Notebookcheck

Toshiba KIRAbook KIRA-10D (2015) Notebook Review

Featherweight. The updated version of the Toshiba KIRA weighs 200 grams less without the touchscreen and is therefore one of the lightest 13.3-inch devices on the market. The new Broadwell hardware ensures sufficient performance and long battery runtimes, but is the high price justified?

For the original German review, see here.

The new version of the Toshiba KIRA (Kirabook) now uses the same chassis for the third year running. This is, however, no problem since the quality could almost completely convince us in the review of the predecessor. Our current review unit has the designation KIRA-10D and is the only KIRA from 2015 without a touchscreen. Instead, the device uses a matte Full HD IPS panel, which also benefits the height and the weight of the notebook. Contrary to the predecessor, the chassis is now 2 millimeters thinner at the highest point, and the weight could be reduced by another 200 grams. This means the new KIRA is one of the lightest 13.3-inch notebooks on the market at just 1.1 kg, but it is no bargain with an RRP of 1,549 Euros (~$1700), either. Note: Because of the missing touchscreen, the KIRA-10D is officially not an Ultrabook, but all other available configurations (KIRA-101, KIRA 102, KIRA-107) can carry the title.

We want to use this review update to evaluate the new display, the updated Broadwell hardware and the effects on the power consumption in particular. The chassis did not change apart from the slightly reduced dimensions, so we will not cover the sections Case, Connectivity, Input Devices and Speakers in this review. The according information is available in the review of the KIRA-101. The following pictures were taken from the similarly constructed predecessor as well.

Rivals for the KIRA are high-end Ultrabooks and subnotebooks for private customers like the Dell XPS 13Asus Zenbook UX303LN or Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13. Because of the compact dimensions, the Apple MacBook Air 13 is a suitable competitor, too. With a similar configuration (Core i7, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) it is 100 Euros (~$109) more expensive, but it is still just equipped with an HD panel (1440x900, TN).

Toshiba KIRA-10D (KIRA Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 5500, Core: 950 MHz, Memory: 800 MHz
Memory
8192 MB 
, Dual-Channel, DDR3L-1600
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 166 PPI, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Broadwell-U PCH-LP (Premium)
Storage
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU, 256 GB 
, 195 GB free
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: SD up to 8 GB, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Ambient light
Networking
Intel Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0 + LE
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.9 x 316 x 207 ( = 0.7 x 12.44 x 8.15 in)
Battery
52 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 4 cells, integrated, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 13 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD, 0.9 MP
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Harman/Kardon stereo speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Chroma Tune, DTS Studio Sound, McAfee LiveSafe (30-day trial), Microsoft Office 365 (1-month trial), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.1 kg ( = 38.8 oz / 2.43 pounds), Power Supply: 150 g ( = 5.29 oz / 0.33 pounds)
Price
1549 Euro

 

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Display

Toshiba equips the KIRA-10D with a matte IPS display (16:9) and the native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. This means our review configuration is a small specialty since almost every Ultrabook or high quality subnotebook for private users has a touchscreen and therefore usually a glossy display surface nowadays. Toshiba also offers configurations with a WQHD touchscreen (221 PPI, additional charge between 100 and 250 Euros, ~$109 and ~$274, depending on the configuration), but there are technological differences. Toshiba still sells the 2014 models (KIRA-101 and KIRA-102) with an IPS touchscreen, while the 2015 version (KIRA-107) uses an IGZO touchscreen. The main advantage of the IGZO panel is the lower power consumption. Despite the drawbacks in respect of the resolution (FHD) and pixel density (156 PPI), the picture of our review unit is very sharp, and you cannot see individual pixels from a normal viewing distance. A special feature of all KIRA models is the pre-calibrated display. We will have a closer look at the results shortly.

Probably the biggest problem of the predecessor (IPS touchscreen, WQHD) was the low luminance, which disqualified the Ultrabook for use outdoors. Those problems are gone with the matte Full HD panel. The average brightness is much higher than the predecessor at 315.8 cd/m² and the result is average within our comparison. The brightness distribution is good at 92%, and subjectively, you cannot see any brightness differences. The measured black value of 0.29 cd/m² is decent and results in a very good contrast ratio of 1,152:1. Only the predecessor managed an even higher contrast thanks to the lower black value (0.16 cd/m²; 1.367:1), but all the other rivals fall behind. You can see some weak screen bleeding at the edges when the luminance is high and there is a black background, but this is complaining on a high level.

312
cd/m²
322
cd/m²
317
cd/m²
308
cd/m²
334
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
311
cd/m²
313
cd/m²
310
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 334 cd/m² Average: 315.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 275 cd/m²
Contrast: 1152:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.27 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.47 | - Ø
64% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.36
Toshiba KIRA-10D
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
Toshiba Kirabook 2014
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
Screen
-17%
-36%
0%
-4%
1%
Brightness
316
231
-27%
368
16%
342
8%
263
-17%
223
-29%
Brightness Distribution
92
82
-11%
88
-4%
81
-12%
84
-9%
85
-8%
Black Level *
0.29
0.25
14%
0.7
-141%
0.361
-24%
0.32
-10%
0.166
43%
Contrast
1152
928
-19%
537
-53%
1000
-13%
875
-24%
1367
19%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.27
3.63
-60%
3.09
-36%
1.82
20%
1.91
16%
2.5
-10%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.47
2.57
-4%
2.4
3%
1.8
27%
2
19%
2.55
-3%
Gamma
2.36 102%
2.17 111%
2.24 107%
2.49 96%
2.26 106%
2.44 98%
CCT
6872 95%
6422 101%
6781 96%
6417 101%
6724 97%
6697 97%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
64
58
-9%
61.9
-3%
61
-5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
96.9

* ... smaller is better

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps

The predecessor managed very good results in our CalMAN measurements with its pre-calibrated display, but the Full HD display of our review unit is even slightly better. With DeltaE deviations of 2.27 (ColorChecker) and 2.47 (grayscale) from the sRGB reference, the human eye cannot see any color deviations (target value smaller 3). Only the two notebooks from Apple are slightly better calibrated in this comparison. The color temperature is slightly higher than the ideal value (6,500 K) at 6,872 K, but we cannot see a blue cast. The Full HD display covers the sRGB and AdobeRGB color spaces by 98% and 64%, respectively, so this display is actually a suitable solution for semi-professional photographers.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB

The brightness is reduced to 275 cd/m² on battery, but thanks to the matte surface and the high contrast you can still easily use the notebook outdoors. It is even possible to see the display content under direct sunlight, but this will be tiring for the eyes after a while. There are, however, no restrictions in the shade or without direct light sources, so a big problem of the IPS touchscreen in the predecessor has been improved.

In the shade.
In the shade.
In the sun.
In the sun.
Viewing angles.
Viewing angles.

The viewing-angle stability is excellent, even for an IPS display. From an angle above or below you can only see minimal brightness and contrast losses, but the content is perfectly visible from all positions. Thanks to the matte surface there are no reflections from flat viewing angles, either.

Toshiba currently offers four different configurations of the KIRA, but only two (KIRA-10D, KIRA-107) are from the current model year (2015). The other two versions (KIRA-101, KIRA 102) still use the old hardware from 2014.

The two current models have similar hardware specifications and only differ in terms of the display. Our review configuration (KIRA-10D) with the matte FHD IPS display is available for an RRP of 1,549 Euros (~$1700); the KIRA-107 with a WQHD IGZP touchscreen costs 1,799 Euros (~$1974). Both models use the Intel Core i7-5500U CPU with Intel HD Graphics 5500, 8 GB RAM (DDR3L, dual-channel) as well as a 256 GB SSD. The KIRA is therefore well-equipped for office tasks and multimedia applications, including light picture and video editing.

Processor

The Intel Core i7-5500U is a dual-core processor based on the Broadwell architecture. The nominal clock of the frugal 15-Watt CPU, which is manufactured in a 14 nm process, is 2.4 GHz, but it can be raised up to 3 GHz (one core) and 2.9 GHz (two cores), respectively, via Turbo Boost. Hyper-Threading is supported as well, so the chip can execute up to four threads simultaneously.

The processor can utilize the Turbo Boost pretty well in practice. Load for one core will result in the maximum Turbo clock of 3 GHz, and we can also see the full 2.9 GHz for two cores at first (consumption ~18 Watts). The TDP limitation will set in after around 30 seconds and the processor clock levels off at 2.7-2.8 GHz. This means short load peaks can be compensated for very well. The CPU is also on the expected level in the benchmarks and manages 121 points (single-core) and 289 points (multi-core) in Cinebench R15. The 28-Watt CPU of the Apple MacBook Pro 13 Retina has an advantage in the multi-core test and is around 20% faster.

The full performance is basically available on battery power as well, but the TDP limitation at 15 Watts will set in immediately and both processor cores run at 2.7-2.8 GHz. More information and benchmarks of the Core i7-5500U are available on our dedicated page here.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
6200 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.15 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
121 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
289 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
28.78 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Toshiba KIRA-10D
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
121 Points ∼62%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
123 Points ∼63% +2%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
121 Points ∼62% 0%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
126 Points ∼65% +4%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
105 Points ∼54% -13%
Toshiba Kirabook 2014
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
108 Points ∼55% -11%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Toshiba KIRA-10D
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
289 Points ∼13%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
287 Points ∼13% -1%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
303 Points ∼14% +5%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
321 Points ∼15% +11%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
239 Points ∼11% -17%
Toshiba Kirabook 2014
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
268 Points ∼12% -7%

System Performance

The notebook is subjectively very fast. Thanks to the Solid State Drive, the notebook starts and shuts down within a few seconds and applications are launched immediately as well. This impression is also confirmed by the benchmarks of the PCMark-series. All comparison devices are pretty much on par, only the Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 has a small advantage thanks to its PCIe-SSD, but this difference is not noticeable in practice.

PCMark 7 Score
5055 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3105 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4100 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Toshiba KIRA-10D
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
5055 Points ∼63%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
5620 Points ∼70% +11%
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
5012 Points ∼62% -1%
Toshiba Kirabook 2014
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
5090 Points ∼63% +1%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Toshiba KIRA-10D
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
4100 Points ∼63%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
3412 Points ∼52% -17%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
4154 Points ∼64% +1%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
4105 Points ∼63% 0%
Toshiba Kirabook 2014
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
3052 Points ∼47% -26%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Toshiba KIRA-10D
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
3105 Points ∼52%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
2719 Points ∼46% -12%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
3057 Points ∼51% -2%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
3363 Points ∼56% +8%
Toshiba Kirabook 2014
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
2389 Points ∼40% -23%

Storage Solution

Toshiba equips the KIRA-10D with its own THNSNJ256GMCU SSD with a capacity of 256 GB. Similar to the predecessor you once again get an mSATA module. The performance of the drive is very good and almost reaches the limits of the SATA-III interface with 530 MB/s (read) and 474 MB/s (write), respectively. One interesting aspect is the higher write performance compared to the popular Samsung PM851 SSD in the 256 GB version (roughly twice as fast), but the Toshiba drive cannot keep up with the PCIe solutions in the two Apple devices. Still, the differences between fast SSDs are hardly noticeably in practice. The tests with small files (4K) did not show any problems, either.

More information and benchmarks for many drives are available in our constantly growing SSD/HDD comparison.

CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark
AS SSD
AS SSD
Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
Sequential Read: 530.4 MB/s
Sequential Write: 474.3 MB/s
512K Read: 426.1 MB/s
512K Write: 445.8 MB/s
4K Read: 23.27 MB/s
4K Write: 90.07 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 357.6 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 177 MB/s

GPU Performance

The processor GPU Intel HD Graphics 5500 is the mainstream version "GT2" of the Broadwell GPUs with 24 Execution Units and a core clock of 950 MHz. Besides DirectX 11.2 and OpenCL 2.0, the integrated video decoder now also supports the H.265 codec. The performance of the GPU is sufficient for multimedia tasks, and thanks to the powerful Quick Sync technology, video editing is no problem with the corresponding software.

The results in the synthetic benchmarks do not show any surprises. As expected, both the HD Graphics 6100 in the Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 (+ 3-57%) as well as the GeForce 840M in the Zenbook UX303LN (+ 3-115%) have a noticeable advantage over our review unit.

For more information on the HD Graphics 5500, see our dedicated page here.

3DMark 06 Standard
7589 points
3DMark 11 Performance
1163 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
52529 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
5284 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
715 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Toshiba KIRA-10D
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
1163 Points ∼4%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
1252 Points ∼4% +8%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
2499 Points ∼9% +115%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
1828 Points ∼6% +57%
Toshiba Kirabook 2014
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
993 Points ∼3% -15%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Toshiba KIRA-10D
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
715 Points ∼3%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
781 Points ∼3% +9%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
1446 Points ∼6% +102%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
981 Points ∼4% +37%
Toshiba Kirabook 2014
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
640 Points ∼3% -10%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Toshiba KIRA-10D
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
5284 Points ∼11%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
5370 Points ∼11% +2%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
6774 Points ∼14% +28%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
6190 Points ∼13% +17%
Toshiba Kirabook 2014
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
4477 Points ∼9% -15%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Toshiba KIRA-10D
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
52529 Points ∼27%
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
50151 Points ∼25% -5%
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
54160 Points ∼27% +3%
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
53847 Points ∼27% +3%
Toshiba Kirabook 2014
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
30257 Points ∼15% -42%

Gaming Performance

The Toshiba KIRA was not designed as a gaming notebook. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 5500 actually manages smooth frame rates in less demanding or older titles, sometimes even with high settings, but you will have to reduce the settings and the resolution with more complex titles. Current blockbuster titles, however, are not playable even with these limitations. Even though the integrated GPUs got much quicker over the last couple of years, dedicated graphics cards still have a clear advantage. The Asus Zenbook UX303LN with the dedicated GeForce 840M, for example, is roughly twice as fast in Tomb Raider

More benchmarks of the Intel HD Graphics 5500 are available in our Tech section.

Toshiba KIRA-10D
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Toshiba HG6 THNSNJ256GMCU
Dell XPS 13 9343 Core i7
HD Graphics 5500, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 M.2 2280 256GB
Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274H
GeForce 840M, 5500U, SanDisk X300s SD7SB3Q256G
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03
Iris Graphics 6100, 5257U, Apple SSD SM0128G
Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06
HD Graphics 5000, 4260U, Apple SSD SD0256F
Toshiba Kirabook 2014
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Toshiba THNSNJ256GMCT
Tomb Raider
8%
106%
27%
-4%
-19%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x
18.7
20.4
9%
35.8
91%
25
34%
17.5
-6%
14.3
-24%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x
28.9
30.7
6%
63.8
121%
34.3
19%
28.3
-2%
25.1
-13%
low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 55.628.918.79.3fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 42.523.819.2fps
GRID: Autosport (2014) 88.4429.9317.8412.5fps

Emissions

System Noise

The Toshiba KIRA-10D is usually a very quiet notebook. The fan is often deactivated while idling, thanks to the SSD you will have a silent notebook (29.6 dB(A)) in these situations. The fan occasionally spins up during light workloads like browsing the web or when you write an email, but it is still hardly audible (32.2 dB(A)). The small fan does, however, get pretty loud under load with up to 43.9 dB(A). This noise is clearly audible and annoying in quiet environments; the predecessor was much quieter at 36.8 dB(A). The fan is more active in the High-Performance mode, so we can recommend the power profile "Balanced" if you do not need the maximum performance.

Noise Level

Idle
29.6 / 29.6 / 30.7 dB(A)
Load
43.9 / 43.9 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft SL 320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The surface temperatures while idling are not critical with average results of 25 °C and 27 °C at the top and the bottom, respectively. There is a hotspot at the top right under load where we can measure 42 °C. The palm rest and a big part of the keyboard stay cool, but you can feel some warming up at the number's row. Still, this does not affect the usability. Thanks to the comparatively low temperatures at the bottom it is basically no problem to use the notebook on the lap, but you should be careful not to block the air intake. You should not place the notebook on a soft underground when you stress it, either, otherwise the temperatures can quickly rise. A 3DMark06 test run on a pillow resulted in the same score, but the core temperature was 10 °C higher at 96 °C.

 26 °C26.2 °C26.2 °C 
 24.6 °C25.1 °C25.3 °C 
 24.8 °C24.1 °C25.7 °C 
Maximum: 26.2 °C
Average: 25.3 °C
28.5 °C26.7 °C25.8 °C
28 °C27.2 °C26.7 °C
28 °C27.2 °C25.3 °C
Maximum: 28.5 °C
Average: 27 °C
Power Supply (max.)  30.7 °C | Room Temperature 22.5 °C | Voltcraft IR-360
Stress test KIRA-10D
Stress test KIRA-10D

We use our stress test to check the notebook for problems with the stability or throttling in extreme situations. With CPU load simulated by Prime95, the processor can utilize the maximum Turbo clock of 2.9 GHz at first, but the TDP limitation sets in after around 30 seconds and the clocks will drop to 2.6-2.7 GHz at a core temperature of 85 °C. The GPU can maintain its maximum clock of 950 MHz when we stress it with FurMark, while the core temperature was 76 °C.

Simultaneous load for both components (Prime95 and FurMark for at least one hour) starts with a processor clock of 2.4-2.5 GHz and a GPU clock of 950 MHz. The processor consumes around 18 Watts in the scenario, before the TDP limitation once again sets in after around 30 seconds. We can see a sudden drop to 1.1 GHz (CPU) and 400 MHz (GPU) in this moment, but both components immediately stabilize at 1.5-1.7 GHz (CPU) and 800-850 MHz (GPU). Those clocks can be maintained over the course of the benchmarks and the temperature levels off at around 81 °C. This means the GPU is favored by the system and the processor throttles. A 3DMark06 test run immediately after the stress test, however, did not show a performance limitation. 

The behavior of the notebook changes on battery power, where the processor will run at its nominal clock of 2.4 GHz while the GPU is throttled to 400 MHz. This also affects the 3D performance: A quick test with 3DMark06 resulted in a 15% lower score (6613 vs 7589 points on mains).

Energy Management

Power Consumption

We expect better consumption values compared to the predecessor since both the updated Broadwell hardware as well as the Full HD display should be more frugal, at least in theory. This assumption is confirmed by the idle measurements (2.6-6.5 Watts), the maximum value in particular is 1.2 Watts lower than the predecessor (7.7 Watts), despite the higher luminance. Only the MacBook Air with the HD panel is even more frugal. Our review unit consumes up to 30.9 Watts under load, so the compact 45-Watt power adaptor is sufficient. It can, however, get pretty warm with up to 44.6 °C, so you should not hide it under blankets or pillows. The notebook, unfortunately, consumes 0.1 Watts during standby and when it is turned off, which is probably caused by Toshiba's Sleep and Charge feature, which allows the charging of USB devices even when the notebook is turned off.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.6 / 6.3 / 6.5 Watt
Load midlight 30.9 / 30.9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The low consumption values result in very good battery runtimes in combination with the 52 Wh battery (4-cells). Toshiba advertises a runtime of up to 13 hours, but this value is easily beaten by Battery Eater's Reader's Test. With the minimum display brightness and deactivated wireless modules, the KIRA-10D lasts for more than 23 hours with the energy-saving power plan. This is a nice result, but, unfortunately, not very relevant in real life. 

The battery tests with an adjusted display brightness at around 150 nits are a more realistic scenario. The WLAN test (Balanced, WLAN on, 150 nits) determines a runtime of 8:38 hours for our review unit; the predecessor had to be recharged two hours sooner. Our new WLAN test is, however, more demanding, so the advantage of the new device is even bigger. The MacBook Air is similar as well (also determined with the old WLAN test!), while the Asus Zenbook UX303LN and the Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 last a couple of minutes longer. We check the runtime during video playback with the short movie Big Buck Bunny (H.264, FHD). With the adjusted brightness, deactivated wireless modules and the energy-saving mode we can determine a runtime of 9:30 hours, so even longer journeys are no problem. 

The worst-case scenario is simulated by the Battery Eater Classic test (maximum brightness, High-Performance, all wireless modules on). The result is a minimum runtime of 2:15 hours, which means the KIRA-10D surpasses all the rivals.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
23h 19min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
8h 38min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 30min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 15min
Toshiba KIRA-10DDell XPS 13 9343 Core i7Asus Zenbook UX303LN-R4274HApple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2015-03Apple MacBook Air 13 MD761D/B 2014-06Toshiba Kirabook 2014
Battery Runtime
2%
-1%
-35%
-27%
Reader / Idle
1399
1690
21%
648
-54%
835
-40%
H.264
570
581
2%
373
-35%
WiFi v1.3
518
530
2%
539
4%
Load
135
94
-30%
114
-16%
126
-7%
WiFi
421
515
393

Verdict

Pros

+ sophisticated and light metal chassis
+ convenient input devices
+ bright and matte FHD IPS display
+ very good application performance
+ low temperatures
+ long battery runtimes

Cons

- mediocre webcam
- loud under load
- high price
Toshiba KIRA-10D. Test model courtesy of Toshiba Germany
Toshiba KIRA-10D. Test model courtesy of Toshiba Germany

The Toshiba KIRA-10D is a successful update of the KIRA-101 from 2014. The manufacturer was able to remove the biggest issue of the predecessor with the Full HD review unit. The small subnotebook finally has a bright display and even a matte surface, so you can use it outdoors almost without restrictions. Other positive aspects are the good input devices, the long battery runtimes as well as the excellent system performance.

Our impressions of the emissions are, unfortunately, not that positive. The temperatures can once again convince us, but the small fan is, unfortunately, much louder under load than before.

Thanks to the matte FHD display, the low weight and the long battery runtimes, the KIRA-10D is the perfect travel companion.

Toshiba does, however, charge quite a lot of money for the device (RRP: 1,549 Euros, ~$1700). For this price, the rivals (Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13Dell XPS 13) offer even better build quality and displays with a higher resolution. The Asus Zenbook with the dedicated graphics card and therefore a much better 3D performance starts at 1,249 Euros (~$1371). The MacBook Air with a similar configuration is even more expensive, but the TN HD panel is hardly competitive in this price segment. If you are looking for a matte display, you should consider a corresponding configuration of the Dell XPS 13, which starts at 1,099 Euros (~$1206) with an FHD display. Still, the KIRA-10D can convince us and manages to secure a spot in our Top 10 ranking.

Toshiba KIRA-10D - 02/16/2016 v5
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
88 /  98 → 90%
Keyboard
82%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
50 / 80 → 62%
Weight
74 / 78 → 91%
Battery
91%
Display
90%
Games Performance
55 / 68 → 81%
Application Performance
82 / 87 → 94%
Temperature
92 / 91 → 100%
Noise
85%
Audio
75 / 91 → 82%
Camera
34 / 85 → 40%
Average
76%
87%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Toshiba KIRAbook KIRA-10D (2015) Notebook Review
Andreas Osthoff, 2015-05-24 (Update: 2015-05-26)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.