Toshiba Portégé R700 Laptop: Light As a Feather, Strong Like Bull

All those ultraportables using Intel’s ULV Core processors just got taken to school: Toshiba’s Portégé R700 is as light as a MacBook Air, nearly as powerful as a MacBook Pro, and measures an inch thick with a DVD drive. Standard.

Putting a full voltage processor in such a thin and light frame really is a neat trick, one that Toshiba accomplished in part with something they’re calling Airflow Cooling Technology. And while most companies are stripping ultraportable notebooks of their DVD drives—usually citing space and weight issues—Toshiba’s managed to keep theirs in a laptop that starts at three pounds.

When Mark reviewed last year’s Portégé R600, the main selling points were the weight and the 512GB SSD. That wasn’t enough to justify the $3500 price tag and bland design cues. With the R700, Toshiba’s addressed both of those points with aplomb: the consumer version of this year’s Portégé (the R705) starts at $899, and a Core i7 business-minded model with a 128GB SSD runs $1600. As for the design, Toshiba still hasn’t hit a home run, but the new Portégé definitely has more swagger to it than previous generations:

The other key specs are clearly geared towards business users: two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, RGB, ExpressCard, optional nine-cell battery for 12.5 hours of use. The R705 comes in blue, and takes away the ExpressCard slot but adds optional Intel Wi-Di technology.

You could nitpick about the R700’s Intel integrated graphics, but it’s not meant for heavy gaming or multimedia use, and doesn’t pretend to be. It’s for road warriors who want the biggest combination of power and portability they can find, and for the rest of us who like a laptop light enough to take from room to room without sacrificing performance.

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