Menu
Toshiba's '7-in-1' PC convertible is more cumbersome than cool

Toshiba's '7-in-1' PC convertible is more cumbersome than cool

The Dynabook Kira L93 goes on sale in Japan this month

The Toshiba Dynabook Kira L93 folded into tablet form.

The Toshiba Dynabook Kira L93 folded into tablet form.

PC convertibles are not new, but Toshiba is releasing one that can change into seven different forms, thanks to its attachable keyboard and a 360-degree hinge.

We had a chance to try out the Dynabook Kira L93 at this week's Computex show in Taipei, and found it to be a cool concept, but unwieldy to use. It's a high-end laptop, and will retail for about ¥220,000 (US$2,150) when it goes on sale in Japan this month, according to information from two retailers. For that price, a consumer will get a device that feels and looks sleek in its sturdy metal casing.

But the major selling point is Kira L93's ability to assume seven different shapes. The device comes as a touchscreen tablet with a foldable kick-stand on its hinge. The additional piece is a wireless keyboard that can attach to the kick-stand. When all three parts are connected together, the device forms into a traditional clamshell laptop.

The hinge on the device, however, can rotate 360 degrees. This lets the Kira L93 turn into six other tablet modes, with the keyboard either attached or not. For instance, you can flip the kick-stand back to prop up the tablet at different angles, and use it as a touchscreen device.

The Kira L93 is certainly versatile, but when actually trying to flip the device into the different modes, it feels more like a hassle that takes up too much time. The PC convertible has a 13.3-inch screen, so there's a bit of weight and size you have to deal with changing it from laptop to tablet form. This can take a minute or two to figure out, given that the keyboard has to be properly attached. With all three pieces connected the Kira L93 weighs 1.75 kilograms, or 1.3 kg without the keyboard.

Despite all its conversion options, we actually preferred keeping it in laptop mode during our short test, as that felt easier to understand. However, buyers of the product will have more time to get used to its different modes.

The Kira L93 runs fast with its Intel Core i5 dual-core 1.5 GHz processor. Its touchscreen is also quite responsive, making the installed Windows 8.1 operating system on the device easy to use. In addition, slotted into the side of the screen is a stylus that can be taken out.

A major drawback of the Kira L93 is its pointing device. Instead of a trackpad the keyboard has a black rubber joystick button near its center. This was less than precise, and the long button for left- and right-clicks on the front edge of the keyboard provided little feedback and was uncomfortable to reach. Although this design choice keeps the keyboard smaller and lighter, using this configuration was sometimes a pain, and added to the feeling that the device had a steep learning curve for which most consumers won't have the patience.

Toshiba originally showed its shape-shifting PC concept at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, so it's nice to see that the company dared to turn it into an actual product. But from our hands-on with it, the Kira L93 isn't as refined as we hoped, and might work better as a more scaled down PC convertible.

A Toshiba customer service representative said the tablet would not be available outside Japan.

(Tim Hornyak in Tokyo contributed to this story.)


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hardware systemstoshibalaptopscomputexWindows laptops

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments