Ultrabooks have been dragging themselves along, due to being too expensive, among other things, but there are some models that deserve a mention or two.
Toshiba's U840W is one of them, even though it does nothing to convince the common man that ultrabooks are what he should buy.
In fact, it is one of the more inaccessible of its kind, since the hardware it is made out of demands a higher tag than the rest.
That doesn't mean it isn't an interesting thing to behold though. Indeed, it might be one of the most unusual models so far built, in no small measure thanks to the screen.
For one, the LCD (liquid crystal display) measures 14.4 inches, instead of the 11.6 or 13.3 inches common for this sort of notebook.
More importantly though, the aspect ratio is one that rarely sees use: 21:9 (16:9 is common nowadays, arguably more than 4:3 even).
In order for that aspect ratio to be possible, the native resolution had to be strange as well: 1,792 x 768 pixels.
Most of the other hardware specs are in line with Intel's ultrabook directives: USB 3.0 (three ports), various other connectors and plugs (LAN, memory card slot, etc.), Wi-Fi, built-in speakers (Harman Kardon), etc. Only the top RAM capacity is on the high side (10 GB).
Chippy, from Ultrabook News, is the one that scored a hands-on experience with the U840W, having visited Toshiba Germany recently. The video is embedded below and has guest appearances by Toshiba U840 and Z930.
For our part, we feel that perhaps the whole aspect ratio thing is being taken a bit too far. It is already troublesome that PC and monitor makers seem to have largely forgotten about 4:3, but at least we can understand the quest to provide good cinematic experiences. The jump from 16:9 to 21:9 does not really add much to the enjoyment of movies, so we doubt the latter aspect ratio will become anything more than a small niche.