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Toshiba Radius 12 Hands-on: Slick 2-in-1 Superiority

BERLIN – With its super premium brushed metal 2-in-1 body, super dense 12-inch 4K display and speedy 6th-generation Intel CPU, it's clear that Toshiba’s Satellite Radius 12 was designed to meet the demands of the boardroom, and every exec from Berlin to Beijing will be fighting to be the first in line for one.

It’s really not hard to see why. Even after those attention grabbing features, the list of high-end inclusions for the Radius 12 never seem to stop. Toshiba has equipped the Radius 12 with stereo Harmon Kardon speakers, a display certified by Technicolor for accuracy, a 10 Gbps USB-C port, backlit keyboard, and a 360-degree rotating hinge for about $1,500. And if that that price sounds a little steep, you can also opt for a 1920 x 1080 equipped model for a more palatable $1,100.

MORE: Best 2-in-1s

From the moment I set my eyes upon the Radius 12 at IFA, I was enchanted. Measuring just 0.6-inches thick, the Radius feels impossibly thin but without a hint of flimsiness. Specs-wise, it looks to go up against other premium convertibles such as Lenovo’s LaVie Z 360, but upon first touch, the Radius 12 already seems better thanks to its more approachable keyboard layout and brighter display. In tablet mode, there’s very little space between the keyboard and display, so it feels just as solid when transformed as it does in traditional laptop mode.

Toshiba has also worked with Microsoft to more seamlessly integrate Windows 10 features into the laptop. The highlight is the Radius 12’s dedicated Cortana key, which summons the sometimes snarky but almost always helpful personal assistant with a single stroke. You also get the ability to unlock your computer with your face, although I didn't have the chance to test the accuracy of that feature in my hands-on time with the laptop.

Right now, the only burning question I have left about the Radius 12 is Toshiba’s claim of a 15-hour battery life. If true, it would blow every other high-end 2-in-1 out of the water. If it could live up to even two-thirds of that time, that might be reason alone  to move the Radius 12 to the top of the 2-in-1 power rankings.

The Radius 12 should be available in mid-October, along with its larger sibling, the Radius 14, which packs almost all of the same features, but in a slick gunmetal body and with the option for discrete graphics.