Toshiba Satellite CL10-B-100 review

Small and extremely lightweight, the Satellite CL10-B-100 is an 11.6in budget laptop aimed at buyers who may be tempted by the lure of a Google Chromebook. Here's our Toshiba Satellite CL10-B-100 review. Also see: Best budget laptops 2015.

Compared to even other cheap laptops it is limited in performance by the low-power Intel Celeron processor and frugal 2 GB memory, the latter unable to be upgraded. But with the help of Microsoft’s free Windows 8.1 with Bing, the £200 price is keen.

Its silent flash storage is a welcome choice, even if that’s a paltry 32 GB eMMC card, with less than half that size actually remaining after the OS, recovery partition and sponsored crapware – including Microsoft Office, CyberLink Media Player, Evernote, WinZip and McAfee – that together take up precious gigabytes of the tiny drive space.

You can supplement storage either with the time-limited offer of Microsoft OneDrive online space, or better yet by taking advantage of the SDXC card slot to easily add, say, 64 GB local storage for under £30.

Toshiba Satellite CL10-B-100 review: Build and Design

At just under 1.1 kg in weight and 20 mm thick, the CL10 is a particularly totable slice of laptop, and despite the price build quality is very good. The top deck is smooth plastic with champagne gold finish, the underside a matching but textured moulding, while the lid back has a gloss finish over the same colour.

As you open the lid the back is lifted a few millimetres – disconcerting but affording a little more rake that makes typing easier. The keyboard has undersized rectangular keys that we found trickier to type on than full-size keyboards. The action is good though, with positive clicks and a firm unyielding deck for support.

The trackpad is a mixed bag – accurate enough but small in size. Its real buttons are a merciful relief from low-grade buttonless trackpads that are becoming ubiquitous.

Connectivity is somewhat reduced at two USB, one each 3.0 and 2.0, an HDMI port and SD card slot. Wi-Fi connections will be slowed by the single-stream 11n adaptor. Also see: 20 best laptops 2015.

Toshiba Satellite CL10-B-100 review

Toshiba Satellite CL10-B-100 review: Hardware and performance

Like the Celeron-fuled Acer Extensa, we find raw performance trails that of older smartphones, with Geekbench 3 reporting 1043 and 1824 for single/multi-core modes. The PCMark 8 Home score was around the same too at 2732 points – there may be flash storage inside, but eMMC cards as used in phones and tablets are little better than slow hard disks. Small files move faster though, improving system responsiveness.

Graphics measured better than the Acer despite the same Intel HD Graphics and less memory, averaging 26 fps in Batman at native screen resolution, and  30 fps at 720p.

Screen quality appeared better than others in this group, in part because the low 1366 x 768 pixel count was squeezed into a smaller panel, giving tighter 135 ppi. And while colour and contrast ratio were poor (61 percent sRGB and 80:1) we found this glossy screen less irritating than competitors.

Over 6 hours battery life was possible, despite the tiny 26 Wh battery.

Toshiba Satellite CL10-B-100: Specs

  • Windows 8.1 with Bing
  • 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) 135 ppi, TN gloss
  • 2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840 (2.58GHz Burst) 2C, 2T
  • Intel HD Graphics
  • 2GB 1600 MHz DDR3L
  • 32GB eMMC
  • 802.11b/g/n 1x1 MIMO (Realtek RTL8723BE)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
  • HDMI
  • Kensington lock slot
  • SDXC
  • Stereo speakers
  • 0.9 Mp camera
  • Single mic
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • two-button multi-touch trackpad, 85 x 44 mm
  • 26 Wh lithium-ion, non-removable battery
  • 45 W mains adaptor with IEC C7 inlet
  • 315 x 216 x 20.3mm
  • 1064g
  • Windows 8.1 with Bing
  • 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) 135 ppi, TN gloss
  • 2.16GHz Intel Celeron N2840 (2.58GHz Burst) 2C, 2T
  • Intel HD Graphics
  • 2GB 1600 MHz DDR3L
  • 32GB eMMC
  • 802.11b/g/n 1x1 MIMO (Realtek RTL8723BE)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
  • HDMI
  • Kensington lock slot
  • SDXC
  • Stereo speakers
  • 0.9 Mp camera
  • Single mic
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • two-button multi-touch trackpad, 85 x 44 mm
  • 26 Wh lithium-ion, non-removable battery
  • 45 W mains adaptor with IEC C7 inlet
  • 315 x 216 x 20.3mm
  • 1064g

OUR VERDICT

The little Toshiba has the best build and weighs less than half the 2 kg+ of most budget laptops. It may not measure well in benchmarks but the flash drive means the machine feels more responsive in normal use. Add your own SD card and the CL10 becomes viable.

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