant
By ebakke on 4/17/2013 5:24:14 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Basic accounting guy? Yeah, he's running dual 27" monitors at resolutions so high they warp timespace.
My basic accounting girl would kill for dual 27" monitors. Well, that and a decent {expletive} laptop.


RE: Brilliant
By retrospooty on 4/17/2013 1:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
"And especially on a tiny 13" screen - holy crap does that make no sense. That's a screen that categorically *should* be run at 1366x768. Anything beyond that is just BS."

Honestly, you should probably get your eyes checked. That res needs to be retired altogether IMO.


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 1:35:27 PM , Rating: 2
I got Lasik a few years ago. My eyesight is 20/20 - thanks for asking.


RE: Brilliant
By retrospooty on 4/17/2013 1:42:06 PM , Rating: 1
You do realize that 20/20 isnt perfect eyesight right? It means you have average eyesight. Wow... Your average eyesight does seem to match up with your average screen requirements. good for you, you can buy cheap products and scroll down all day long. I wont ever buy anything that low res again... And again, this isnt a cheapo Dell/HP special for $500, this is a high end product.


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 1:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
...and you think you have, what, 20/10 vision? LOL. GTFO.


RE: Brilliant
By retrospooty on 4/17/2013 1:49:21 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno, I have never been to an eye doctor, becasue I have never had a need... But 20/20 isnt perfect, its average - look it up.

I can tell you this. I use a 15 inch with 1920x1080 all day every day at work and I could really use higher res. Things look OK, Its not like its poor qualirty, but more real-estate is better. 1366x768 is just confining. It's like living in a tiny 4x4 foot closet. Need.... Elbow... Room...


RE: Brilliant
By TakinYourPoints on 4/17/2013 1:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have never been to an eye doctor, becasue I have never had a need...


Do you not go to the dentist because you've never had a need to?


RE: Brilliant
By retrospooty on 4/17/2013 2:15:41 PM , Rating: 2
What is that supposed to even mean? Teeth have alot of preventative maintenance things that you need to go in to the dentist for... Eyes do not. If you see good, why would you go to an eye doctor? That and by your other posts here today, we seem to agree. I cant even comprehend what Motoman is talking about... Arguing in favor of that crappy res. I am so sick of looking at 1366x768 I cant wait until it finally dies off just so I can stop having to look at it on other peoples computers that I assist.


RE: Brilliant
By TakinYourPoints on 4/17/2013 2:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Teeth have alot of preventative maintenance things that you need to go in to the dentist for... Eyes do not.


Yes they do. Ophthalmologists don't do things like check your eyeball pressure just for fun. There is a lot of preventative care that goes into eye exams. I jog about 10 miles a week and eat pretty healthy, that doesn't mean that I skip out on checkups "because I don't have to go".

Skipping out on eye exams because things aren't blurry is incredibly ignorant. You might even be surprised by issues once you've gotten your eyes checked.


RE: Brilliant
By retrospooty on 4/17/2013 3:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
Call me ignorant then because I honestly had no idea... "eyeball pressure"? Sounds horrific. Whatever... Even if I had poor eyesight, 1366x768 isnt enough real estate for a high end laptop. I wouldnt want that on anything but a bargain basement tablet.


RE: Brilliant
By TakinYourPoints on 4/17/2013 3:40:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Call me ignorant then because I honestly had no idea...


Get your eyes checked man, its important! And yeah, getting the eyeball pressure checked and having your pupils dilated so they can really examine your retina isn't exactly what I'd call comfortable. :)

And yes, resolutions on desktop and laptop monitors going up is only a good thing. I have my eyes on a 15" rMBP next year. Give it a couple years and these resolutions will be in even more mainstream products.

I might even get my 27" 5120x2880 desktop monitor someday...


RE: Brilliant
By retrospooty on 4/17/2013 3:57:58 PM , Rating: 2
"I might even get my 27" 5120x2880 desktop monitor someday."

Careful... Motoman will get really pissed off over that comment... For some reason ;)


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 4:39:31 PM , Rating: 2
On a 27" screen? Nah. Sounds good to me.


RE: Brilliant
By TakinYourPoints on 4/17/2013 5:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
On a 27" screen? Nah. Sounds good to me.


But it gives the same benefits you'd get on a laptop screen. I don't see any difference between the two.

If anything the benefits are greater on a laptop screen since they're placed closer to your eye than a desktop monitor, just as the benefits of higher PPI increases as you go from tablets to smartphones.


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 7:18:24 PM , Rating: 2
No, the point of diminishing returns comes a lot faster on a smaller screen.

The 27" example makes a lot more sense than the 13" example. It helps to remember that area doesn't double with a measurement like the "27 inch" monitor vs. "13 inc" monitor.

My monitor has a viewable area of about 23.5" diagonal, with a width of about 21" and a height of about 12". The total area there is 252 square inches.

If you cut the width and height in half, to 10.5" and 6", one might instinctively think the area drops by half as well - but it doesn't. The area of the 10.5" by 6" monitor would be only 63 square inches - a fourth of the area of my monitor.

Which is why, from a pure numbers standpoint, that forcing higher pixel counts into smaller screens quickly makes no sense. The area is decreasing at a rate twice as fast as the outside dimensions.


RE: Brilliant
By TakinYourPoints on 4/17/2013 8:33:54 PM , Rating: 2
Higher pixel density matters more the closer a display is to your eyes. It is all about viewing distance.

This is why you can get away with about 35PPI on a 60" HDTV that you view from 8' away while you need closer to 100PPI with a 23" LCD to get approximately the same sharpness.

With computer displays you're viewing them at about 2'-3', about a foot and a half with laptop display, about a foot with a tablet, and finally about 10" with a smartphone.

Needing greater pixel density with greater display sizes does not follow given that viewing distance increases accordingly. It is the opposite, the larger the screen, the farther the viewing distance, and the lower pixel density is required.

It makes sense given that you are able to discern individual larger pixels and screen door effects the closer you are to a display. This is why going over 300 PPI was so important with smartphones, while doing the same with a desktop display goes well past the point of diminishing returns.


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 8:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
You're varying the screen area very disproportionately with the distance from your eyes.

My eyeballs are right about two fee from my 24" desktop monitor. When I set my 17.3" laptop on my lap, my eyeballs actually wind up being closer to 26" away from that screen...and trying my best to juggle my cell phone and a tape measure at the same time, it seems I generally hold that around 16" from my eyes.

So my phone, with it's 3.7" screen at 800x480 is about a third closer to my eyes than my 24" monitor at 1920x1080. Meanwhile, the decrease in display area is roughly a factor of 42. The screen area of my cell phone is a smidge over 6 square inches, vs. 252 inches for my monitor. It's literally 42 times smaller.

That 1/3 change in distance pales in comparison to the change in surface area. While obviously viewing distance is important, the size of the screen you're talking about isn't less important - looks like it's more important to me.

Subjectively speaking, I can look at a photo on my cell phone, and then on my desktop monitor, and honestly say the quality appears to be the same. It really makes no difference - even though my cell phone has such a "pathetic" resolution by your "standards."

So no...massive PPI on a cell phone actually *is not* important. It just isn't.


RE: Brilliant
By TakinYourPoints on 4/18/2013 6:51:58 PM , Rating: 2
So you're saying that you use a small laptop even farther away than a desktop monitor? Do you gorilla arm the keyboard?

Your logic is backwards, and as usual you use it to justify something inferior. Just because you don't care if something is objectively inferior doesn't mean that everyone else shares your incredibly low standards.

I mean, if you like a Kia, great, but don't pretend they're better than a car that costs twice as much simply because its cheaper.


RE: Brilliant
By ebakke on 4/17/2013 5:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Skipping out on eye exams because things aren't blurry is incredibly ignorant. You might even be surprised by issues once you've gotten your eyes checked.
Well count me ignorant. And unconcerned. I'm willing to take the risk of something awful happening between the time when things seem ok and when something gives me a reason to see the eye doc.


RE: Brilliant
By piroroadkill on 4/17/2013 1:32:25 PM , Rating: 2
What are you talking about? I have a Sony Vaio Z12 with a 13.1" 1600x900 screen and it is spot-on. Perfectly readable and nice to use at native res.


RE: Brilliant
By TakinYourPoints on 4/17/2013 1:44:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I challenge you to try to convert these people to running their monitors at their native resolution, and then use larger font sizes and scaling in their browser, etc.


That isn't how it works with these high-PPI displays. You use the monitors at native resolution and set scaling at the OS level rather than at the application level.

In OS X you put the display resolution to the "retina" setting, which renders text at 4x its "normal" size and uses the oversizes graphics assets in OS X. Everything is sized normally, it just uses much larger and more detailed assets like you'd see on a smartphone or tablet. Its a similar thing with Windows 8, you set it to 200% scaling and that's it, you're done.

Nobody is being asked to use tiny fonts, it is rendering the same assets using more pixels. I'm also certain that UI scaling would be set properly out of the box, considering that the Asus Zenbook Prime is set to 150% scaling by default.


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 1:53:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Nobody is being asked to use tiny fonts, it is rendering the same assets using more pixels.


Then ultimately you don't get any more screen room. Ergo...there was no point to the exercise.

The average person is going to look at a 13" screen that natively runs at 1366x768, and then another 13" screen that natively has 4 times that pixel density but is scaled to run at an equivalent to 1366x768, and they're going to shrug their shoulders and declare that they can't really see any difference.


RE: Brilliant
By TakinYourPoints on 4/17/2013 2:04:26 PM , Rating: 2
Additional screen room is a secondary goal. You can do it by setting your scaling to 100% or 150%, but the main point is additional sharpness and detail. For me the benefits with font rendering (true fonts, not anti-aliased), images, and color are huge, but I've always spent more on my monitors. Hell, I owned IPS monitors ten years ago, long before they became mainstream and back when they were very expensive.

Lots of people didn't see the point of the retina display iPhone either, but now high PPI is becoming pretty standard.

You're right though, lots of people also don't care about quality. Its the same reason people buy LCD HDTVs and set it at torch mode with motion smoothing. They're happy with it even though they don't realize it looks like crap. Good products aren't for everyone, and fortunately this laptop doesn't prevent people from buying a $500 HP either.


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 2:45:52 PM , Rating: 2
Correction: they're happy with it because they don't see the value in the "better" product.

The TV example is perfect. In the store, side-by side? Sure...an average consumer will say "yeah, I guess the $5,000 plasma looks better than the $500 LCD."

Then they buy the $500 LCD, put it on the wall at home, and enjoy it 100% as much as they'd have enjoyed the $5,000 plasma.

Very, very few people in this world will sit on the couch watching at TV show and steam about "...but the color temperature is off on the blacks!"


RE: Brilliant
By JDHammer on 4/17/2013 12:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
KIRA....

Does this laptop come with a Bajoran Earring?

I mean, the pic provided is a dark shade of red and it has KIRA in the name.... ;-)

Ya know...Kira Nerys ;-)


RE: Brilliant
By Motoman on 4/17/2013 1:14:06 PM , Rating: 2
I would buy them. I WOULD BUY ALL OF THEM.


RE: Brilliant
By quiksilvr on 4/17/2013 12:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
I agree to an extent. Yes we need higher resolutions screens but this resolution IMO is just overkill for a 13" screen, especially since battery life is a priority when buying laptops like these.

I would say 1600x900 - 1920x1080 would be a good range.


RE: Brilliant
By TakinYourPoints on 4/17/2013 1:33:13 PM , Rating: 3
High pixel density helps with things like proper font rendering. High DPI in laptops like the retina display MBP is a huge jump in quality from others out there.

I have no idea how good its keyboard or trackpad are, but on paper my only real issue with this laptop is its 16:9 aspect ratio. The move from 16:10 to 16:9 is a terrible trend in laptop and desktop monitors. You lose a lot of vertical desktop space to work with and it serves absolutely no practical purpose, especially in something as small as 13". Otherwise I'm really glad that we're starting to see these kinds of resolutions in more laptops.

This should be really nice once Haswell with its faster IGP comes out.

I'm assuming that a straight doubling in pixel density was done partly because it uses the same LCD panels used by Apple in their laptops (just cut to 16:9 rather than 16:10), and partly because it uses 200% scaling in Windows 8. One simple adjustment and you're looking at the same proportions and spacing as standard Windows at 100% scaling.


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