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Laptops

Toshiba Satellite CL10-B is a laptop with the storage of a tablet

With its lightweight storage and reliance on the cloud, the Toshiba Satellite CL10-B is like a tablet with a keyboard stuck on.

With only the bare minimum of storage built-in, the Toshiba Satellite CL10-B is designed to travel light, putting an emphasis on portability by leaving much of the heavy lifting to the Web.

Toshiba, announcing it today at IFA, calls it a "cloud companion". You might think of it as a sort of Windows version of a Chromebook -- Google's online-only laptops -- or something along the lines of a tablet, only with a keyboard and a big screen bolted on.

The CL10-B will be on sale globally before the end of 2014. It's set to cost £200 in the UK and €260 in Europe, with exact prices and release dates to be revealed. The UK price converts to $330 or AU$350.

The CL10-B's screen measures 11.6 inches, with a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels. That's plenty for watching high-definition movies and games, but here's where the CL10-B differs from other laptops: it has just 32GB of memory to store movies, music and photos, which will fill up fast if you stuff it full of films and high-res photos. 32GB is the sort of capacity you would find on a tablet, so this could be suitable for someone who wants the price and portability of a tablet but still have a decent keyboard to work on.

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The silver frame and black keys will be familiar to anyone who's ever been in an Apple Store. Rich Trenholm/CNET

The upshot of that limited memory is that to store more you have to rely on the cloud. The Windows 8.1 software that runs the CL10-B comes with 100GB of online space in Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage service for free for two years.

That means your files, photos, videos and other content is backed up automatically and accessible from any device -- including this laptop, your phone, tablet or other PCs -- as long as you have an Internet connection.

There's the rub: Internet connection is fairly ubiquitous these days -- especially if your phone allows you to tether it and use mobile data in a pinch -- but as anyone who's had to find a boarding pass or hand in an essay at the last minute knows, the only thing you can rely on with Internet connection is its unreliability. Fortunately, while the CL10-B comes with free access to Microsoft Office Online for Web-based versions of Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook, you can also download and use apps on the computer without an Internet connection.

Still, if that memory sounds a little stingy and you're not enamoured of cloud storage, the quick and easy way to add extra legroom is of course the time-honoured tradition of the USB stick or memory card. The CL10-B has you covered with one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port for plugging in USB sticks, along with an SD card slot.

Physically the eMMC memory is better able to withstand shocks and drops than a hard disc drive because it has fewer moving parts, so the CL10-B should be sturdier than laptops with larger memories. It also keeps the size and weight down: the CL10-B measures 289 by 199 by 19.9mm and weighs 1.1kg (2.4 pounds).

The lid is finished in a glossy silver sheen with a subtle pattern. The distinctly MacBook-inspired black keyboard on silver is roomy enough with a large clickpad, and you can tap, swipe or pinch and zoom on the touchscreen.

Inside is an Intel Celeron processor and Intel HD Graphics backed up by 2GB of RAM.

You can chat to family and friends in crisp high definition with the HD webcam and built-in microphone, with stereo speakers also on board. As well as the USB slots for extra memory or charging and syncing your phone, an HDMI port enables you to take HD movies stored on the laptop and view them on a much larger HDTV. The laptop connects wirelessly to the Web via 802.1b/g/n Wi-Fi and to other devices via Bluetooth 4.0.

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