Toshiba announced its new Satellite Radius 12 at IFA this morning. It combines a 12.5-inch 4K display with a camera that supports Windows Hello facial recognition, and USB Type-C. I got a chance to get a closer look at the Satellite Radius 12, and while it’s not the best Windows laptop I’ve ever used it’s certainly exciting. It feels like a good example of the types of convertibles we’re going to start seeing soon, with 4K displays, USB Type-C, and support for logging into Windows 10 with your face.
Toshiba’s Satellite Radius 12 also flips over into a tablet like Lenovo’s Yoga range. The hinge looks similar, but it certainly feels less sturdy and rigid than Lenovo’s efforts. The 4K display on the Radius 12 looks crisp and viewing angles are reasonable, but they’re certainly not perfect if you’re attempting to use it in tablet mode. At 2.9 pounds, it’s not light enough to use for more than a few minutes with one hand as a tablet, but the Radius 12 doesn’t feel particularly heavy as a regular notebook.
Windows Hello support without RealSense
The really interesting aspect for me is the addition of Windows Hello support. Microsoft has added this feature to Windows 10 to let PC makers build webcams that scan your face and sign you in automatically. So far we’ve only seen 15-inch laptops with Windows Hello support thanks to Intel’s RealSense 3D camera, but Toshiba is using a custom IR camera. Many had assumed the RealSense camera was a requirement, but it seems PC makers can use IR cameras to support Windows Hello. I tested it multiple times on the Radius 12 and it worked flawlessly, so we’ll likely see these cameras come to more 12- and 13-inch Windows 10 laptops in the coming months.
A key part of any Windows laptop is the trackpad and keyboard. The keys on the Radius 12 feel a little cramped and firm, and the trackpad has a weird texture that’s not smooth to swipe around with your fingers. Thankfully, Toshiba has added a precision trackpad here, so that should improve scrolling and general trackpad issues, and I didn’t notice any problems during my limited testing. We’ll have to review it closer to see if it’s good enough for daily use.
Overall, I’m not in love with the build quality here during a brief look at the Satellite Radius 12, but I like that Toshiba has managed to pack in the latest Intel Skylake processor, a USB Type-C port, Windows Hello camera, and a 4K display. All of that makes it an exciting Windows laptop that paves the way for what other PC makers are going to be building very soon.