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Toshiba launches latest MacBook Air beater

Thin'n'light

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Toshiba has grown its slimline Portégé laptop range with the birth of a new model which the firm claims is the world’s thinnest and lightest fully featured machine to date.

The R600 weighs in at 1.1kg (2.4lb) and measures 283 x 215.8 x 19.5-25.5mm. Unfortunately for Toshiba, the R600 will have to share its attributes crown with its older brother, the R500, which weighs exactly the same and has identical dimensions.

Nonetheless, the new model comes in two flavours: a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 model with 1GB of 800MHz DDR 2 memory and a 128GB solid-state drive, or a cheaper 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo SU9300 version with 2GB of 800MHz DDR 2 memory and a 160GB SATA HDD.

The R600 still has the same dangerously bendy 12.1in, 1280 x 800 screen found on the R500. However, Toshiba’s swapped out the R500’s Intel 945GMS chipset and GMA 3000 integrated graphics in favour of a G45 chipset with a GMA X4500 graphics core.

From the pictures it appears as though the four cooling holes on the left side of the laptop, which were known to make the R500 get a little warm, still appear to be in the same place on the R600. Toshiba’s also retained the same yucky silver plastic casing.

Nonetheless, the R600 supports 802.11n Wi-Fi and Toshiba’s even found room to slot in a 0.3-megapixel webcam and a microphone into the R600’s lid. Both versions of the R600 support Bluetooth version 2.1.

Elsewhere on the R600 you’ll find a fingerprint reader, four USB ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port and a SD memory card slot.

Unlike the MacBook Air, the R600 packs in a multi-format DVD writer too.

The Toshiba Portégé R600 has only just shown up on the firm’s Canadian website so far, where prices start at CA$2400 ($2119/£1222/€1552) for the HDD version, rising to the CA$3299 ($2933/£1703/€2149) for the SSD-equipped model.

Slimline Notebook Reviews
Toshiba Portégé R500
Lenovo ThinkPad X300
Apple MacBook Air

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