After testing a number of high-end devices recently, including gaming-capable PCs and the Surface Pro 4, it was a really interesting experience with the Toshiba Satelite Click 10 last week. Going from €1500 of Surface Pro 4 down to €399 of entry-level mobile 2-in-1, with the same total weight, highlighted just how much value you can get for your money…and what the differences are between high-end and low-end. My video review for Notebookcheck is embedded below in this article but I’ve also added thoughts about how the Click 10 compares with the ASUS Transformer Book T100HA (good power, storage options) and the Acer Switch 10E (a great budget 2-in-1.)
The Toshiba Satellite Click 10 follows in the footsteps of the Click 9, the unique netbook-style 2-in-1 with the big battery life. Like the Click 9 the Click 10 has a battery in both the tablet and keyboard but by keeping the weight down to 1.1 KG Toshiba have created the best battery:KG ratio in the 10-inch dockable tablet market. How’s the rest of this ultramobile PC though?
Things are hotting-up in the 8.9-inch Windows detachable sector with Toshiba announcing something that’s going to go head-to-head with the ASUS Transformer Book T90 Chi. The Toshiba Satellite Click Mini beats the T90 Chi on some specifications, but not on others.
Toshiba Satellite Click Mini
At 1KG (2.2 pounds) exactly the Toshiba Satellite Click 2 with its docking keyboard isn’t as light as the T90 Chi but there’s a reason for that. The keyboard isn’t just a Bluetooth keyboard but a true docking keyboard with USB port, charging port and battery. Video playback battery life is quoted at 8hrs for the tablet and 16 hours with the dock. This looks like the perfect seat-back companion for international flights. Expect a little less on web browsing but 12+ hours should be possible if the Click Mini falls in line with what we’ve seen on this platform from other products.
This, my lightbook-loving friends, is going to be a big seller in Q4 of 2014. The Toshiba CB35-B3340 is a 13.3-inch laptop with a full-HD screen, SSD, Skull Candy speakers, a 51 Wh battery and it weighs just 3 pounds – 1.36KG. The price? $330. It’s a nice product for entry-level consumers but it’s a problem for Microsoft.
The Toshiba CB35-B3340 is a Chromebook and Chromebooks based on a Baytrail-M SoC with just 16GB of SSD are cheap to produce but this one from Toshiba is well-designed, has a good keyboard and is the best I saw over the last month of touring IFA and IDF events. Skull Candy speakers hint at a consumer-focus and not classroom-focus but Toshiba hasn’t cut corners on battery life or ports. This Chromebook will give you 9 hours of usage, say Toshiba. I understand it has a 51Wh battery inside so I don’t doubt that. In fact, i’d expect over 10 hours of offline video viewing.
The question is, why can’t this be a Windows laptop? Well, Toshiba have a similar product in the CL-10B (video) but at 11.6-inch it’s not the same. The reason could be that a lot of similar-sounding products in the Windows laptop market are selling for $700 or more. Given that a Windows with Bing license costs nothing I can’t see any reason that this can’t be a Windows laptop other than product separation. That could be an issue for Microsoft because Chromebooks just took 18% of the sub $300 laptop category. In the $300-$400 space this Chromebook is a bargain.
Windows 8 tablets are racing to the bottom in price and specs, Ultrabooks are fading away and cheap Windows laptops have positioning to contend with. The 2-in-1 segment will get a boost from Core M soon but it won’t take effect until 2015. With no word on Cherry Trail products, it looks like it will be a very very tough quarter for Microsoft.
Toshiba have just launched two low-cost 11.6-inch Windows laptops that hit the same price brackets as their new Chromebook 2 which tells us one thing – no-one really knows how the $200-$300 Windows vs Chromebook market is going to play-out. Do they have overlapping audiences or are they well separated? The Toshiba Satellite CL 10-B is obviously targeted at this market with a specification list that only differs from Chromebooks by virtue of the fact that it runs Windows. 11.6-inch, Baytrail-M, small SSD. The Toshiba Satellite Radius 11 adds a 360-degree hinge. I took a look at both of these Windows laptops at IFA and here are two video overviews.
This basic Windows laptop is going to be a ‘sub 300’ product says Toshiba and we’ve subsequently heard that it will launch at 260 Euros. It still might be able to compete against the cheaper ASUS Eeebook X205 because in my opinion it’s slightly better built than the X205 and has a better keyboard but it could also have upgrade possibilities as it’s based on the SATA-capable Baytrail-M platform. With a battery capacity of 26Wh (unconfirmed) a TFT screen with a 1366×768 resolution, 2GB RAM and 16GB storage it’s got baseline specifications. Weght:1300 grams.
Toshiba Satellite Radius 11
The Satellite Radius adds a 360-degree rotating screen to the mix. It’s still a non-IPS screen and the specifications are much the same as the CL-10B apart from a larger battery and a 500GB drive. Of course the weight and price is higher. Price will play a major role in the success of the Radius 11 as it’s competing against the Lenovo Yoga 2 11 and other low-cost Yoga-like hybrids. Weight: 1500 grams.
Here’s a really nice looking 2-in-1 Ultrbook that, unfortunately, weighs nearly 2KG when docked together. A 13.3-inch Full HD screen tablet running a Core CPU in under 1KG isn’t too bad though and there are options here for hard drives and additional batteries in the base unit. The design is good because it incorporates a rear extension that not only houses the ports but keeps the whole unit stable when the screen is tilted. The Full HD screen is really nice.
Toshiba were showing off the new Chromebook 2 (CB30-B) at IFA in Berlin so I took some time to get acquainted. At an estimated 400 Euros it’s not a cheap Chromebook but it’s an interesting offering because you’ve got a Full HD 13.3-inch screen in just 1300 grams (2.9 pounds.) Like the Lenovo N20p it’s offering something a little bit different and after spending time with it I’m quite impressed. There’s a hands-on video below.
Looking for a sub $200 Tablet PC option? The Toshiba WT8 is $193 at Amazon.com today but the newer, lighter Toshiba Encore 2 WT8 is $192. This Windows with Bing PC arrives for testing tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it. What features have been stripped out of this Bing version of Windows? Is the new platform better? Is there significantly more available storage space or is this 1GB RAM limit going to negate any of the potential improvements? With the original Windows 8.1 8-inch tablets also at the $200-$220 mark, why bother with the Encore 2?
Two important things to note about Windows with Bing are that 1) You don’t get an Office Home and Student license and 2) There’s only single language support. The latter may not affect many people (except myself – someone that relies on this for purchasing tablets in Germany and switching them to the English language) and the former is offset by a one Year Office 365 Personal license. You get Ooutlook included in that and you also get, in theory, 1TB of free online storage for the year. There may be other changes too.
There’s a 5.0MP auto-focus rear camera which could be useful if it’s as good as the one on the original WT8, microSD support up to 128GB and stereo speakers. As with the WT8 there’s no HDMI so you’ll need Miracast or DLNA support to stream movies to a bigger screen.
If the Toshiba Encore 2 wants to be a competitor in the western market for tablet PCs it needs to beat the class-leading Dell Venue 8 Pro in features or undercut it by a big margin. This launch price isn’t enough to convince me but if the device checks out in my review for Notebookcheck and the price drops to $175 or less then it could be worth a closer look.
There are three things I check when I quickly evaluate new 2-in-1 announcements. Price, performance (CPU, disk, screen) and weight. If the tablet is over 1KG a big buzzer goes off in my head. This 13-inch Satellite Click 2 Pro P30W however has got me inquisitive. 13.3-inches in 1.05KG (2.3 pounds) on an Ultrabook platform makes it quite interesting.
My predictions about the 7-inch Windows tablet space are coming true. The smaller Baytrail-T (refresh) platform simply allows a smaller motherboard which means a smaller screen which means lower backlight power/cost and finally a smaller battery. The mathematics continue into plastic costs, shipping costs and storage costs and then you end up with something like the Toshiba Encore 7. Good for markets that need it but bad for markets that want higher quality and better features.
The new Toshiba Encore 2 tablets have launched. An 8-inch model, the Encore 2 8, will start at $199. The 10-inch Toshiba Encore 2 10 will be $269
The two tablets were announced by Toshiba today and they have a whole new set of specifications. Down goes the launch price but so do the specs in some areas.
The 8-inch tablet has been reported to start with just 1GB of RAM on a quad-core CPU (likely the Z3735F or Z3735D) with a screen resolution of 1280×800. 1GB will be fine for working within the Modern UI but will certainly cause problems for people wanting to do extensive desktop or browser-based application activity.
Full specifications haven’t been revealed yet but here’s what we’ve got so far.
1280×800 resolution touchscreen on both models.
Quad Core Atom CPU (likely Z3735 series.)
1GB RAM (at least on the 8-inch model. Information isn’t clear at this stage.)
2GB RAM (on entry level Windows 10 model. There may options for 64GB and 2GB on the 8-inch model.)
32 or 64GB storage options.
Micro SD card on both models.
Micro HDMI on the 10-inch model only.
Office 365 one year license provided. (Note that a Modern UI version of Office would require a 365 license so this could have more value in the near future.)
‘10 hour’ battery.
5MP rear cam, 1.2MP front.
Dolby Digital Plus audio processing.
Windows 8.1 with Bing (without Office)
Size of 10-inch: 258,8 x 175 x 8,98 mm. Weight of 10-inch model: 555 grams / 1.2 pounds (This would make it one of the lightest 10-inch Windows tablets.)
Size of 8-inch: 210,62 x 132 x 9,48 mm. Weight of 8-inch model: 385 grams
As the first official Windows 8 tablets with the refreshed Baytrail-T platform and the new licensing deal with Windows 8.1 + Bing they don’t have any direct peers to compare against yet. An early launch before Computex could well be a good move because we’ve got a hunch that there’ll be products using the same platform launching there for less than this.
Both products will be available in early July.
The 10-inch Encore 2 tablet will be available for purchase in early July at select retailers and on toshiba.com/us , starting at $269.99. 544 grams (1.2 pounds) MicroHDMI, MicroUSB 2.0
The 8-inch Encore 2 tablet will be available for purchase in early July at select retailers and on toshiba.com/us, starting at $199.99. MicroUSB 2.0