Toshiba Portégé R700 review

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

Tim Danton
4 Feb 2011
5
Price when reviewed 
613

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.

Warranty

Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Weight1.290kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i3-350M
RAM capacity2.00GB
Memory typeDDR3

Screen and video

Screen size13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel HD Graphics
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1

Drives

Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0

Networking

Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

USB ports (downstream)2
SD card readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating0.3mp

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use8hr 17min
Overall application benchmark score1.20

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 32-bit
OS familyWindows 7

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