Toshiba’s recently announced Kirabook might be the first premium Windows 8 notebook to truly challenge Apple’s amazing but pricey Retina Macbook Pro lineup. In some ways, it might even surpass it.
Toshiba is taking a neat little approach to the Kirabook. It’s build and weight make it look like a competitor to the MacBook Air, but spec-wise it’s clear that it’s aiming right at the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The Kirabook is 13-inches, weighs 2.9 pounds and its chassis is made of a “AZ91 pressed magnesium alloy.” It’s weight is probably the most significant characteristic when comparing the build to the Retina MacBook Pro, coming in at a lightweight 2.9 pounds compared to the MacBook’s 3.57 pounds.
The Kirabook also has what might be one of the if not the best screen among Windows 8 laptops, with a whopping high resolution of 2560 x 1440. Apple’s 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro comes with a 2560 x 1600, which shouldn’t make too much of a difference. The point here is, this is a “Retina level” display on a Windows 8 laptop, among the many manufacturers who are pushing their high-end 1080p displays.
In terms of the laptop’s guts, the Kirabook matches its Apple counterpart spec for spec. 3.1 GHz Intel Core i7, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD for storage, HDMI, 3 USB 3.0 slots, memory card reader, and one spec that isn’t found on any of Apple’s laptops — that high resolution display is also a touchscreen.
But unfortunately, it’s not all good news. For those that were expecting a much cheaper device since this isn’t coming from Apple, you’re going to be a little disappointed. The Kirabook not only matches Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro in spec, but Toshiba has also matched it in price. The Kirabook is priced at a heavy $1,999, which is actually more expensive than Apple’s 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro at $1,899. A lower spec Kirabook is also available with an i5 processor and no touchscreen at $1,599, but that isn’t as affordable as the many other options available in the PC market.
If Toshiba, or any other manufacturer for that matter, can come up with another laptop that’s this well-built and thought out at a lower price point, PC fans will be in for a treat. And while Apple’s design is great, it would be a refreshing change to see manufacturers go with more original designs instead of borrowing heavily from the Apple aesthetic.
What do you think of Toshiba’s Kirabook? Let us know in the comments!