With the imminent arrival of Windows 8, there is an avalanche of touchscreen laptops, but the Toshiba U925T is quite original in its design and does not use the typical “clamshell” design with a detachable keyboard.

Instead, it uses a “slide and rise” (my term) design where the display can lay completely flat on top of the keyboard, turning the U925T into a tablet. When the user needs a keyboard again, he/she can slide the display back to reveal the keyboard and rise the display in position.

I’ve spent a short time with the Toshiba U925T, and while it is no “thin” tablet by any means, I was surprised by the relative light weight (3.2lbs) of this 12.5″ computer. The chassis is made of plastic, which probably explains the weight. Yet, it does feel solid enough, although not as solid as one of those carved in aluminum or carbon fiber.

Toshiba will market this as an Ultrabook first that can also be a tablet as a side function, so this is a bit different from other devices that are stand-alone tablets which can become a laptop with a keyboard accessory. Still, the Toshiba U925T comes with all the sensors (motion…) that a tablet typically has.

The usage model of this design is not completely clear yet, but holding this device as a big tablet didn’t feel “off”, and using it as a laptop is pretty straightforward. In my opinion, the slide out mechanism could be improved, because it’s not really obvious when the display is ready to be risen in laptop position.

Inside, the U925T is powered by an Intel Core i5 (frequency not disclosed yet). In terms of connectivity, it has 2x USB 3.0, full-size HDMI port, one media reader. The wireless capabilities include WiFi, Bluetooth and WIDI. Toshiba will reveal more technical data later.

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