Toshiba's new Radius hybrid looks familiar, but also adds a new twist to a popular design idea.
This 15.6-inch laptop has a fold-back-style hinge that allows you to bend the screen back 360 degrees into a tablet mode, or stop anywhere along the way. It's very similar to the fold-back hinge originally seen in the Lenovo Yoga line, and later adopted by Dell, HP, and others.
The difference here is that instead of an 11-inch or 13-inch laptop screen, Toshiba is taking the idea bigger, into a 15.6-inch laptop. The basic idea is still the same: fold the hinge back -- Toshiba calls it a flip-and-fold design -- and use the system as a thick, heavy tablet, or prop up the screen for easy viewing without the keyboard getting in the way.
The main difference in a larger body, at least based on our brief hands-on time with the Radius, is that you're more likely to set it up in as a big-screen kiosk, using the upside-down keyboard base as a kickstand (Toshiba calls this "presentation mode"), or even as a table tent, than as a hard-to-carry 15-inch tablet. Like the Yoga and its peers, the keyboard still sticks out from the back panel of the system in tablet mode, although both the keyboard and touchpad are deactivated automatically.
Because this is a bigger, heavier system, there are a few design tweaks. A thin rubber bumper outlines the keyboard tray, keeping your keyboard keys from clacking against the table in kiosk mode, and a small magnetic connection helps hold the lid against the back of the body in tablet mode.
The Radius will have current-gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, and up to a 1TB HDD. It will be available in early July at Best Buy and Toshiba's online store, starting at $925.