At a glance, a 2-in-1 laptop might look very useful. After all, it’s two devices you’re getting with a price of one. But in the case of Toshiba Satellite Radius L15W-B1310 there’s one thing that might hold you back: the performance. Indeed, the laptop comes with a Celeron processor that are not known to be powerful. So could such a low end notebook be fast enough to run all your programs and perhaps games too? Let’s find out more about that below…
The processor in Toshiba Satellite Radius L15W-B1310 is called Intel Celeron N2840. You might already know that Celeron is an entry-level brand so only limited performance can be expected. The chip comes with two cores and 2.2GHz clock speed (2.6GHz turbo), but fails to reach more than 1000 points in Passmark tests. In comparison, mobile Core i3s that are considered mid-range get around 2.5 times that. You can browse the Internet, watch a movie or two off Netflix and write papers on the Celeron but not much more, at least not without the system noticeably slowing down.
Toshiba Satellite Radius L15W-B1310 has 2GB DDR3L SDRAM installed. I’ve received information it’s soldered on board which means you can’t remove or upgrade it. You’ll have to deal with the two gigabytes which for the aforementioned lighter tasks is fine. But again, for resource-intensive applications (like image editors or 3D modeling) it would be way too little.
There’s a 500GB (5400RPM SATA300) hard drive responsible for the storage. It should offer good enough space, although performance can’t really be praised. If you want to give a real boost to transfer rates (= make the laptop feel a lot faster) consider replacing the drive with an SSD. I’ve read reports that people did the change on this model, so with some tech knowledge you can do the same, too.
Display and graphics
Toshiba Satellite Radius L15W-B1310 features a small 11.6 inches touchscreen. Its resolution is 1366×768, something many people resent, yet for 11-inch display it’s perfect in my opinion. It has the 360 degree flip design, changing from laptop to tablet mode is easy. The display is not detachable so it’s connected to the keyboard part at all times. However, the keyboard will disable on tablet mode, preventing you from accidentally hitting the keys.
In a laptop this cheap graphics performance is always a compromise. The integrated Intel HD (Bay Trail) engine is able to run lighter games fine, like Minecraft on +20 frames per second. Tomb Raider, on the other hand, will hardly reach 20 even on low details. Games like Battlefield, GTA V and Far Cry 4 would be way too much for this machine.
Toshiba Satellite Radius L15W-B1310 contains an appropriate set of connections. It has one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 available. HDMI output is also there, so you’re able to directly hook up a new PC display or even an HDTV to this laptop.
There’s a 802.11b/g/n WiFi letting you access Internet. Bluetooth 4.0 is supported too, but Toshiba Satellite Radius L15W-B1310 lacks a dedicated RJ-45 port. If you want that, an inexpensive adapter can be used, although it will eat up one USB port.
Optical drive is not included in this small notebook. With an external drive that can be easily fixed. Also a memory card reader for SD and MMC is available which might be helpful for transferring data from various mobile devices.
Many tablets come with two webcams, this Toshiba only with one. It’s a front-facing HD camera with microphone that works for Skype video, too.
What else to keep in mind?
Toshiba Satellite Radius L15W-B1310 weighs 2.9 pounds. Compared to most laptops that’s nothing, a common 15-inch notebook weighs ~5 lbs. Of course, in comparison to real tablets it might feel heavy, but you’re also getting the benefits of a full-blown laptop here.
There’s a built-in 2 cell 29Wh battery that lasts for as long as 5.25 hours. Many people have been reaching more than that on lighter use (such as web browsing) so expect the battery life to be reasonable at least. The battery is not user replaceable, meaning that you have to disassemble the whole unit if you want to switch it yourself. Another possibility is to send the laptop to Toshiba shop and they’ll replace it for a service fee.
This model has no backlit keyboard. There’s also no numpad available due to size constraints.
Toshiba Satellite Radius L15W-B1310 is an inexpensive laptop/tablet hybrid. People commented it’s not the fastest laptop in the bunch but gets the job done. Indeed, for stuff like web browsers and office applications it’s excellent, for heavier programs and gaming not so much. Connections include one USB 3.0 and Bluetooth 4.0 which might come handy with peripherals. In addition, the unit’s small size will make it easy to travel with. The price isn’t bad either, and for the money this thing seems to offer enough oomph and features. If you don’t require high-end components, going for this kind of an affordable laptop makes perfect sense.