Unprecedented quality in a budget tablet.
It’s hard to believe that the first tablet was released way back in 2002 with Microsoft’s Tablet PC range. Costing several thousand dollars, these heavy, sluggish and battery-devouring devices were slow to take off. Yet here we are thirteen years later, and the release of Toshiba’s Click 10 shows just how far tablets have come.
Unlike most other tablets and PCs that come in a hundred and one different flavours, Toshiba has only released a single variant of the Click 10; if you want to change the specs, too bad. The good news is that the default specs are rather brilliant for a tablet of this price. At just $699, it’s one of the cheapest convertible tablets, yet it’s very hard to fault.
The 10.1-inch screen packs in a crisp 1920 x 1080 IPS panel, and it’s a beauty. With a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees, it’s perfect for passing around a group, while the rich colours and contrast are leagues ahead of other budget tablets. Best of all, it’s fully touch-enabled, and we found it incredibly easy to tap even the smallest icons. With the keyboard detached, the tablet section alone weighs a mere 550 grams, yet still has a healthy nine-hour battery life according to MobileMark’s battery test. Add the keyboard and this increases to a generous fifteen hours. When plugged in, the tablet is charged before the keyboard, yet when unplugged the keyboard is drained first. It’s a small thing, but points to the lessons learned over so many years of tablet design.
With the keyboard in place this tablet functions just like a standard laptop, with the weight increasing to 1.09kg thanks to its extra battery. We were pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of the touchpad, but did find a little bug where it sometimes didn’t work after waking from sleep mode – reattaching the screen fixed this instantly. While the entire chassis is made from plastic, the solid metal hinge design inspires confidence in this machine’s ability to handle a few knocks. With the keyboard in place the tablet remains incredibly thin at just 21.55mm. Remove it and it’s even slimmer, at a mere 9.05mm. This is the kind of tiny, lightweight device that you’ll easily forget you’ve got in your
handbag, briefcase or backpack. Charging is done via a tiny powerpack that uses a mUSB port, so that won’t weigh you down either.
Tucked away inside the tablet portion is Intel’s Atom X5-Z8300 processor. It might only run at 1.84GHz at top clip, but the quad cores certainly helps performance. 4GB of DDR3 1600 memory might not sound like much, but Windows 10’s memory-light footprint means it operates briskly and responsively; no doubt the 64GB eMMC hard drive helps out here as well. The inclusion of a micro SD card slot means the internal storage can be upgraded by another 128GB if need be. We ran PCMark 8’s Home Accelerated benchmark, and weren’t surprised to see a relatively low result of 1277 given the power-sipping processor. However, in day to day use this thing is fine for simultaneously running Word, G-Mail, Virus Scanning and streaming audio. Just don’t expect to play any games more demanding than Solitaire.
If there’s one spec that’s a little disappointing though, it’s the Wi-Fi. Forget about 802.11ac support, as the Click 10 ships with basic 802.11a/g/n. However, given the target environment of schools and universities that this device is aimed at, it’s unlikely that ac will be missed… for now. At least it includes Bluetooth v4.0 and Intel’s Wireless Display Tech.
Speaking of interesting technologies, Toshiba claims this tablet is fully optimised to work with Windows 10’s Cortana voice interface, if and when Australia ever gets it. This means it has a dual-array mic; one is used to record voice, while the next removes background noise. This mic serves double duty, enabling the proprietary TruRecord transcription audio recording. Perfect for recording interviews or presentations, it can detect the differences in speakers, making it easier to jump to the bits than need transcribing.
At just $700, Toshiba has knocked it out of the park with the Click 10. A stunning display (touch-enabled no less), zippy performance, ultra-mobile and incredible battery life – it’s hard to ask for anything more at this price.