System Performance

The Toshiba KIRAbook may be using the current "entry level" low voltage Intel Core i7, but it's still an extremely fast processor. The Ivy Bridge-based i7-3537U features a nominal 2GHz clock speed and is able to turbo up to 2.9GHz on both cores or even 3.1GHz on a single core, power and thermals depending. The HD 4000 graphics are also able to jump to 1.2GHz, but that advantage is likely to be much more modest. Finally, the SSD in the KIRAbook is a very capable one and should help it out in PCMark.

PCMark 7 (2013)

PCMark 7's leanings towards SSDs are essentially correct; as a whole, the i7-3537U in the KIRAbook is faster than any of the other ultrabooks tested, and the SSD is definitely snappy. It's remarkable that the vastly more powerful CyberPower Fangbook (which includes a 256GB Samsung 840 Pro) doesn't bludgeon the KIRAbook harder.

Cinebench R11.5 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD 5.x

x264 HD 5.x


CPU-centric benchmarks are also mostly in the KIRAbook's favor, but the first pass in x264 isn't as strong as it ought to be. The entry KIRAbook will be equipped with the same CPU as the Dell XPS 13 in these charts, so you're looking at a measurable decrease in CPU performance going that route. If the extra $400 for the upgrade to our review unit meant more than just Windows 8 Pro, a touchscreen, and the i7-3537U it might be easier to justify, but the i5-3337U is still a totally serviceable CPU.

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark (2013)

Futuremark 3DMark 11

3DMark performance of the KIRAbook is pretty much par for the course; any differences between the ultrabooks listed can probably be chalked up to thermal design differences between individual chassis rather than differences in the CPUs themselves.

In and Around the Toshiba KIRAbook Display, Battery, Noise, and Heat
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  • augustofretes - Sunday, May 12, 2013 - link

    You should really go on and review the Chromebook Pixel, especially with I/O around the corner.
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, May 12, 2013 - link

    Kudos to Toshiba for stepping up the quality of the screen, but frankly I'm not buying a screen that small that is 16:9. The smallest acceptable size for that dimension, for me, is a 27".

    Apple still wins. I'm sorry, I'm not an Apple guy, I'm a PC guy, but I wouldn't shoot myself in the proverbial foot by buying one of these over an Apple MacBook just because I prefer the OS. OS X just isn't that bad - it's actually good, it's just not as good, imo, as Windows. And, there is no "price premium" downside here, either, in buying the MacBook. (Regardless of what you think about Apple's prices, their support for consumer level products is second to none. Of course, considering their profit margins, it should be.)
  • crinosil - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    What I don't get is why be excited about this...I'm a longtime PC user (writing this on my home gown Windows 8 Pro tower PC as a matter of fact)... but I just bought a Macbook Pro 13 Retina for $1799.00 ... It included an i7 CPU running at 2.9/3.6mhz, 8GB DD3 1600 RAM, 512GB SSD, etc, etc....and only about half a pound heavier.... and by the way....I installed Parallels on it and am running Windows 7 on it in a virtual machine. Could have dual booted into Windows with Boot Camp but I find I actually like OSX.... So with this available... from an American company (yes I know they all build them in China)...why would anyone buy this this Toshiba??
  • ShieTar - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    Did you know that 96% of the worlds population, owning 85% of the worlds money, are not American and thus do not care at all if a product was designed by an American company? And that even of the 4% who live in the US, a large percentage is not actually affected by that kind of nationalist concepts?

    The 1599$ is a proposed price, the market will quickly figure out what the majority of customers consider to be the worth of the unit. As Dustin wrote in the article, you can expect to see it sell for 100$-200$ less than the Toshiba proposal if you just look around a bit. Add to that the fact, that the Toshiba already includes the Windows-License, which you need to buy separately if you want to dual-boot or parallel Windows on the Mac, and the Toshiba is a very credible and reasonably priced competitor for everybody who wants to use Windows.
  • crinosil - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - link

    But $1599 is for the lowest spec-ed version... to get closer to my Mac Pro they'll want $1999 and that's we a slower CPU and 256GB SSD... and single band WiFi.... the Window's Licence is a valid point...however, I had about 6 of them lying around so not an issue for me.... Still I also found Windows 7 Home Premium on Ebay for about $65-$75 dollars from reputable sellers.... Still not sure the value here.... and as to world not caring about American designed products....the queues outside the various stores around the world every time Apple releases some nick nack would seem to counter that opinion...
  • ShieTar - Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - link

    Nah, I've lived in 5 different cities over the last 20 years and visited about 30 more, and never seen an Apple-Shop anywhere (except on TV). I'm not entirely convinced they exist anywhere outside the US and France. Almost everybody around here buys his electronics either through the Net or from the big markets like Media Markt or Saturn. And Apple is striving to get to half the market shares it holds in the US and France.

    Made in America is just not considered a positive aspect on consumer electronics by anybody in Europe. It's not nearly as negative as it is for cars, it just doesn't matter to anybody if a phone or PC is American, European, Japanese or Korean.
  • sxr7171 - Sunday, May 19, 2013 - link

    This one has one hardware feature that Apple does not have. It has Macbook Air weight packing a Macbook Pro Retina quality display. Apple hasn't done that yet. Maybe the new 2013 Macbook Air machines will have 2560x1440 displays.

    But long story short there are people who would find in this something Apple doesn't yet offer.
  • relativityboy - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    As soon as an updated Kirabook (Haswell) comes out I hope you guys do a performance review.
  • sxr7171 - Sunday, May 19, 2013 - link

    Having recently switched back to Windows for hardware reasons (Nec Lavie Z - lighter than any Macbook), I agree simply based on that touchpad. Apple touch technology is miles ahead of anything Ive used on Windows. I'm still playing with these synaptics settings and I'm not anywhere close to the "out of the box" feel of a Mac's touchpad feel. I really like the Thinkpad trackpoint on Windows but no touchpad can compare to the Apple touchpad.

    Also this OS is confused. Does it belong a laptop or tablet, I can't figure it out. It generally sends you back to the old Windows settings screen for any major settings changes. Apps launch off the start screen into desktop mode anyway. The RT mode has the same apps optimized for touch input.

    Also Windows still hasn't improved the overall amount of effort it takes set the machine up the way that one likes. A Mac out of the box takes about an hour to get to how I like it. A Windows machine takes 6-8 hours if not more. Some things are terrible like setting up a Wi-Fi priority list requires you to get into terminal. The time needed to research and implement things is much higher on Windows. I've had to run some Google Searches for Mac also but far fewer and the it rarely if ever necessitates going into Terminal.

    All in all I couldn't agree more that competitors of Apple have to undercut Apple on price. The only exception would be if they have very compelling hardware features that Apple doesn't have and those are few and far between.
  • edithjensen - Saturday, April 4, 2020 - link

    Nice! I'm glad you posted a video like this cause I offen wonder which is the best to use. Thanks! 👍

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