"Shipping and packaging
The KIRAbook was delivered as promised with no delays whatsoever. The packaging was fantastic, with several layers of protection for the laptop and a very classy feel.
The 2560 by 1440 IPS display is amazing, and is readable (for the dedicated) even at 100% DPI scaling (allows for two full-size webpages side-by-side). The viewing angles are wide, the contrast is high, the colours are bright. There are other IPS panels which are better (and lower resolution), but the KIRAbook display is still excellent.
Travel is minimal with a spongy feel rather than the distinct tactile sensation of a scissor switch or mechanical switch. Keyboard layout is sane and easy to use, with an Fn modifier key to allow convenient access to many useful features and quick toggles. Fn lock is also available.
Not very good, like most touchpads. The problem is heightened by the extremely high resolution. However, there are extensive customization options available to adjust the touchpad response, and eventually a better configuration may be found.
Excellent build quality, premium feel, classic look. Extremely light and good at presenting the illusion of thinness (with rubber feet on the bottom, it is not truthfully that thin). Difficult to believe that so much power and so many pixels fit into such a svelte package.
On 'eco' mode (under a Toshiba-provided power management utility), power consumption is aggressively low. On an almost 36-hour journey from the US to Japan, the KIRAbook did not need to be charged until the day after the journey (note that the laptop was used mainly during layovers and not during flights) - and it was not even fully charged at the beginning of the journey.
The selection of ports is perfect. 3 USB, 1 video, 1 audio, 1 storage. What else do you need?
The amount of pre-installed software was not excessive. The only resource-intensive one was Norton antivirus (including 2-year subscription). The antivirus also affects the subjective experience of the speed and performance of the system (as it does for all systems). The plethora of included Toshiba utilities are great for those who like to tweak, and unobtrusive for those who don't.
Ultrabooks are too often consumer-grade and Mac imitations. The KIRAbook steps beyond by combining aesthetics with enterprise-grade features (such as status indicators, battery management, excellent build quality, extended warranty, etc) and first class service."
"Well some people may say the price is a little to much but when you actually get hand on you will understand why its that price. When I first opened the package i was shocked at how thin it was, the screen is about same as apples retina display. The only downside for me was no ethernet port but not a big deal"
"I have used Toshiba Laptop computers for several years and have had consistently positive user results. I travel extensively and want a smaller, lighter laptop with good battery life and great screen quality. Recently, I purchased the Kirabook 13-i5 and have been blown away by the overall quality. The weight is amazingly light, like not carrying a computer at all. The Kirabook is very fast, has excellent visual screen quality, and I have gotten OVER 6.5 hours of battery life on airplane flights when performing word processing tasks and creating business graphics for reports - with excellent screen brightness. I have stopped carrying my IPAD 2 because the Kirabook has made it surperfluous."
"Great ultrabook superfast, super responsive. Great screen the laptop itself is great I do think windows 8 needs more apps im going to try and assist in that and write a few myself with 8.1 update this laptop will be even better"
"I'm finally back in the type of laptop I prefer. The KIRAbook is small and light but with the horsepower to perform all of my business and personal functions. I believe that as Windows 8 matures this laptop will set the standard for competitors. I had read early reviews that complained about the small text size in some applications but I have not had any problem at all. I have been waiting to a laptop to come out that had everything I wanted and this one has it. Too many vendors had most of what I wanted but not everything. Thanks Toshiba!"
"This kirabook is not for everyone. The first thing its detractors will usually say is that it's expensive. That's also usually the only bad thing they find to say about it.
The reality is that Toshiba has packed into this machine more relevant features at the same time than the vast majority of the competition, while delivering a stylish object which remains lighter and more powerful than the macbook air of the same size. If I had to pick a downside I would go with the battery life, which is about 5.5 hours in my experience of real life use (i7 version). That's not an issue for my type of usage.
Yes, there will probably be similar or better laptops 6 months or 12 months from now, especially with the liberalization of the new Haswell technology. But right now this is it and Toshiba has delivered. I'm happy to pay for the laptop that fulfills all my requirements, and will remain relevant for many years to come."
"I'm not overly amorous, but every time I boot this bad boy up I can't help but hug it. It boots up before I can get my finger off the password. It opens AutoCAD 13 LT in about 11 seconds. I read complaints about a noisy fan, but I haven't noticed the fan running that much, and when it does, it purrs like a contented pussycat. Keyboard is perfect. I may find something wrong with it in the future, but right now, I am absolutely in love with it."
"Great laptop - light weight and powerful enough for all my needs. One drawback is the font size - difficult to read without squinting. Windows 8 could get its act together and not be such a burden to work with..."
"I love my Kira. It is a beautiful machine and was purchased after having to return a competitor's ultrabook/tablet combo that kept freezing and having other issues. Initially, I was turned off by the pricetag but I have always been happy with my Toshibas in the past so the extra $500 is really only about $100 a year for me. So far, I am really pleased with the Kirabook, but not so fond of Windows 8 and don't find myself using the touch screen all that much."
"I like the Kira. Bigger drive to store things with out compromising the weight. It would be nice if we could have a longer battery life. We travel a lot and watch movies on my Ipad. I'd like to be able to use my Kira to replace my ipad for movies. The ipad battery lasts about 8 hrs.Which is perfect timing for us."
"Toshiba KIRAbook is an amazing device. The touch screen gives instant response, the WiFi picks up anywhere in the house with a very strong signal.
It’s compact, light and easily mobile—excellent for travel. Speakers are adequate, headphones really bring out the sound.
The internet speed is great! I would recommend this to anyone."
"After a frustrating session with an inability to synch outlook 2013 I bought a 2010 copy of office, now works flawlessly for synching with exchange / google apps across various platforms, PC, phone, laptop. Other than the initial teething issues and added expense of office 2010 - the laptop performs flawlessly. Would love to upgrade SSD to 512GB... Next time..."
"The Kira 13-i7 is a powerful very small and light laptop, almost the size and weight of some netbooks. the Screen resolution and clarity is excellent. Only drawback is having to learn Windows 8. Most of my exixtisting software compatible with Windows 7 running on my Toshiba 17" i7 works ok but needs tweaking to be totally compatible with Windows 8. Would recommend but might consider waiting until price comes down. Have NOT tested battery life."
"I worked in electronics for a while, so when my husband needed a new laptop he asked me to help him shop. He ended up purchasing this KIRAbook to replace his old Toshiba Satellite laptop. Unfortunately this model fails to deliver.
It is fast...once you get it going. Like most computers, it's not rocket ship fast out of the box. After tweaking the settings and getting used to the design, the speed increases. Downloads are significantly faster than other models I've seen.
Super lightweight, but durable. The body design is just flat out cool looking. We were checking out a comparable laptop by another brand, but the other brand felt flimsy and just looked boring. I'm confident that the KIRAbook could take some bumps without damage.
GRAPHICS. The screen is flawless. Videos are crisp, and just flat out more enjoyable to watch. I'm an Apple girl, and I fully admit this thing smokes even the Retina displays in the MacBooks.
Ports. Can't be having 3 USB3 ports, and you have to love having an HDMI out.
Keyboard is great. We checked out other models, and on those models if you brushed the mouse while typing you couldn't keep typing. The KIRAbook doesn't do this, which is great. The mouse is responsive but not jerky.
CONS: these flat out ruin the laptop
Windows 8. It's just a total fail. It makes sense with the touch screen, however, you're not using the touch screen most of the time. Yes, we upgraded to 8.1, but it's still really glitchy. Sometimes you have to stop using the trackpad and keyboard because it will only respond to touching the screen.
WHY IS THE FAN ON THE BOTTOM? I understand that the slim design limited where they could place the fan, but they might as well have just left it off all together. Less than 5 minutes into using the thing, it sounds like a jet engine preparing for take off. I'm not exaggerating. It's loud, and it's annoying.
WHY ARE THE SPEAKERS ON THE BOTTOM? This also makes absolutely no sense. sure, the design is slim, and this limits placement of hardware, but the bottom? Really? They still put out decent sound, but you have to lift it up off your lap or whatever to hear it fully. This is particularly depressing given that they market the sound system as a huge selling point.
Slow-ish. So, I did say it was fast, MOST of the time. Downloads are lightening fast, but using programs on the computer is slower than you would expect with his processor. I'm pretty sure this is more the fault of Windows 8 than Toshiba, but it's annoying none the less.
Ultimately I'm let down. I love Toshiba. They're durable, reliable, and just plain great looking. However, with a higher end model like the KIRAbook, you expect a little more than what you get. I still recommend Toshiba to friend as a brand, but I will not be recommending this model. We will likely be returning this laptop, which is sad because there really isn't another Toshiba model that has all the specs the KIRAbook has, so we'll have to go to another brand."
Mixed feelingsJuly 01, 2013
POSTED BY: kira,
Los Altos For Model:KIRAbook™ 13 i7m-Touch Ultrabook™ Overall rating:3.0 out of 5
"excellent quality. Excellent keyboard and touchpad. High res display, but not image quality is inferior to cheaper Acer S7. Playing streaming movies from Netflix like services, I see poor image quality on darker scenes. Getting the touchpad driver settings to work properly is a challenge. Don't like Toshiba bloatware. Windows 8.1 broke touchpad functionality very badly."
"I have had Toshiba laptops in the past and found them to be more than adequate. I purchased the Kira because I wanted a lighter weight machine to take with me when I travel. The text size is very small when set to the recommended resolution. When coupled with the lack of a trackball or pointing device such as is found on Lenovo machines, the machine is pretty much unusable for any practical purpose."
Fortunately I Brought a Second Computer With MeJune 25, 2013
"The machine is somewhat frail and ticky-tacky much like a child's toy. Fortunately I brought my Apple MacBook Air with me otherwise I could not communicate because for some reason the WiFi drops in and out with the KIRA but is strong as a rock with the MacBook Air and I am sitting in the same room about three feet apart. I bought the Toshiba KIRA because TOSHIBA Computers in the past were built like the DC3 Aircraft strong and reliable but the KIRA for some reason doesn't seem to follow those foot steps. I bought the Apple before the KIRA thinking I would transition out of Windows but I didn't like the Apple software because I have been using Windows so long that I didn't want to make the transition to the Apple Software (my problem) but I really like the Apple Equipment. I thought the KIRA would fit the void and be like the MacBook Air in quality but exclusively run Window. Unfortunately I am afraid the KIRA is short in the WiFi area. The other parts are OK (except there is something lacking in the overall quality of the machine). Oh did I mention that the price I paid was more than I paid for the comparable size MacBook Air. Since I am out of the country traveling for two months I don't want to be bothered trouble shooting the WiFi or any other possible problems either with KIRA or Windows 8 (a different issue)"
"I don't know who reads these reviews but I want to say the KIRA is not business strength or quality. It is too unreliable and it crashed for no apparent reason. After going through the restore process all my files were wiped out -- Outlook Contacts Calendar etc. etc, and someday I will have to piece it all back together. Fortunately I also brought my Apple Mac Book Air and can at least function but I am one unhappy person when it comes to what I consider your tacky toy good for only kids."