Hodgkins Sponsored Links. In this article: display , hardware , iPhone , manufacturing , Retina , Toshiba. Toshiba is rumored to be building a factory to manufacture high-resolution LCD displays for Apple, according to a report in the Nikkei Business Daily. With this new plant, Toshiba will be able to double its current LCD production level, which now hovers around 8. Apple is reportedly investing an unknown sum into the construction of this plant and will use it to produce Retina Displays for future iPhone models.
Apple's investment in a manufacturing facility to build Retina Displays is a wise move. Rival HTC struggled earlier this year with display panel shortages that affected sales of its flagship Android handset models. By investing in a dedicated manufacturing facility, Apple would be able to secure an ample supply of display panels for its popular mobile devices.
The model I tested was the most expensive one. The Kirabook has a screen that measures The resolution is 2, by 1, pixels, compared with the MacBook's 2, by 1, pixels. In other words, you can fit 10 percent less detail vertically on the Kirabook's screen, but images look just as crisp and smooth as on the Retina screen.
The big deal with the Retina, and now the Kirabook, is that its individual pixels are so small that they blend together imperceptibly. It doesn't sound like a big deal until you try it. After that, other screens look coarse and barbaric. The Kirabook screen is excellent in other ways, too: It looks good from almost any angle.
One of the sample units loaned to me suffered from uneven brightness, but this was rarely an issue. The problem with quadrupling the resolution of the laptop screen is that you have to make sure that you're not shrinking the size of everything that's shown on the screen. A character that's 28 pixels high on a regular screen is a quarter of an inch high—easily legible. If you show a pixel character on the Kirabook screen, it's one-eighth of an inch high, or practically illegible.
In some instances, the Kirabook will gracefully scale up text and buttons to a legible and useful size. In other cases, it won't, and it's time to bend in real close to the screen. This problem is made more aggravating by the fact that the Kirabook comes in touch-screen variants. Touching tiny buttons is hard—you want a big fat button for your big fat finger.
The problem was not acute in applications designed for Windows 8, but there aren't many of those. It was worse in the familiar "Desktop" environment, where the buttons to close or minimize a window are so small, they're tough to hit with a finger or a mouse. Apple has a big advantage over Toshiba here, given that it has control over the hardware, the operating system and many of the most popular Mac applications.
That means it can create computers with high-resolution screens and modify its software to suit. Toshiba, on the other hand, has to work with software it gets from Microsoft. Toshiba Corp. In fact, it's even lighter than the inch MacBook Air, which doesn't have a high-resolution screen.
The trade-off for the light weight is that the Kirabook's battery life is relatively short. I played back movies for four hours before it went dark. Unfortunately, the high-resolution screen draws more power than regular ones, which is why Apple stuffs a much larger battery in its Retina models to get about seven hours of run time. The light weight, handsome exterior and beautiful screen should appeal to many, and it's possible that software updates will help with the screen-scaling issue. While waiting for that, you can always downgrade the resolution of the screen, though that defeats the purpose of having such a nice display.
The biggest failing is the loud fan—there's just no point in having a powerful processor if using it makes it sound like you're picnicking on the airport tarmac. Explore further. All rights reserved. Use this form if you have come across a typo, inaccuracy or would like to send an edit request for the content on this page.
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Best Dyson Deals: Save on purifying fans, cordless vacuums. Toshiba Kirabook. Retina MacBook Pro. The Dell XPS 13 Still, the Kirabook is no match for the Acer Aspire S , whose Click to Enlarge The Kirabook's backlit, island-style keyboard is definitely an improvement over Toshiba's previous Ultrabooks. The layout is pleasurably large and snappy, with plenty of travel. We also like that the Function row keys are reversed, so we could control multimedia, volume and screen brightness without having to press the Function key.
We just wish the keys were slightly grittier; we occasionally felt like our fingers would slip off. The 4. The pad accurately interpreted Windows 8 gestures without being oversensitive like on other Ultrabooks we've tested. Click to Enlarge The Kirabook's This is one of the sharpest screens we've seen since the inch MacBook Pro, which has a resolution of x pixels, which translates to a density of pixels per inch.
With an average brightness of lux, the Kirabook's display is brighter than the typical ultraportable lux as well as the Air lux and the Acer Aspire S7 lux. Details such as the wings of the bees, as well as the hairs on their bodies, were more pronounced on the MacBook. Also, the yellows and blacks were more saturated on the Mac. So what can you do with all those pixels? Not much. Other than watching 4K videos, you won't find any Retina-ready apps or games in the Windows Store -- or anywhere else.
In comparison, the Mac App Store stocks more than Retina apps. Whereas navigating the Modern Live Tile interface was easy on the Kirabook, it was nearly impossible to touch anything, much less use the cursor, in desktop mode. The menu options in Photoshop Elements were microscopic.
We don't consider our eyesight to be poor, but even we had to hold the notebook close to our face. Fortunately, a Toshiba Display Utility lets you set the size of on-screen icons and text in Windows, but it doesn't apply to the apps themselves. You'll get the best sound when the system is on a hard surface, which allows the audio to reflect toward the user. We were impressed with the clarity and volume; at their loudest, the Kirabook's speakers filled our office. Rihanna's "What's My Name" sounded balanced, with the singer's vocals and the bass beat coming through cleanly and powerfully.
A live version of "Thunder Road" sounded equally impressive. It was almost as if The Boss were performing in front of us. Images and video taken using the Kirabook's HD webcam were mediocre, at best. Video taken using the Microsoft webcam app, capable of recording up to p, looked somewhere between an early impressionist painting and a rotoscoped movie. At least colors were accurate. In order to cool off its insides, the Kirabook has what Toshiba calls "Airflow II," a high-performance fan with multidirectional ventilation.
After watching a Hulu video at full-screen for 15 minutes, the touchpad measured 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the G and H keys, as well as the middle of the underside, were 89 degrees. All are below what we consider uncomfortable -- 95 degrees -- but the back-middle of the bottom hit 97 degrees.
We then measured the heat after running our "World of Warcraft" benchmark, which takes about five minutes. The space between the G key and the H key measured 97 degrees, as did the middle of the underside. The hottest spot was degrees. When we were running WOW, the fan whirred like a small jet engine, but spun down soon after we exited the game.
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