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Toshiba Portégé R700 13in notebook

One-time MacBook Air alternative gets chubby in middle age

Putting on a few pounds

The 12.1in, 1280 x 800 16:10 screen has made way for a 13.3in, 1366 x 768 16:9 job which has necessitated a wider chassis that takes the machine out of the sub-notebook category. It's also thicker. The R500 and R600 were less than 20mm thick - now it's 26mm, more if you include the feet. Six millimetres may not seem much, but the R700 certainly feels a lot larger than its predecessors.

Toshiba Portege R700

Not a bad keyboard

As I say, the R700 has gained an HDMI port, and one of its three USB connectors doubles-up as an eSata port, but its the introduction of Intel's Core i series of CPUs that has really mandated the bigger case, needed to accommodate the cooling that wasn't necessary for the ultra-low voltage CPUs used in previous R-series machines.

The model I tested, the R700-155, comes with the 2.66GHz Core i7-620M, but the 24-member range comprises mostly Core i3 and i5 models. A third - this one included - have 4GB of 1066MHz DDR 3, the rest have 2GB. Storage runs to 320GB of hard drive space, or a 128GB SSD, which is what you'll find in the R700-155.

All of them use the graphics core integrated into the CPU, and include 2.4/5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1. They're pre-installed with Windows 7 Professional, but it's only 32-bit, a bonkers choice in this day and age.

Toshiba Portege R700

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