For some Windows 8.1 2-in-1 hybrids, the added tablet mode is a welcome bonus. For others, it actually hinders the laptop experience. The latter is the case with Toshiba's $1,185 Satellite Click 2 Pro, which has a gorgeous 1080p screen and crisp Harman Kardon speakers, but is weighed down by its top-heavy design.
Like its predecessors, the Toshiba Satellite Click 2 Pro flips the overall feel of an average laptop on its head, sporting a super-slim keyboard deck and a much heftier, 13.3-inch display that can detach for use as a tablet. Because of this, I constantly found the weighty display bobbling on its hinge, and it was a pain trying to pick up the notebook by the keyboard deck.
The Click 2 Pro touts a smooth, brushed-aluminum lid, with a backside that protrudes out a bit when the laptop is open. The notebook's skinny deck hosts a set of black chiclet keys, with a soft, textured bottom that runs along the underside.
Don't let the thinness of the deck fool you, though; this notebook will weigh you down. Measuring in at 13.0 x 9.8 x 0.78 inches and weighing 4.4 pounds fully assembled, the Click 2 Pro is similar in size to the HP Spectre 13 X2 (13.4 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches, 4.4 pounds) but heavier than the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 13 (13 x 8.71 x 0.68, 3.6 pounds) and noticeably wider than the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (11.45 x 7.8 x 0.36 inches, 1.76 pounds).
Click to EnlargeThe Click 2 Pro turns into a tablet when you push down on the hinge and pull it out of the keyboard dock, though doing so sometimes took me a few tries. The screen's curvy edges make it comfy to hold, but the device's 2-pound, 13 x 9.8 x 0.78-inch span offsets that comfort.
To put this in perspective, the Apple iPad Air is 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.29 inches and weighs a pound, while Samsung's Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 is 11.6 x 8 x 0.3 inches and weighs 1.6 pounds. To be fair, both the Air and the Samsung have smaller displays. The Spectre X2 is heavier, at 2.2 pounds, but has a thinner, 13.4 x 8.5 x 0.44-inch design.
Click to EnlargeThe Click 2 Pro's 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 display certainly looks good. Colorful images on sites such as LaptopMag.com and ESPN.com were crisp, and the multicolored tiles on the Windows 8.1 Start menu looked appropriately vibrant.
The Click 2 Pro did a good job handling HD video, too. I could easily make out finer details of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer, from the real-life facial creases of Will Arnett to the digitized, scaly green heads of the eponymous turtles. The clip remained watchable to about 60 degrees on either side, though I wished it were just a bit brighter.
Toshiba's notebook registered an average brightness of 226 nits, which outshines the 218.5-nit average for the thin-and-light category, but is dimmer than the Surface Pro 3 (298 nits), Spectre 13 X2 (251 nits) and IdeaPad Yoga 2 (234 nits).
The Click 2 Pro produced most of the sRGB color gamut, reaching 97.5 percent, which is about the same amount of color as the Surface Pro 3 (97 percent) and more than the 77-percent thin-and-light average.
This 2-in-1 boasts some impressive color accuracy, with a Delta E rating of 1.7 (lower numbers are more accurate). The Surface Pro 3's score of 9.9 is much further off, as is the 7.2 category average.
The Click 2 Pro's 10-point touch display works just as advertised. I could make doodles in Paint with all 10 digits at once, and swiping left to right on the screen to switch apps was a breeze.
Located on the back of the display, the Click 2 Pro's Harman Kardon-branded stereo speakers deliver impressive fidelity and volume. When I cranked The Gaslight Anthem's rocking "Stay Vicious," the crunchy electric guitars sounded just as razor-sharp as Chris Fallon's gruff vocals.
Electronic songs such as Lights' Up We Go were equally enjoyable. The Click 2 Pro's speakers put the song's silky vocals front and center while allowing plenty of room for the smooth synth lines. I just wish that the bass were more present in both tracks.
The notebook registered 84 decibels on the Laptop Mag audio test, which measures a tone's volume from 23 inches away. That score makes this device louder than the Spectre 13 X2 (72 decibels), IdeaPad Yoga 2 (77 decibels) and the 82-decibel average for the thin-and-light category, though the Surface Pro 3 (85 decibels) still edges out the Click 2 Pro.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Click to EnlargeThe original Click 2's keys were disappointingly shallow and stiff, and sadly, they don't get much better if you go pro. The notebook's black island-keys have the same short, 1.35-mm travel (a score of at least 1.5 mm is ideal) and feel somewhat resistant, with a required pressure of 60 grams.
I was still able to type at my normal rate of 75 words per minute on the Key Hero typing test, though my 92.6 accuracy rating is a few notches below my average. That speed also came at a cost; my hands felt cramped as soon as I finished.
Click to EnlargeThe Click 2's silver, 4.2 x 2.6-inch touchpad sports a matte finish that made accurate navigation of websites easy. I had a simple time pinching to zoom, and swiping from the right for the Charms menu or from the left to switch apps. The click button was resistant enough to keep me from making accidental clicks.
As a 2-in-1, the Click 2 Pro offers a handy mix of PC and mobile-minded connections. To retain its slim edges, all of the ports on the base of this hybrid are relegated to the back edge, where you'll find the power input, two USB 3.0 ports, an SD Card slot, an HDMI port and a microphone/headphone combo jack.
On the display/tablet portion, you'll find a power button, volume switch and microSD slot on the left edge. On the bottom, there's an additional headphone/microphone combo, a micro HDMI slot, a power input and a centered port that attaches to the keyboard dock.
Click to EnlargeUnder natural light in my living room, the Click 2 Pro's 720p webcam delivered bright and colorful shots. Finer details like my facial hair or my dog's whiskers got blurred together, but the webcam accurately captured my skin tone and blue shirt.
Click to EnlargeThe hybrid's rear-facing, 5-MP camera told largely the same story. The sensor accurately captured the blue awning and red bricks of a nearby building, but the image was lacking in little details. A close-up shot of the aforementioned pooch was noticeably blurred.
Packing a 2-GHz Intel Core i7-4510U processor, the Click 2 Pro succeeded at every task I threw at it. I surfed 12 different Chrome tabs, streamed some music on Spotify and watched Arrow on Netflix, while running an antivirus scan, and the notebook never missed a beat.
The hybrid scored 6,049 on the Geekbench 3 overall performance test, sweeping the Spectre 13 X2 (3,847), IdeaPad Yoga 2 (5,052), Surface Pro 3 (5,665) and the 5,686 category average.
The Click 2 Pro booted Windows 8.1 in 8 seconds, showing a speedier start than the Spectre 13 X2 (10 seconds), Yoga 2 (15 seconds) and the Surface Pro 3 (17 seconds).
MORE: 5 Best Toshiba Laptops
Toshiba's notebook took 4 minutes and 25 seconds to match 20,000 names to their addresses on our OpenOffice spreadsheet test. This makes the Click 2 Pro more productive than the Spectre 13 X2 (6:55), Yoga 2 13 (5:14), Surface Pro 3 (4:43) and the 6:47 thin-and-light average.
The Click 2 Pro's 128GB SSD transferred 4.97GB of media in 55 seconds, resulting in a transfer rate of 92.5 MBps. The notebook's hard drive proved superior to the Yoga 2's 500GB and 5,400-rpm hard drive (30.5 MBps), and the X2's 128GB SSD drive (80.8 MBps), while falling behind the Surface Pro 3's 256GB SSD (145.4 MBps). The Click also failed to meet the 100-MBps thin-and light average.
Powered by Intel's integrated HD graphics, the Click 2 Pro delivers solid visuals. Games such as Pinball FX 2 ran smoothly, and though I noticed a few jaggy lines, the bulk of the Mars-themed pinball table was crisp and detailed.
The Click 2 Pro scored 48,284 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited test, outperforming the Spectre 13 X2 (Intel HD, 36,285), Yoga 2 (Intel HD, 44,015) and Surface Pro 3 (Intel HD, 33,614), while coming in under the 56,021 thin-and-light category average.
Toshiba's 2-in-1 can handle a base-level World of Warcraft session, as the game ran at a playable 32 frames per second on autodetect at the notebook's native 1080p resolution. That's just about on a par with the Yoga 2's showing of 31 fps under the same settings, and much smoother than the Spectre 13 X2's mark of 12 fps.
Packing a 3-cell, 41Wh lithium-ion battery, the Click 2 Pro endured 5 hours and 37 minutes of continuous Web-surfing over Wi-Fi at 100 nits. This barely edges out the Yoga 2's time of 5:31, but fails to live up to the Surface Pro 3 (7:42), Spectre 13 X2 (7:19) and the 7:24 thin-and-light average. Even worse is the fact that this device couldn't outlast its much cheaper Click 2 cousin, which endured for 6 hours and 55 minutes.
Software and Warranty
Click to EnlargeToshiba keeps it light on the bloatware for the Click 2 Pro, offering a lean selection of first-party apps alongside standard fare such as Skype and OneDrive.
Toshiba Central serves as a main hub for the laptop, allowing you to easily find tech support, chat in the forums, buy Toshiba products and view a social feed from Toshiba's Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.
Click to EnlargeToshiba's Book Place lets you buy and read a range of e-books, from cooking manuals to mainstream hits like "Game of Thrones" and the "Fifty Shades Trilogy." I don't see anyone choosing this over the included Kindle app, though.
The notebook packs the reliable Nuance Dragon Assistant, which lets you navigate Windows with voice commands. With Dragon activated, I was able to search Bing for the Giants' schedule, check the weather and open multiple Windows 8.1 apps using my voice alone.
The Click 2 Pro ships with a 1-year standard limited warranty.
Configurations and Click 2 Pro vs. Click 2
What do you get for going pro? The starting $1,029 configuration of the Click 2 Pro packs an Intel Core i5-4210U processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, while our $1,185 model kicks the CPU up to Core i7 and the RAM to 8GB. If you want more storage, a $1,299 config packs a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. All models tout the same 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 display.
If you opt for the cheaper $600 Click 2, you'll be getting an Intel Pentium N3530 Processor and a 500GB and 5,400-rpm hard drive with 8GB of RAM. The display is one of the biggest trade-offs, as the nonpro version only has a 1366 x 768 screen. You also lose out on the Click 2 Pro's rear-facing camera, but do laptops (or big tablets) really need one?
Click to EnlargeThe Toshiba Satellite Click 2 Pro does everything a $1,185 Windows 8.1 machine should, but it's quite literally weighed down by its strange and bulky design. I got plenty of entertainment mileage out of this hybrid's crisp 1080p display, clear speakers and zippy Core i7 processor, but the whole time I was worried that its heavy display was going to snap off at the hinge. The Click 2 Pro makes a serviceable tablet once you manage to wrangle it off the deck, but even when detached, it feels too heavy.
If you're set on getting a hybrid, the HP Spectre 13 X2 and Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2, both $899, have sleeker, more intuitive builds and longer-lasting batteries. The Click 2 Pro offers some serious power if you can live with its design flaws, but we recommend shopping around first.