Toshiba Radius 12 overview: A 4K laptop with compromises

Toshiba Radius 12 overview: A 4K laptop with compromises

Toshiba hasn’t always made the high-quality laptops. The agency is possibly acknowledged for the sort of good buy-basement machines you’ll locate at largebox shops like first-class purchase, and while it has dabbled in flagship structures, its efforts have sometimes fallen short. The Radius 12 could be one of a kind, though. It ticks off almost all the right packing containers, with a 4K, Technicolor-certified display screen alternative and a 2.nine-pound layoutspecifically marvelous for a convertible like this with a 360-degree hinge. And although the accessstage $1,000 model makes do with a lower-res, lower-techscreen, even that configuration offers some surprising specifications for the money. All excellentmatters, and but, I cannot suggest it — no longer now, anyway.
summary
Toshiba’s Radius 12 convertible has the substances of a amazing ultraportable pc, however regrettably,it’d seem that its best asset is also its finest weak spot: That splendid 4K, Technicolor-licensed displayalternative results in worst-in-class battery lifestyles. optimistically, with future chip improvements, Toshiba might not need to make this kind of compromise.
hardware

The Radius 12 is a halo product, but you would not always are aware of it in the beginning glance, with the device powered down. though the lid is customary out of faintly brushed metallic, the easy, plasticky surfaces all through make the device feel less than premium.

then you choose it up. The device is so mild that it nearly excuses the drab layout. (I say “nearlybecause there are, in reality, machines like the 12-inch MacBook that weigh even much less andmanipulate to feel more high-priced in-hand.) And even as it may not be an awful lot to look at, it is wellbuilt underneath its ho-hum surface; the screen does not wobble while touched, and the palm rest would not flex whilst you grip it between your hands.

On a sensible level, too, the chassis is home to a beneficial selection of ports, inclusive of a complete-sized HDMI socket, USB three.zero connections, a smaller USB type-C port, a full-sized SD card reader, a headphone jack and a volume rocker for whilst the device is in tablet mode. examine that to the MacBook, which makes do with one measly USB type-C connection, and would not even come with a dongle within the field.

to date in our tour we have not but powered at the Radius 12, but now might be an awesome time: Theelective 4K display is likely the purpose you are thinking about shopping for this inside the first area. The glass stretches clearly from aspect to edge, with the skinniest of bezels performing as a nominal bufferamong the show and the relaxation of the device. I remain unconvinced that 3,840 x 2,one hundred sixtydecision is important on a display this small — a slightly decrease pixel count number wouldnonetheless appearance sharp and could be less devastating on battery lifestyles, and there may be no longer yet a lot 4K content to observe anyway. however, there may be no doubt that the pixel densityhelps make the display as fabulous as it is.

just as essential, possibly (or extra so): The 4K version of the display (not the entrydegree 1080p one) is Technicolor-licensed, which means while you boot up the Radius 12 for the first time, you may be hitnow not just with extraordinary crisp snap shots, however colourful, saturated hues. It strikes a chord in my memory of the way I felt years ago once I tested the primary telephones and pills with greatAMOLED monitors: The Radius 12’s panel is beautiful in a way that most different laptops have not yetcome near matching. fortunately, though, shadecorrect screens have become more commonplace, andperhaps in the future we’ll even begin to take them without any consideration.

The audio does not disappoint either. For the Radius 12, Toshiba went with Harman Kardon, which it onlydoes on its maximumgive up machines; for everything else, it uses Skullcandy’s tech, which doesn’t sound as suitable. In this situation, the sound comes out of a speaker on the bottom of the hinge, which meansyou have to get unobstructed sound no matter the mode you occur to be the usage of the pc in. aside from the fact that the audio system are not muffled on the lowest, the audio is balanced and the volumeloud; I rarely needed to pump it past the halfway mark whilst alone in my condominium.

Keyboard and trackpad

The Radius 12’s keyboard is more cozy than it looks. With a flat profile, and a handful of undersized buttons,inclusive of the Caps Lock, Ctrl, Shift and arrow keys, it’d be easy to put in writing off as poorly designed.by hook or by crook, although, I loved typing on it notwithstanding myself. In fact, this thousands-of-wordslong review you are analyzing was composed on the Radius 12. regardless of the shrunken-down buttons, I not often hit the incorrect one whilst contact-typing, which is not the case — the Lenovo Yoga 900 also has a few undersized keys, and the typing enjoy become at times so irritating that I implored theemployer to reconsider the layout on next year‘s version.

I additionally determined that despite the fact that the Radius 12’s keyboard is flat, it feels strong;regardless of how speedy or vigorously I typed, the keys bounced right returned. while on other machinesi would must mash the buttons to make certain my presses sign in, that wasn’t a problem here. I respecttoo how incredibly quiet it is. The backlighting came in on hand as well, although it truly is of directiontrendy fare on notebooks in this charge variety.

If most effective I favored the touchpad as a lot. (what is it with this resurgence of bad pc trackpads, viathe way? I experience like i’ve hated each one i have examined in recent months.) The cursor doesn’talways pass where I need, and i discovered myself by accident rearranging my pinned browser tabs (ugh!) many, frequently. Even unmarried-finger tapping regularly went awry: i’d try to hit ship on an e mailor select messages to delete, and my faucet would not sign in. -finger scrolling also can be choppy.

It were given to the point in which I used my hands to scroll whilst viable, and even used my finger in which I in reality wasn’t meant to — matters just like the small “chooseboxes in Gmail. Interfaces likewhich could were designed more often than not for a mouse, however in the long run, i discovered that my personal digits had been generally the extra correct input device.

overall performance and battery existence
PCMARK7 PCMARK8 (creative extended) 3DMARK11 3DMARK (SKY DIVER) ATTO (top READS/WRITES)
Toshiba Radius 12 (2.5GHz Intel core i7-6500U, Intel HD 520) 5,458 3,684 E2,865 / P1,622 3,605 552 MB/s / 489 MB/s
HP Spectre x2 (1.2GHz center M7-6Y75, Intel HD 515) three,395 three,307
E1,884 / P1,148 / X331

2,737 554 MB/s / 281 MB/s
Microsoft floor pro four (2.4GHz core i5-6300U, Intel HD 520) 5,403 3,602
E2,697/ P1,556/ X422

3,614 1.6 GB/s / 529 MB/s
Lenovo Yoga seasoned 900 (2.5GHz core i7-6500U, Intel HD 520) five,368 three,448
E2,707 / P1,581

three,161 556 MB/s / 511 MB/s
Microsoft floor e book (2.4GHz core i5-6300U, Intel HD 520) five,412 3,610
E2,758 / P1,578 / X429

3,623 1.6 GB/s / 571 MB/s
Microsoft floor e book (2.6GHz core i7-6600U, 1GB NVIDIA GeForce snap shots) 5,740 three,850
E4,122 / P2,696

6,191 1.55 GB/s / 608 MB/s
HP Spectre x360 (2015, 2.2GHz Intel middle i5-5200U, Intel HD 5500) four,965 N/A
E1,667 / P932 / X265

N/A 555 MB/s / 270 MB/s
Dell XPS thirteen (2015, 2.2GHz Intel core i5-5200U, Intel HD 5500) four,900 N/A
E2,114 / P1,199 / X330

N/A 515 MB/s / 455 MB/s
it’d be erroneous to mention that Toshiba failed to cut corners — it clearly made a few tradeoffs right herehowever in terms of certain key specs, like show quality and internals, the employer clearly wasn’t messing round. The configuration I examined (valued at $1,three hundred) makes use of a 2.5GHz twincore middle i7-6500U CPU, in conjunction with 8GB of RAM, incorporated Intel HD 520 photos and a 512GB stablestate power.

And it is simply as speedy as you’d expect it to be. The machine boots into the laptop in just eightseconds, at the same time as the SSD (made through Toshiba itself), reaches peak read speeds of 552 MB/s and top writes of 489 megabytes in step with second. while the ones study speeds are common for a flagship computer, the write prices are exquisite: different machines can reap little more than half ofthose speeds. want benchmarks? i’ve put a few rankings inside the desk above. As you may see, the Radius 12 supplies numbers which might be simply as proper if now not slightly better than similarlyspecced machines, just like the Yoga 900.

BATTERY existence

Toshiba Radius 12 5:12
surface book (center i5, included photographs) 13:fifty four / three:20 (pill only)
MacBook Air (13-inch, 2013) 12:51
HP Spectre x360 eleven:34
floor ebook (center i7, discrete pix) 11:31 / 3:02 (tablet simplest)
Apple MacBook pro with Retina display (thirteen-inch, 2015) eleven:23
iPad pro 10:47
Chromebook Pixel (2015) 10:01
Lenovo Yoga 900 9:36
Microsoft floor 3 9:11
Apple MacBook (2015) 7:forty seven
Dell XPS 13 (2015) 7:36
Microsoft floor seasoned 4 7:15
Microsoft floor pro three 7:08
HP Spectre x2 6:forty three
Toshiba quotes the battery lifestyles at up to nine hours on the 1080p version, and up to six and a half ofon the 4K version. unfortunately, I most effective got to check the higher-res edition, which did notquite stay up to its six-and-a-half of hour claim, at the least now not in my checks. With video loopingand stuck brightness, I were given 5 hours and 12 mins. that’s no longer unexpectedit’s miles a taxingcheck, in spite of everythinghowever even lowering the brightness to 50 percent from 65 failed toassist; the gadget still controlled just 5 hours and four mins. As I read critiques written by using my colleagues at other tech guides, I see they encountered quick runtime as nicely. not unexpected, I bet: avibrant, extraordinaryhigh-res panel will do this.

So it really is a disgrace. in case you in any other case locate the Radius 12 attractive, perhaps you may do not forget the 1080p model, with the idea that you‘d be replacing some pixels for longer batterylifestyles. I too would be fascinated to check the accesslevel model. If I do, i will make certain toreplace this overview with my findings.

Configuration alternatives and the opposition

As of this writing, the Radius 12 is available in configurations on Toshiba’s internet site. The cheaper one islisted at $1,000 (after immediate savings) with a middle i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 1080p display and a 256GB solidkingdom pressure. the second one option is the only I examined, presently retailing for $1,300 with a core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a larger 512GB SSD and, of path, that better-res 4K show. eitherway, the inclusion of 8GB of reminiscence and 256GB of storage is brilliant, specifically at this beginningrate.

Spec-clever, then, the Radius 12 isn’t a horrific deal, even as the keyboard, light-weight design andcolourful display screen additionally make it worth a closer look. That said, the battery life and finicky touchpad may be a dealbreaker for some, in which case there are several other worthy alternativeswaiting within the wings. The most obvious comparison is Apple’s 12-inch MacBook ($1,299 and up), which weighs simply kilos and features a 2,304-by means of-1,440, 226-pixel-in step with-inch screen. This too is a compromised device. The battery life is drastically longer, providing almost 8 hours of video playback, however it comes at the price of watered-down overall performance. also, at the same time asthe MacBook has a leg up in sure regions, like its easier-to-use touchpad, it’s a step returned in differentapproaches, like that scarcity of ports I mentioned earlier.

in case you have been seeking out a home windows gadget, particularly one with a convertible layout, the Radius 12 is excellent for the way skinny and light it’s miles (a 360-hinge and touchscreen do addheft, in spite of everything). That said, if you could belly a slightly heavier layout, you’ll be rewarded with a whole lot longer battery lifestyles. case in point: HP’s thirteen.3-inch Spectre x360 ($900-plus)starts offevolved at a heavier 3.17 pounds, however lasted approximately eleven and a half of hours in our checks (and that was with ultimategeneration processors; i’m certain it does even higher with Intel’s new 6th-gen core CPUs). Throw in a at ease keyboard, nicely-made layout and vivid screen, and it is one among our favourite home windows notebooks of 2015.

some other convertible to take into account is Lenovo’s Yoga 900 ($1,two hundred and up). At 2.eightpounds, it’s clearly barely lighter than the Radius 12, despite having a bigger thirteen-inch display screen. It also competes with the Radius 12 on specifications, with the base model which include theidentical middle i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of garage, plus a 3,2 hundred x 1,800 show. The battery life is longer, though: about 9 and a half hours in our exams. If I should change something, i might have Lenovo accurate the ones undersized keys I alluded to in advance, and problem an replace for the wonky touchpad. As with the Radius 12, wherein i have some similar worries, it’s greater an annoyance than a dealbreaker.

lastly, there is the Dell XPS 13 ($800-plus), my favored home windows laptop of the yr. The most effective motive I failed to mention it quicker is that it has a hard and fast display screen, which may additionally come as a unhappiness to people lifeless-set on a convertible 2-in-1 design. fixed or no,although, it is a completely best show: The glass extends nearly aspect to side, flanked by way of somevery thin 5mm-thick bezels. That clever use of the screen actual property also way that the XPS 13 has amore compact footprint than different 13-inch laptops. moreover, I just like the build first-rate; Iexperience the relaxed keyboard and shiny display; and the overall performance is speedy. here, too, the touchpad can be a piece jumpy, and even as the battery life is first rate, it’s no longer fine inmagnificence. the ones shortcomings aside, it merits its high score.

Wrap-up

I just like the Toshiba Radius 12 greater than I notion i’d. when faced with the negative battery lifestylesresults early in my trying out manner, it was clean to anticipate that among that, the flat-searchingkeyboard, and Toshiba’s unimpressive tune record in ultraportables, that the agency had taken some otherincorrect turn. In truth, the keyboard is greater comfortable than pictures might recommend, and even as the runtime is certainly short, the Radius 12 can nevertheless lay claim to fast performance, abeneficiant selection of ports and one lovely display.

With the battery life being as short as it is, it’s nonetheless not possible for me to give the Radius 12 myhighest recommendation, or perhaps even a robust advice in any respect. but Toshiba got enoughthings right that even in case you select not to shop for the Radius 12 now, it is nonetheless well worthmaintaining a watch on. perhaps as chip era improves, Toshiba might be capable of placed out a gadgetthis is simply as light, and just as rapid, with just as best a screen, but that could final longer on a rate.that could absolutely be some thing.