Touchscreens and Windows 8 go together, Microsoft keeps insisting, and it looks like at least Toshiba is listening: the company has a pair of new notebooks, the Satellite W30t and “Click” W30Dt, with detachable screen sections for standalone slate use. Running Windows 8.1 on a 13.3-inch HD IPS touchscreen with 10-finger multitouch, the Satellite W30t is Toshiba’s Intel model with a choice of Haswell-generation Core processor and Intel HD 4300 graphics, while the W30Dt – which will launch as the Satellite Click in the US – opts for AMD, with the A4 APU and Radeon HD 8180 graphics.
Otherwise, both are identically specified. There’s 4GB of DDR3L memory and up to 500GB of HDD storage, along with an HD webcam and stereo speakers with DTS Studio Sound. Unlike most laptops, the majority of the ports are on the screen section – so that you still have access to them when you’re in tablet mode – with only a USB 3.0 port on the keyboard part.
Still, on the tablet you get a microUSB, micro-HDMI, and microSD, while inside there’s WiFi, Miracast support, and Bluetooth 4.0. Unsurprisingly, that makes for a pretty chunky tablet; the Satellite isn’t going to win any awards for its aesthetic design, and the curved lower edges – though leg-friendly when you’re resting the W30t or W30Dt in your lap – don’t really match the squared-off upper design.
While they might not be beauty pageant winners, the two hybrids do at least use the extra space to fit in more battery life. There’s a primary power pack in the tablet section, and a secondary one that’s in the keyboard dock; the latter also helps keep the balance right, meaning the laptop shouldn’t fall over backwards if you jab at the touchscreen too eagerly.
Those with an eye on performance will get more out of the Intel version, the W30t. However, the low-power AMD chip in the W30Dt does make up for its shortcomings in grunt: the cool-running processor means Toshiba can leave out the fan.
It also brings down the price, with the Toshiba Satellite Click expected to cost $599 in the US when it launches later in the year. That’s ambitiously low for a touchscreen full Windows 8.1 notebook.