Toshiba Portégé R700 13in notebook
One-time MacBook Air alternative gets chubby in middle age
Review Toshiba first introduced its then ultra-lightweight Portégé R500 in 2008 just before Apple unwrapped the MacBook Air.
Toshiba's Portégé R700: getting more chubby as the series ages
The R500 didn't generate the same media frenzy that the skinny Mac laptop did, but in many ways it was the better machine. It had a smaller, 12.1in screen - the Air's was 13.3in - but came with Ethernet, an optical drive, a PC Card slot, a memory card slot, VGA, Firewire and three USB ports.
The Air could only manage a single USB port and a proprietary mini DVI connector at that time.
But it was tougher. Clad in aluminium, the Air could withstand drops that would have shattered the more delicate R500.
Toshiba may not have got the headlines that the Air did, but that didn't stop it evolving its slimline alternative, following it with last year's R600 - out went Firewire and the PC Card slot, in came ExpressCard 54 - and now the R700, which adds HDMI and eSata to the mix.
From the ultra-mobile to the mainstream
Superficially, it's the same machine just upgraded with a black shell rather than a silver one, more memory, a faster CPU and a bigger hard drive. In fact, the R700 is an altogether chubbier machine, as if, on reaching middle age, the once youthful R500 has put on a few pounds.
Next page: Putting on a few pounds
Am I the only one...
... getting a bit sick of Intel's crappy on-board graphics chips? If a laptop is going to have a multi-core CPU running at multiple gigahertz surely it should have a better graphics chip than one that would have been underpowered 8 years ago.
Maybe it's because I'm a hopeless gamer who can only judge hardware specs on the basis of how well they'll run Crysis?
don't buy it! demand 16:10
Re: Battery Life
Any thought to mention how long this thing will go between charges?
Home user option: Satellite R630
I recently bought the Satellite R630, which is the home-user focussed equivalent. It's missing some business-oriented features (e.g. fingerprint reader and docking station port), but is a lot cheaper.
I was looking for a compact yet high-performance laptop with Intel innards for hopefully-better Linux support.
After my previous laptop's discrete graphics card kept overheating, I welcomed the Intel graphics card. It's performance has been fine for my needs so far.
Mine came with the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home premium.
Weakest areas in my opinion are the keyboard (it feels a bit cheapy and the bottom-right corner of the space bar sometimes doesn't work) and the very tinny speakers.