It's not the longest-lasting laptop in the world, but the Satellite Radius 12 offers a huge improvement on the Satellite Radius 15, being faster, more compact and in possession of a spectacularly sharp 4K display.
Market-leading screen resolution, speedy Intel Skylake CPU, compatible with Windows Hello, wide range of ports
Poor battery life, trackpad could be smoother, heaps of bloatware
Screen: 12.5in IPS at 3840x2160 resolution/352ppi
Processor: 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i7-6500U
Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Storage: 256GB SSD
Connectivity: Two USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C port (UBS 3.1), one HDMI port, one SD/SDHC/SDXC card reader, Bluetooth 4.0, compatible with 802.11ac
Cameras: 0.9MP/720p webcam, infrared Windows Hello camera
These are tough times for Toshiba. The Japanese firm has predicted a gigantic $4.5bn loss, just a few months after being embroiled in an accounting scandal concerning grossly overstated profits.
Still, its PC business continues to roll on, or in the Satellite Radius 12's case, flip backwards. This is the latest in Toshiba's rotating display convertible line, and the first of its kind to include a so-called 4K screen. This, combined with a promising hands-on test from its showing at IFA Berlin in September, makes it an interesting proposition regardless of its creator's misfortunes.
At 300x209x15.4mm and 1.32kg, the Satellite Radius 12 is smaller but denser than most slimline convertibles, such as the Lenovo Yoga 900. Even so, 1.32kg is a perfectly manageable weight, and the compact overall dimensions make it easier to handle in a fully flattened tablet configuration than pretty much all other convertibles we've used.
The downside to this is keyboard size. The keys are definitely on the small side - particularly Tab, Caps Lock and the spacebar - which can take some getting used to, although once we'd used the Satellite Radius 12 for a few hours, it did feel like it could stand up to more spacious keyboards on accuracy and comfort.
Conversely, the trackpad is plenty big enough, but hard to get along with. It has what feels like a horizontal grain, as if it were a piece of sanded wood, producing far too much friction when we dragged our fingers up or down.
At least there are enough ports for a USB mouse to take its place. These include two USB 3.0, one USB-C (which uses USB 3.1 for speedier data transfers), a full-size HDMI connector and an SD card slot - a good mix of connectivity options for data, storage and displays. Toshiba has also made a couple of unusual, though welcome, additions: a smartphone-style volume rocker and a dedicated button for opening the Cortana search feature in Windows 10, both of which are tucked into the laptop's right edge.
Brushed aluminium and tough plastics also mean that the Satellite Radius 15's chassis is fairly durable; the hinge is strong and it hasn't picked up any visible damage from the numerous commutes we subjected it to.
However, the screen can flex slightly if enough force is applied to the corners, and our test unit arrived with a loose left click button that somehow caused the underlying mechanism to operate much more loudly than that of the right button. Speaking of loudness, the internal fan is also prone to producing a noticeable high-pitched whirring under load.
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