Toshiba Portégé R700 review

4 Feb 2011

A powerful laptop that's as light as a netbook, the R700 is well suited to demanding tasks

Toshiba Portégé R700
Price when reviewed: 
613exc VAT
5

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.

Toshiba Portégé R700

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.

Details

Price ex VAT £511
Price inc VAT £613
Overall rating 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5
Performance 4

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Weight 1.290kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i3-350M
RAM capacity 2.00GB
Memory type DDR3

Screen and video

Screen size 13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1

Drives

Optical disc technology DVD writer
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

USB ports (downstream) 2
SD card reader yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
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