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Toshiba Satellite Click: A large tablet/laptop for $600

Brian Nadel | Oct. 28, 2013
Toshiba's new hybrid features a 13-in. Windows 8 tablet that snaps into its own keyboard when one's needed.

With two batteries, knowing how much power is available can be confusing. Toshiba solves this by showing the average of the two cells if you hover over the Windows task tray battery icon. Click on the icon and the individual charge level of each battery is shown.

In my tests, the tablet's battery ran on its own for 3 hours and 43 minutes of intensive usage, constantly playing HD videos from a USB key. Together, the tablet and keyboard combined for a reasonable 6 hours and 19 minutes of run time using the same test, which is better than most traditional laptops. It means that, under normal usage, it should last a full day without needing a charge.

Test results
After using the Click for a week at the office, at home and on train rides in between, I really appreciated its flexibility. For instance, I could curl up on the couch with the tablet alone to play on the Web, watch a movie or read the digital news. With the keyboard in place I could create a presentation or respond to the night's accumulated email.

The price to pay for this flexibility, unfortunately, is performance. If you plan to use it mainly as a laptop, prepare for some slowdowns -- the Click scored 433.4 on PassMark's PerformanceTest 8, about half as much as a similarly priced budget touch-screen laptop, the Asus VivoBook V400CA, which scored 915.9. (Unfortunately, I don't have scores available for the Asus Transformer Book TX300, the other 13.3-in. convertible presently on sale.)

At a Glance
Satellite Click
Toshiba
Price: $600
Pros: Inexpensive, snap-on keyboard, two independent batteries, slim tablet, no fan
Cons: Heavy for its class, slow performance, can be difficult to snap the tablet onto the base

In fact, I found that, while the Click was fine for casual Web journeys, email and online videos, there were several instances where, because I was using several programs at once, it became unresponsive for a few seconds and delivered choppy audio.

Bottom line
In the final analysis, the Click's large screen may not be perfect, but it isn't bad, and it does provide another approach to tablet computing. The system's ability to go between a tablet and a laptop trumps its low performance potential. In my experience, it's an improvement over pairing a tablet with a wireless keyboard — and the Click has the advantage of the extra battery inside its keyboard.

Households that want a large tablet that can be turned into a laptop for a reasonable price should definitely check out the Click. However, if you need more computing power and have a bigger budget, you may be better off with a higher-end convertible — or just with a separate tablet and Ultrabook.

 

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