Tablets are wonderfully powerful and portable things, but we still find there are some things for which a laptop is the better solution: document management, and anything where you are editting text. But “laptop” is an imprecise moniker, and portability can vary hugely between 17” behemoths and 11” sylphs.
The Toshiba satellite radius 11 L10W-B-101 is a lightweight sub 3lb (1.3kg), 11.6” machine that has power enough to be a useful replacement for both laptop when travelling, but light enough to make us think twice about the need to take a tablet as well. It’s loaded with Windows 8 and has a touchscreen so will function as a tablet, or as a PC with a touchscreen. My laptop is around 500g heavier and several inches bigger all round. The Satellite is 500g heavier than the iPad in its case, marginally thicker, slightly wider and about 3cm wider.
Unlike some tablet/pc crossovers, the screen isn’t removable, but the robust hinges do allow the keyboard to be folded right over behind the screen. With a 500GB hard disk, 4GB of RAM and an Intel Celeron processor, we have found it perfectly capable of meeting our needs, but we’re not heavy gamers, so don’t know how well it would fare for that use.
In tablet mode the keyboard and mouse pad is disabled, and a keyboard pops up on screen. Unlike iOS tablets and phones the keyboard has a cursor so you can easily edit your typing, but the keyboard appears over the full screen instead of resizing it, making it nigh on impossible to reply to Facebook messages that pop up at the bottom of the screen. Functionality is not as elegant as the Apple iPads that we are used to, but equally it does not have many of the niggles and annoyances.
In the kitchen, we liked the way it could be folded over to be its own stand and keep the keyboard out of the way at the same time. Also, for reading recipes, the touchscreen is perfect (assuming you have one clean finger!). It won’t be replacement for our main machines, I work on a docked Ultrabook, but the Toshiba will be my travel companion and the iPad left at home. Price wise it retails at around £300.
To test out the Toshiba in the kitchen we took part in a cookalong over Skype with Gousto’s chef Alice Feaver and some blogging colleagues.
Gousto provides meal kits which are designed to give you the pleasure of cokoing a gourmet meal at home, without the hassle or chores and the bore of sourcing specialty ingredients which after one use languish, unloved at the back of a cupboard. You pick your meals from a selection each week and a box is delivered with all your ingredients. Perfect for busy people who love to cook but cannot be bothered to shop and prep – I also think that the boxes would be perfect for those on a city break and staying in self catering accommodation – especially if they have children and thus cannot eat out of an evening. Our box was well packed, with the meat and fish well insulated. Portions are on the generous side – I’d say you can squeeze a packed lunch out of each meal for two. All veg is organic and all meat from higher welfare farms. 3 meals for 2 people costs £34.99, which I think is reasonable when compared to the cost of eating out.
Propped up on my stockpot the Toshiba performed brilliantly in the kitchen over Skype with the video clear and the sound crisp. It was like having a cookalong with friends – and is something I’d like to repeat with blogging friends another time.
The Gousto recipe card was easy to follow (necessary when Skype went down briefly) and my finished Persian Halloumi was perfectly cooked, delicious and generously portioned. More importantly it was inspiring, and not something I’d usually make but will be added to my regular repertoire.
We received a meal box from Gousto and a Toshiba satellite radius 11. All opinions our own.