In time for Windows 10 and the back-to-school rush, Toshiba has overhauled its lineup of Satellite Radius convertible notebooks, including the industry's first 15-inch model with a 4K display. The 11, 14, and 15-inch Radius systems are all Windows 10-ready and feature a special Cortana button that activates Microsoft's assistant with just a push. These redesigned notebooks, which start at $584, go on sale June 21. Here's a brief look at what each has to offer.
The Radius 15, which starts at $842 (expect the price to be around $1,100 for the 4K model) can be configured with a 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) IPS display, which looked very crisp in person. To set it apart from its kin, the 4K model will come in a brushed metal dark carbon gray finish, whereas the 1080p models will have a lighter aluminum look. It will be powered by a fifth-generation Intel Core processor (up to i7), accept up to 12GB of RAM, and use integrated Intel graphics. At 0.79 inches thick, it's not terribly chunky, either.
The Satellite Radius 14, which is a slightly thicker 0.83 inches, features a brushed resin black matte cover and a brushed-metal palm rest. While it won't get the 4K treatment, you can configure it with a 1080p display, up to 8GB of RAM, and either Intel or AMD processors.
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Also announced today were updates to the rest of Toshiba's consumer notebook lines. Like the Radius systems, standard for all of Toshiba's notebooks will be a Cortana Quick key. Shown as a magnifying glass on the F1 button, when pressed, it will activate Microsoft's voice assistant. Toshiba says the button will enable consumers to turn off Cortana's "always-listen" mode; while this may or may not impact battery life, it will at least reassure you that every word you're saying isn't being snooped on.
Additionally, all notebooks--which come in 15- and 17-inch sizes, will have a dual-array microphone, to better isolate the speaker from ambient sounds. Also standard on all notebooks--except for the convertibles--are optical drives, something you don't see much anymore. All notebooks will ship initially in July with Windows 8.1, but will be upgradeable to Windows 10 on July 29.
Similar to the Radius 15, the Satellite Fusion (starting at $649) also features a 15-inch display that can be flipped 360 degrees. Unlike the Radius, the Fusion's max resolution is 1080p, which isn't so bad, considering there's not much 4K content out there at the moment. It will be powered by a 5th generation Intel Core processor, and can accept up to 12GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive or a 128GB SSD. It has Onkyo speakers tuned by Skullcandy, and DTS audio enhancement.
The budget-minded Satellite C series will start at $394, and will be available with Intel and AMD processors, up to 8GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage. A touchscreen option will only be available on the 15-inch model.
The Satellite L will start at $529 for the 15-inch model, and $569 for the 17-incher. This series will also feature Skullcandy audio and DTS speakers, and will last up to 7 hours on a charge. Options include a backlit keyboard, a full HD touch display, and more configurations than the C series, such as up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. Toshiba estimates that the 15-inch model will last up to 7 hours on a charge, and the 15-inch version will last 5:45.
Toshiba's Satellite S series will start at $719 (15-inch) and $874 (17-inch), and has a more premium finish, with a metal lid and palmrest. The notebook offers full HD and 4K display options, as well as a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX950M GPU. Other configuration options include an Intel Core i7 processor and dual hard drives. A backlit keyboard comes standard, and audio is upgraded to harman/kardon speakers and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.