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Cortana button, convertibles dominate Toshiba’s upcoming Windows 10 laptops

Toshiba has announced new products across several branches of the company’s Satellite line of laptops. Packing some impressive specs as well as exclusive Windows 10 functionality, there certainly looks to be a compelling set of options for anyone replacing their current computer in the coming months.

Windows 10 is set to change the PC landscape when it launches in July, and Toshiba has gone to great lengths to ensure that this range of laptops will be ready for that transition. Although they will be pre-loaded with Windows 8.1 when they launch in June, they will of course be eligible for a free upgrade when Windows 10 launches on July 29.

When that happens, these PCs will be primed to make the most of the new OS. One intriguing feature is the Cortana button being included on every keyboard, a physical input method that makes it easy to grab the attention of Microsoft’s virtual assistant — just press it, and she’ll start listening.

However, these laptops aren’t abandoning the functionality that users know and love. Apple caught a lot of flak for removing the optical drive from its MacBook earlier this year, and Toshiba has taken notice. The company will be including optical drives in all of its clamshell devices, although they’ll be omitted from its convertible systems.

Of course, the individual lines all have their own strengths that cater to different audiences. The C-series seeks to offer affordable systems that are well-suited to usage browsing the web, working with Office documents and playing casual games, with a set of specifications to match.

With up to 1TB of storage, 8GB of memory and the choice between a 15.6-inch and a 17.3-inch TruBrite display, they’re no slouch under the hood. However, given that pricing starts at $394, they’re far more accessible than most high-end systems.

If you’re looking for high-end, then the S-series has you covered. Boasting a design that’s as durable as it is attractive, it’s a range that commands a higher pricetag, but delivers a lot for your investment. Consumers are given the choice between 2TB of storage or a variant that pairs a 1TB drive with a 128GB SSD. These laptops are outfitted with up to 16GB of memory, with a discrete graphics chip from NVIDIA being offered up as an optional extra.

An arresting 4K display works in league with the DPI scaling offered by Windows 10 to produce stunning picture quality, which is in turn complimented by stereo speakers by Harman Kardon. The inclusion of 4K in a 17-inch model is interesting – we haven’t seen that happen yet, as 4K laptops have so far been strictly 15-inch systems. The S-series will be priced from $719 for its 15.6-inch model and $874 for the 17.3-inch model.

A focus on top-tier audio continues to the L-series, which has been developed in collaboration with SkullCandy. Whether you’re watching streaming video and listening to music, or using the system to create content for yourself, the L-series has both the horsepower and the output options to help perfect the experience. The standard 15.6-inch model will retail for $529, with other variants costing more depending on their specifications. A 17.3-inch model will be $569.

Toshiba’s standard laptops are interesting enough, but it’s the company’s convertible PCs that are really piquing people’s interest. The Satellite Fusion 15 brings a host of innovations that can be used for work or play, making full use of the ways Windows 10 lends itself to this new form of computing.

A precision 2-axis hinge gives the Fusion the ability to convert into five distinct viewing modes. It’s certainly possible to use it much like a standard laptop, but it can easily be transformed into a viewing platform for a group via Audience mode, or a tool for collaborative work thanks to Tabletop Mode.

Versatility is the main selling point here, but it’s no slouch in terms of its specficiations, which include 12GB of memory, a Full HD display and a fifth generation Intel Core processor. All this is contained within an attractive casing that has a satin gold finish, yet measures less than one inch in thickness. Pricing for the Fusion starts at $649.

Last but not least is the Radius line, which is being pitched as the first convertible PC to offer a 4K display. The system is being built with Windows 10’s Continuum feature in mind, further bridging the gap between mobile device and conventional PC.

The Radius is being designed to target as broad a swathe of users as possible. As such, there will be several variants released. The Radius 14 will retail from $584, with a choice of a fifth generation Intel Core processor or an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit. Like the other Radius models, it will include a year’s subscription to Microsoft Office.

The Radius 15 it fitted with a larger 15.6-inch display, as well as an attractive brushed metal enclosure. This is a premium model through and through, with enhancements over the affordable Radius 14 being implemented across the board. It will feature the fifth generation Intel Core processor as standard, with pricing starting at $843.

The 4K version of the Radius 15 will cost significantly more, but offers a groundbreaking jump in resolution, 12GB of memory and a host of other extras. It’s clearly the device that’s been built to provide the fullest Windows 10 experience possible, and it’s price point will reflect that.

All these products are set to launch over the coming weeks. The Satellite Fusion is available in retail outlets and online right now. The C-series, the small L-series model and the Radius line will all be made available on June 21, with the Radius range being exclusive to Best Buy locations and the outlet’s online store. The larger L-series variant and the S-series will launch alongside Windows 10 on July 29.

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