When you can’t decide between a laptop and a tablet, the hybrid might be the answer, and if you’re on a budget, Toshiba’s Click 10 offers up something that might work.
Priced at a hair under $700 for its recommended retail price ($699), Toshiba’s Satellite Click 10 looks to be at least on paper like a decent all-rounder.
The tablet-laptop hybrid does what all tablet-laptop hybrids do and throws the components in the tablet section, providing an Intel Atom x5 quad-core processor with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a copy of Windows 10, supplying this to the 10.1 inch Full HD 1920×1080 touchscreen display.
As is expected these days, you’ll find two cameras on the tablet, with a 2 megapixel camera up front while an 8 megapixel camera sits on the back, neither of which include a flash.
Connections for this computer are fairly standard, with 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 rounding out the wireless connectivity options, while wired is catered for with a microUSB, microHDMI, and a microSD card slot all on the tablet section, while the keyboard section delivers two USB 2.0 ports.
The keyboard section also houses more than just a couple of USB ports, with the inclusion of a keyboard, a trackpad, and even a battery, handy to recharge that tablet and keep the computer running for a little longer.
By itself and in the tablet section only, Toshiba suggest up to nine (9) hours are possible for the Click 10 tablet, but with the keyboard section, this rises closer to around 15 as a maximum.
Out of the box and into the hands, it’s good to see Toshiba reviving a classic screen size for the Click 10.
Technically, the screen size of 10 inches has been one that was more or less relegated to computers made for students, kids, and the general purpose of education, particularly when it was made into a computer, as this small computer style has been seen as too small for most, especially when 11 to 13 inches tends to be the sweet spot for portable computing.
But 10.1 inches is where the Click 10 reigns, and it does so with a 10.1 inch Full HD display encased in a dull gold plastic, though we’re not sure we’d call this gold, either.
This isn’t gold and it isn’t silver, but it’s something in between, with Toshiba opting to call it “satin gold”, a title we’re not sure is fitting. It’s somewhere in between, so let’s call it “satin plastic metal” for the fun of it.
Ignoring the colour and its confusing title, you’ll find a wide spacious keyboard on the bottom section, a small but wide trackpad, and a push button to eject that tablet when you want to take the tablet solo.
Do that and the plastic tablet section departs from the rest of the body, providing a 550-odd gram tablet section with a nice screen, a few buttons, and a fairly soft touch.
All up, it’s fairly easy on the eyes, even if Toshiba hasn’t focused on quality materials for the Click 10.
Fortunately, there’s more to life than just worrying about whether the tablet is made of metal or more, and that’s where performance comes into play.
In the Satellite Click 10, you’ll find one of Intel’s latest generation of Atom processors, the quad-core x5 processor, which isn’t as high-end as what Microsoft has thrown into its Surface 3 tablet, but isn’t far off either.
In use, the combination of the Atom x5, 4GB RAM, and Windows 10 actually gets the Click 10 to perform quite well, with fairly speedy and snappy load-up times, with only a smidgeon of lag here and there.
For writing, web surfing, and productivity situations, the overall performance should be more than enough, with a good 40GB or so (a little less, actually) left over from the 64GB for you to use. Upgrading it is also pretty easy, with a microSD slot found on the left most edge.
The screen is one area where it feels like Toshiba has finally gotten the message: yes, good screens matter.
That’s an area we’ve struggled with when checking out Toshiba laptops over the years, because often everything else about the system was good, but the screen would feel like it harked back to a time when high definition was a new thing.
These days, high definition — specifically that, HD as a maximum — isn’t new. Rather, it’s expected as a minimum, especially now that Full HD and its larger resolution siblings like WQHD (2560×1440) and WQXGA+ (3200×1800) are now arriving on portable computers, outshining the few remaining desktop counterparts.
Despite this change in screen technology, many computer companies have persisted pushing the same outdated tech on customers, providing low resolution screens, and for a long time, Toshiba was part of this group.
Fortunately the Click 10 appears to be a change for the company.
While a 10 inch computer would normally cause us to expect a low-grade high-definition panel, Toshiba have changed it up a bit by providing a a Full HD 1920×1080 touchscreen, and one with decent viewing angles at that.
Yes, viewing angles are a part of screen quality, and while companies tend to cheap out with regards to screen resolution, they also cheap out with screen angles too.
But not the Click 10, which offers a surprising dose of quality, with easy viewing from all angles, and a strong vibrant colour with obvious clarity.
Well done, Toshiba.
Battery life also isn’t bad, with a two punch combo from the Click 10, providing a battery in the tablet and a secondary battery in the keyboard section, which Toshiba says could offer as much as a staggering 15 hours of battery life.
That’s Sydney to Los Angeles without any problems, a dream for anyone on a plane.
While it is theoretically possible to reach 15 hours of life on the Click 10, you pretty much need to drop the brightness down and cut the WiFi in order to pull that, which might be fine for an overseas flight, but that’s it.
Real world use is a little limited in comparison, bringing moderate brightness and WiFi back on for a totally respectable 10 hours, which is actually not bad, especially when you consider the quality of screen provided on this laptop.
On the positive side, recharging isn’t totally problematic, and there’s a relatively compact microUSB charge block here, something you’ll probably be able to leave at home unless you’re using your computer for more than 8 to 10 hours at a time.
Keyboard and mouse
But using the computer is where real problems start to arise, and that’s simply because usability on the Click 10 is severely hampered. This isn’t just an issue with the size, though small computers can impede use.
Simply put, the keyboard and mouse are a travesty, the keyboard moreso than the mouse.
On the whole, the trackpad included on the keyboard section isn’t bad, it’s just your typical flimsy fare that happens to be too small, and Toshiba hasn’t helped matters by unnecessarily curving the top corners, which gives off the impression the mouse is even smaller.
No, our real anger comes from the keyboard which feels like a toy, and a poorly made toy at that.
To Toshiba’s credit, the company has at least managed to push the keyboard practically to the edges of the laptop, providing as much space in the 10 inch design as possible for the keys.
Unfortunately, the keyboard has very little travel, a design that could be viewed as comparatively too wide, and appears to require such a heavy click to register the keys that touch typists will struggle unless they physically punch the keys.
Often, punching the keys with the same force wouldn’t even register the keys, forcing you to retype keys again and again.
This combination of factors leads to a keyboard that provides one of the most frustrating error rates this reviewer has ever experienced, forcing him to literally strike the keys with such force that he felt like a child touching a computer and typing for the first time, rather than the experienced typist decades of typing had given him.
This review was mostly written on the laptop — as all our laptop reviews are written on the laptops being reviewed — and letter errors were easily found every 30 or 40 characters.
Indeed, this is a far cry from the excellent business grade keyboards Toshiba has produced in its history, and it’s hard not to get the feeling that Toshiba built this keyboard for kids, though we’re not even sure kids will tolerate this thing.
It’s just so painful to work with, and ruins what is otherwise a decent little machine. We even switched to a different computer just so we could finish the review without wanting to throw the laptop out the window.
Unfortunately, these usability problems throw the otherwise decent value of the Toshiba Click 10 into disarray.
Without the keyboard, you have a great screen paired with modest specs and a fairly capable battery life for $699, which is actually not bad in the grand scheme of things.
On the other hand, with the keyboard, the $699 price is hard to justify, because the keyboard design makes the machine harder to use.
If this were to drop to around $300 to $499, we could see it for a child or student simply because of how hard you need to punch the keys in order to get a response, though with that in mind, we don’t think this method of typing is a good thing to teach kids moving forward.
Outside of using the Click 10, Toshiba’s hybrid laptop isn’t such a bad machine, and if you rely solely on the tablet, you’ll find something to love, with a great screen and a decent set of specs to compliment this.
But the usability of the computer is hampered, and if you’re a good typist already, you’ll find the keyboard of the Click 10 just isn’t up to scratch.
Computer newbies learning to type with a “hunt and peck” method shouldn’t fret, because this keyboard will respond for them, though others keen for a more professional computing experience should look elsewhere, because as good as the Click 10 is on a hardware side, using it isn’t quite as fun.