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Toshiba Satellite Click 2 review: Bulky as a laptop; bulkier as a tablet

Michelle Mastin | Sept. 3, 2014
2-in-1 hybrids are all the rage these days, with manufacturers hacking the screens off all manner of laptops. This makes sense when you're talking about a detachable 10- or 11-inch screen, but how does it play with sizes you wouldn't normally associate with a tablet? Toshiba sent its 13.3-inch Satellite Click 2 so we could find out.

2-in-1 hybrids are all the rage these days, with manufacturers hacking the screens off all manner of laptops. This makes sense when you're talking about a detachable 10- or 11-inch screen, but how does it play with sizes you wouldn't normally associate with a tablet? Toshiba sent its 13.3-inch Satellite Click 2 so we could find out.

A 13.3-inch tablet will be big and heavy at best. The Click 2 is simply monstrous, weighing nearly three pounds despite being just over half an inch thick. Windows 8.1 is well suited to touchscreens, and 13.3 inches of screen allows for a big onscreen keyboard that's pleasant to type on (if only the physical keyboard was as good).

But this is not a hold-in-your-hands-and-do-anything kind of tablet. In fact, it was a little awkward just trying to keep it propped up on my legs. It kept sliding down and wouldn't stay where I put it.

The weight and bulk of the Click 2's detachable display make for an awkward experience when docked with its keyboard, too. The combination results in a footprint that's nearly as big as a 15-inch laptop, and it tips the scales at 4.6 pounds. The dock's hinge is set a little forward from the edge to prevent tipping, but it's still back heavy and tends to flop over if you tap too hard on its screen.

The parts list

The Click 2's guts are a step up from the Intel Atom-powered hybrids, but they're still at the budget end of the spectrum. This $530 model, available only at Best Buy, packs an Intel Pentium N3530 CPU; 4GB of DDR3L/1600 memory; and a 500GB, 5400rpm hard drive. Yes, a spinning hard drive in a tablet; and yes, it slows things down. An 802.11ac adapter and Bluetooth 4.0 support round out the internals. Other configurations are available on Toshiba's website.

The 13.3-inch screen runs a disappointingly low 1366x768 pixels. That's fine on a smaller tablet, but details look pretty blown out on a display of this size. You can easily pick out individual pixels. Viewing angles and brightness levels are good, however, and Windows scales to take advantage of the extra inches even if there aren't extra pixels.

On the outside, you'll get a full sized SD card slot, a single USB 2.0 port, and a micro HDMI port. There is also a USB 3.0 port on the keyboard dock. I find the micro HDMI port the most disappointing as there is room for a full size port on such a large machine. Why force consumers buy an extra cable?

Toshiba credits Skullcandy for its help in tuning the Click 2's sound and you'll find that company's logo on the keyboard dock (DTS also contributed its tech). But the stereo speakers — located on the back of the tablet — produce disappointingly thin sound that lacks any richness or warmth.

 

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