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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  • madmilk - Saturday, May 11, 2013 - link

    Yes, but one option is legal, and the other isn't. While you may not care, real businesses with real legal departments buying laptops do.

    Also, the common complaint of Boot Camp is that Windows doesn't really run well. A Hackintosh is even worse, in that 90% of the time there is some piece of hardware that just isn't supported. Which leads to the obvious conclusion: If you want to use Windows, get a Windows laptop, and if you want to use OS X, get a Mac.
  • ananduser - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    Windows8 Pro is 200$ worth of software that needs to be added to the cost of the macbook. Also the bundled Adobe software isn't exactly cheap either. Add those to the bottom line also. All in all the mac will end up costing more while performing worse.
  • Sm0kes - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    Umm... a Windows 8 Pro license can be had for much less than $200. Also, factoring in bundled software (that may or may not be used) can't just be added to the bottom line dollar for dollar. Sure it may increase the value proposition for those interested in it, but I suspect the vast majority could care less.
  • robinthakur - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    WTF??? You can run Windows in bootcamp on a Mac, better than you can on a dedicated PC. Can you say the same for this laptop? Can you run OSX even in Hackintosh? Doubtful. I run OSX these days having stopped building my own pc's a while back running dedicated windows, and have no trouble with "Apps". I have Windows Server 2012 environment running in a vm for my SharePoint development and otherwise just use OSX which is reassuringly familiar and stable.

    I certainly wouldn't spend this sort of money for something as written in the review with a flexing cover, dubious build and no dual band, and with resale value which will be wiped out when the next revision hits. It's simple economics really.
  • Zink - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    Awesome. It would be nice to have an option at 3.5 lbs with a bigger battery though. 4-5 hours isn't enough for many days.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    Remember that our battery testing is particularly strenuous. You can probably eke out another hour or so just dropping the brightness by 100 nits.
  • Voldenuit - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    Magnesium alloy can have a plasticky appearance, especially after being treated with corrosion resistant finishes. For instance, the mag-alloy shift paddles on my steering wheel look like plastic, but I am definitely glad they're not aluminum on hot sunny days (when my aluminum shift knob burns my hands but the mag paddles are comfortable to the touch).
  • bji - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    I can confirm this. The Panasonic Y2 that I had for 7 years before getting my rMBP had a magnesium alloy case and there were times I was sure that Panasonic had lied and that it was really plastic. But after I didn't need the laptop anymore I disassembled it and found that the body panels bent like metal after all.
  • Silma - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    Wishing for an update soon with decent Wifi + Haswell
  • Silma - Thursday, May 9, 2013 - link

    "You can make something that's ostensibly better than an Apple product, but if it's running Windows, you need to charge less for it". Fanboyism at its best.
    Why should you charge less with a Windows laptop when you get a vastly greater software choice, that there are very very few interesting software available on the Mac that isn't available on the PC, that you get tremendously better device support and touch as well if you so desire.

    The real lesson pc manufacturers have so tough a time to learn is: stop putting crap on your notebooks sur as 1368x768 1:200 contrast ratio screen, 2.4 GHz wifi, 20 Wh excuses-of-a-battery or I-suck-aplenty-3200rmp HD.

    Where Apple is unfortunately - for wintel notebook users - vastly Superior to notebook manufacturers is that Mac laptop are generally much more coherent. It is rare to get a crappy component on a Mac whereas it is the sad norm on pc notebooks. It seems Apple is goal oriented (let's have 6h battery life even if this means bigger 70Wh batteries) whereas the pc notebook manufacturers are crap-orientated (let's see how much crap I can hide in my notebook and let's pray consumers don't notice it). But consumers do notice and vote with their wallet. The industry, instead of mending its ways is putting the onus behind Windows 8's supposedly lack of success but they really should clean their own house and drop the blinders.

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