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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  • kevith - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    I think that´s spot on what Mac-buyers think. Every one of them, that I know, points out just that, again and again. Very well nailed!
  • robinthakur - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    Wow, a well reasoned argument, this site is not just catering to nerdy IT Types, the ultrabook is just a tool at the end of the day, not a toy to play with in and of itself. Apple's reputation for quality and customer service have ben hard won over many years, it is somewhat unfair to now expect PC manufacturers to offer the same when their margins are much less. I think the big difference now is that these machines cost as much as macs do, whereas in the past, you pretty much paid very little and got what you paid for.
  • robinthakur - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    Does "Posh" equal build quality? When you ape Apple's design so closely, then cheap out on the materials, do they think people won't notice? There is a time in a potential customer's lifecycle where they evaluate what choices are out there, and solicit purchase advice from knowledgeable sources. If you are in the market for an ultrabook, the main competition is the MacBook Air, which is comfortably still the biggest selling ultrabook, not the PC variants. I personally know loads of people that bought MBA's and then run windows on them, usually they present a lot, and being able to kit it out with 8GB of ram was a big deal at the time, even if you are constrained to dual core CPUs.
  • 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.
  • happycamperjack - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    I think you missed the point. Retina 13 can run both Windows and OSX. But this laptop can only run windows. So it is a subset of Retina 13, therefore it should cost less.
  • wendoman - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    But Macbooks runs Windows very bad usually. Poor battery life, bad drivers etc.
    I don't know about Intel only GPU Macs, but Macbooks with discrete GPU can't switch graphics and drain battery.
  • lukarak - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    You can always run it in VMWare. Which you can't easily do with OS X on Windows
  • KPOM - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    I run Windows 7 on my 13" rMBP and it works pretty well. Sure, Apple doesn't prioritize their WIndows drivers, but it is certainly doable. You are right that battery life takes a hit, though. Sometimes replacing the Boot Camp drivers with the native Intel drivers helps.
  • SirKronan - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    I did this with my video card drivers on my MBP and noticed not only an improvement in battery life (albeit a small one) but a significant difference in performance and stability.
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    This laptop could probably run OSX. Hackintosh style.

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