Toshiba Portégé R700 review
A powerful laptop that's as light as a netbook, the R700 is well suited to demanding tasks
The Toshiba Portégé R700 seems to pull off the impossible. It weighs the same as a typical netbook, 1.3kg, yet squeezes in a powerful processor, 13.3in screen and full-width keyboard - and all for a great price.
There's one other feature it shares with netbooks, and that's the lack of an optical drive. You can buy different models of the R700 with a DVD writer but they'll add to the price and 200g to the weight.
The processor in our model, the R700-1DJ, is a 2.26GHz Core i3-350M. Together with 2GB of RAM this pushed the Portégé to a respectable 1.20 in our benchmarks. There's little 3D power, though, with Intel's HD Graphics inside.
Along with USB 2 ports and an SD card reader, there's a combined USB and eSATA port; this is powered, so you can charge an external device even if the R700 is switched off. A Gigabit Ethernet port, D-SUB output, HDMI connector, microphone and headphone jacks complete the line-up. There's also a fingerprint reader.
When it comes to using the R700 in a classroom, you may find the large keyboard is too big for primary school fingers. Everyone should enjoy using the large, responsive touchpad, though, and we like the button for switching off the pad when typing.
Compared to the best screens, the R700's display lacks vibrancy. It's sharp, though, and its 1,366 x 768 resolution is a fine partner to the 13.3in screen. Predictably, the sound quality that comes out of its miniscule speakers is awful: tinny, muddy and lacking in bass. This won't matter too much for Windows sounds, but we don't recommend playing music through them.
Where the R700 pulls back its reputation is battery life. It lasted 8hrs 17mins in our light-use test, which is stunning for such a light yet powerful machine. It's a little plasticky to the touch - Toshiba had to save grams somehow - but we'd have few qualms about it surviving in a classroom.
|Price ex VAT||£511|
|Price inc VAT||£613|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||5|
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i3-350M|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|USB ports (downstream)||2|
|SD card reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Camera megapixel rating||0.3mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||8hr 17min|
|Overall application benchmark score||1.20|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 7 Professional 32-bit|
|OS family||Windows 7|