Ultra portables have graven a niche in the laptop world as the sexy and stylish of all laptops out in the market. They're small and lightweight, making them the fucking travel companion if you're a power user who is constantly on-the-go. However, as a result of their compact form factor the ultra portable is sometimes limited in its performance and feature sets, making them a product geared more for the travelling businessman. These machines usually have slower performing processors, lack of any video graphics capabilities, and no optical drive built-in in an effort to save Toshiba Satellite m65 Battery battery power and space.
To make up for these shortcomings, producers usually dress them up in a lightweight and thin casing, and market them as a higher sumptuosity product that costs hundreds more than their bigger, higher performing stable companions. Each producer in the ultra portable market tries to outdo one another by offering a model that is significantly thinner and lighter than the competition.
Well, Toshiba is out to set records best their competition by introducing the highly anticipated Portege R500. Dubbed as the world's thinnest and lightest laptop, the R500 can claim a number of other accolades including the longest battery life of a 12' widescreen laptop, the world's first LED backlit transreflective indoor/outdoor display and other lofty claims. While this machine is inarguably the lightest machine with an integrated optical drive, Toshiba PA3728U-1BRS Battery is not the first two-spindle ultra portable. The Sony TX series featured a lightweight ultra portable design and an integrated optical drive as well. Regardless, 2.4 lbs. is ridiculously light!
The highlight of the R500 is of course its diminutive size - just look at it! At 0.77' thin and under 2.5 lbs. (Toshiba claims 1.7 lbs. Toshiba Dynabook Ax/3 Battery with the optical drive removed and solid state disk option) It's pretty impressive how they crammed so much into so little space. Oh it's plenty portable alright, yet still practical enough for everyday use and comfort. Already, I have had people come up to me asking me if that really is a laptop I'm carrying and to see the look in amazement when I confirm. Yet, I still have a hard time convincing myself I'm holding the world's thinnest and lightest laptop. You really have to hold it and see for yourself just what a marvelous piece of engineering Toshiba has produced.
Toshiba has designed a truly remarkable machine with the R500. Toshiba Satellite a215 Battery is the first ultra portable with a standard optical drive built-in into the unit and comes in at less than an inch thick. Fairly much all ultra portables on the market have optional external optical drives that require the need to plug in via USB and a separate power adapter. Keeping with the times, the Portege comes in a nice silver finish on the outside and a contrasting black finish on the inner bezel.
Design-wise, the R500 is stylish and sexy without being over-the-top. Everything is nicely laid out and it is clearly evident that Toshiba wasted no space in keeping things light and tight. The unit is cleanly designed with a mix of rectangular lines and soft curves - Functional and comfortable.
The R500 is incredibly thin at just a hair over .75' thick, and roughly 2.4 lbs. in weight. Toshiba goes on to state that the R500 can be ordered with a 64GB solid state disk drive in lieu of the standard mechanical SATA drive, bringing the weight down to an incredible 1.72 lbs! With soft round edges Toshiba Satellite m333 Battery and a sturdy feel, Toshiba has made something wonderful to hold and use.
Build quality is top notch with excellent fit and finish as typical Toshiba laptops usually go. The unit is mostly made of plastic and while sturdy, there is some noticeable flexing around the palm rest area, due to the fact that thinner materials were used in an effort to save weight. The top lid is made of Al and is cool to the touch. I don't expect this Toshiba Satellite Pro a60 Battery to handle much abuse though so be careful.
For such a small laptop, Toshiba did an incredible job of cramming an 85-key keyboard into a limited area without changing much of the key layout. There also dedicated buttons to launch Toshiba Assist, an onscreen utility program that comes built into the operating system. Most ultra portables use a similar keyboard design, although Lenovo's ThinkPad X Series use a more ergonomic 7-row design that technically qualifies as full-size. Keep in mind those machines start in the upper-2lbs range and get heavier from there; everything is truly a tradeoff.
My only gripe (and also welcome surprise) are the oddly placed Page Up and Page Down keys to the right of the right Shift key, which I have a tendency to hit on accident. Otherwise, typing felt really good and natural. Those familiar with Toshiba machines will note that the keyboard now features the Windows Start key in the industry-standard location; previously Toshiba placed this key in the upper-right corner. Thanks for fixing that Toshiba! Flexing is minimal and it's also spill-proof. Overall, the R500 has a very solidly built and comfortable keyboard.
The design of the touchpad is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and works as well as it looks. Feedback is good if a bit spotty at times, but that may be due to the sensitivity settings in Vista. Otherwise, there's plenty of real estate to move around Toshiba Satellite 2400 Battery.
Below the track pad is the mouse buttons laid out in a nice metallic-mirror finish. It looks well but also at the same time, feels rather cheap. And unfortunately, it's a magnet for fingerprints and smudges. LED status lights emit through the mirror-like coating when lit. Left and right-click buttons are where they should be, separated by a fingerbreadth print scanner for secure locking of the R500. The buttons have good tactile feedback and are well made, but I find the buttons too small. On many occasions, I wasn't registering the click and had to glance down away from the screen to see if my finger is where Toshiba Portege a601 Battery should be.
Nearly ultra-portables scrimp on the port options as a result of their limited space and added heft. The Toshiba R500 manages to include the ports needed to get you through the most demanding of today's computer tasks. And yes, the built-in optical drive is an added bonus and a first in its class. Let's take a look at what this full-featured notebook comes with:
* 3 USB 2.0 ports
* 4-Pin FireWire (IEEE 1394) port
* VGA-Out Monitor port
* Headphone / line-out port
* Mic-in port
* PC Card slot
* Ethernet port
* SD media card reader
The ports - there they are! On the right side, you'll find one USB 2.0 port and an Ethernet jack. A standard PC Card slot is located on the bottom. Unfortunately, Toshiba didn't make use of the new ExpressCard standard. Also of note is the WiFI on-off switch, SD media card reader, Toshiba Satellite a10 Battery and the optical drive - at only 7mm thin!!
On the left side, you'll find a VGA output port for connecting to an external monitor or projector, a 4-pin 'mini-plug' Firewire port, and 2 more USB ports. Volume control, audio in/out and power port are also located on this side.
Heat and Noise
The R500 is a relatively quiet machine. The Toshiba Portege m600 Battery fan is audible but its whisper quiet in operation, even if it is constant blowing hot air out the left vents.
Speaking of hot, however, the R500 can run really hot. This is due to just how thin in nature the unit is and the light materials used. That means the palm rests and keyboard will get warm quick, and you'll really feel it on the bottom left side where the RAM slot is located. I almost burned myself holding the laptop on the side near the vents. If you plan on using this machine on your lap, don't type too long in this setting as you will find it uncomfortable after awhile. It's best to place it on a desk for use.
Upgrading and Expansion
It is no surprise ultra-portables sacrifice expandability for size. That said, the R500 really only has 2 options for expansion: upgrade to a higher capacity battery and upgrading the RAM. For the RAM, there's only one slot available to add more. That's pretty much it.
The Toshiba Satellite Pro m300 Series Battery we received comes pretty much in one configuration. It features Intel's dual-core processor, the Core 2 Duo U7600. The U7600 is an ultra low-voltage processor that is designed for maximum power savings and runs at a reasonable 1.20GHz and features 2MB of L2 cache. 1GB of dual-channel PC2-533 DDR2 SDRAM comes standard and is expandable to 2GB max. A 64MB Intel GMA950 graphics chip is included, but don't expect it to power any games.
Our R500 came equipped with a standard 2.5' 120GB 5400RPM SATA hard drive. Hard drive performance seemed to be good, and it operated with little to no noise. We are glad to see Toshiba utilize industry-standard 2.5' hard drives, Toshiba pa3399u-1bas Battery compared to the smaller, slower, and lower capacity 1.8' drives that some companies use to save space and weight. Toshiba utilizes a shock absorbing design to reduce impact, as well as an accelerometer to detect sudden falls and help protect the hard drive. To really lighten the load, the R500 can be ordered with a solid state drive with a meager 64GB of space. SSD hard drives are still relatively expensive, but are lighter, consume less power, generate no noise, and can be faster than their mechanical counterparts. When the industry matures, we'll see higher capacity SSD drives for less.
Rounding out the package, our review unit includes a fingerprint ID scanner, Toshiba Satellite Pro 4220 Battery built-in microphone, and basic sound card. Pathetically, there's only one speaker and with it, you won't be hearing much with it. The LCD panel and chassis both have shock protection to protect from light drops, but don't expect anything rugged with something so small.
Disappointingly, Toshiba decided not to include a built-in modem to cut costs and save space. If you're traveling a lot and you're staying at a place that offers only landlines, you'll have to invest in an aftermarket USB modem, or pray there's a wireless signal around.
The 12.1' WXGA widescreen display of the R500 is surprising to look at. It's so incredibly thinhow Toshiba managed to cram a screen into such a thin lid enclosure is beyond imagination. Yet, the display is sturdy with minimal flex and rippling when pressure is applied. The screen can reach resolutions up to 1280 x 800.
The R500 utilized LED backlighting instead of traditional LCD display setup. An LED backlit display is able to produce a more even light across the whole screen so that colors and images are consistently bright. LED backlights can also be equal or brighter than traditional LCD displays, yet use much less energy which helps improve Toshiba pa3356u-2brs Battery life.
In real world tests, I found the widescreen display very crisp and vibrant. I didn't notice any huge difference having a LED backlit setup, but the color brightness stayed even throughout the screen, provided you're facing directly at the screen and not from an angle. Watching a video yielded no problems with no blurring evident. Text showed up fine and clearly legible.
Toshiba claims this is the world's first 12.1' indoor/outdoor transreflective LED backlit display. In outdoor situations, you can turn off the LED backlighting with the push of a button, and let the transreflective screen utilizes natural light to produce the image on screen. This feature not only saves battery power, but lets you to work outside in the sunlight if you find it convenient. It is however limited in range, as the sunlight must be pointed directly at the screen to produce an image and usually, the results give off a dimmed/tinted appearance. Nonetheless, this Toshiba Satellite m30 Series Battery technology certainly makes things legible in outdoor situations. The question is whether you actually want to sit outside in the heat with your back facing the sun.
The R500 has a standard built-in optical drive. This might not be a surprise to many, but this is big news in the ultra-portable market as it marks a first for a system of this class. The 8X single-layer DVD +/-R optical drive measures only a scant 7-mm in thickness making this the thinnest enclosure ever!
Even better is how remarkably silent the drive operates. Never more than a slight hum this drive gives off. The optical drive as its dubbed, supports 9 formats listed here:
Maximum speed and supported formats:
* CD-ROM (24x)
* CD-R (24x)
* CD-RW (10x)
* DVD-ROM (8x)
* DVD-R (8x)
* DVD (8x)
* DVD+R (8x)
* DVD+RW (4x)
* DVD-RAM (3x)
The R500 uses Intel's Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN, Toshiba pa3399u-1bas Battery supporting the industry standard 802.11a/b/g/n wireless signals. Wireless connectivity worked very well with no hiccups and connectivity was fast. A convenient on/off switch allows you to shut off the wireless signal when not in use, saving battery power.
Users expecting to utilize the Internet via landlines beware - Toshiba omitted the inclusion of a modem in an effort to save space. So unless you're connected wireless while on the go, you'll have to shell out some money on a portable USB unit.
Bluetooth 2.0 is included in the laptop and also features EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) for support of stereo headphones and other devices.
The standard battery is 5800mAh (6-Cell) Lithium Ion battery and Toshiba Toshiba Satellite l500d Series Battery claims it's the world's longest performing battery for a widescreen 12.1' laptop. The battery is inserted into the rear. The design is free of any protruding edges and is flush with the rest of the rear surface. Performance wise, I managed a good 4 hours using the laptop for web browsing and other basic tasks. Overall, I would expect the R500 to have very good battery life. You can see our full benchmark results later in the review.
The Toshiba R500 comes with a compact power brick that is no bigger than your average sized mobile phone. It's rated at 15V x 3A.
The laptop was set to run at full performance by setting the power scheme set to 'Balanced' with the AC plugged in, meaning that the CPU will not underclock while running the tests. For the battery performance test, the power scheme was set to 'Power Saver'. Each battery performance test was repeated 3 times to ensure accuracy. Before each test was run, the laptop was rebooted and its hard drive defragmented.
System Functioning Testing
PCMark 05 Advanced Build 1.2.0* is the latest update to Futuremark's popular overall system benchmarking program. The 2005 version adds multithreading, DirectX 9, Windows Media Player 10, virus scanning, High Definition video playback (WMVHD), Toshiba pa3384u-1brs Battery and a vast number of other tests to its suite. Testing your computer's CPU, RAM, hard drive and graphics card, PCMark05 drives your computer to the max to determine its strengths and weaknesses.
PC World WorldBench 6 is the sixth revision of PC World's well regarded full-system benchmarking suite. Worldbench runs a slew of benchmarking tests designed to simulate many common programs used by today's typical user. Programs benchmarked are Adobe Photoshop CS2, Autodesk 3ds max 8.0, Firefox 2, Microsoft Office 2003 SP1, Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 9.0, Nero 7 Ultra Edition, Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator 1.5, and WinZip 10.0.
WorldBench 6 scores are baselined against a test system consisting of a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, 2GB DDR2 RAM, nVIDIA GeForce 7900GS graphics card, and 2 x 320GB Western Digital hard drives in RAID-0, with Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium installed as the OS. After each test has been run, the system clears temp files and reboots.
F.E.A.R. is one of the most popular Toshiba pa3478u-1bas Battery First Person Shooters in recent memory. A paramilitary force infiltrates a multibillion dollar aerospace compound taking hostages, but issuing no demands. With U.S. Special Forces in over their heads, the Commander in Chief turns to his final option: you. You've been trained to handle the incomprehensible, armed with experimental high tech weaponry, and given full executive authority to end the crisis by any means necessary.
An hi-tech Special FX system showers you in sparks, smoke, and debris, making combat as intense and exhilarating as an action movie. The latest in DirectX 9.0 rendering technology uses real-time per pixel lighting, shadow volumes, normal mapping, and advanced shaders to create a world so convincing you'll forget you're playing a game. Employing Havok 2 Game Dynamics, unleashing hell on your enemies is visceral and satisfying. Bodies recoil and collapse accurately and objects react to being shot, pushed, or blown up.
Battlefield 2142 is the latest iteration of EA Games' award-winning 'Battlefield' series. The year is 2142 and the dawn of a new Ice Age has thrown the world into a panic. Players choose to fight for one of two military superpowers, the European Union or the newly formed Pan Asian Coalition, Toshiba Satellite a35 Series Battery in an epic battle for survival. Highlights include three different game modes, loads of futuristic weaponry and technology, as well as online gameplay for up to 64 players.
Large maps with tons of opponents assure that players are always treated to a fast paced gaming experience that is never short on action.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is the sequel to the best-selling, award-winning Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Oblivion is a single player game that takes place in Tamriel's capital province, Cyrodiil. You are given the task of finding the hidden heir to a throne that sits empty, the previous emperor having been killed by an stranger assassin. With no true Emperor, the gates to Oblivion (the equivalent of hell in the world of Tamriel) open, Toshiba Libretto 110ct Battery and demons begin to invade Cyrodiil and attack its people and towns. It's up to you to find the lost heir to the throne and unravel the sinister plot that threatens to destroy all of Tamriel.
Oblivion is a leap forward in role-playing with its combination of freeform gameplay and cutting-edge graphics, and features a groundbreaking new AI system, called Radiant AI, which gives non-player characters (NPCs) the ability to make their own choices based on the world around them. Oblivion is known to tax even the upper echelon of high end systems, due to the rendering required to fully immerse players in its massive environments.
Battery( Toshiba pa3356u-2bas Battery ) Performance Testing
Laptop Logic has chosen to take a 'real-world' coming to battery testing, eschewing a more formal software-based benchmark. There are four components of Laptop Logic's new battery performance testing: DVD playback, general use, and recharge time.
DVD Playback is just as the name suggests. A copy of Peter Jackson's King Kong will be played on the system (in either Windows Media Player or PowerDVD or whatever DVD playback software ships with the laptop). The movie will be played on loop in case the laptop's battery exceeds the film's 187 minute (3 hours 7 minutes) runtime. At the beginning of the test, the editor will record the start time with a PC-based stop watch program and note when the test concludes.
General Use will simulate a normal user experience, with tasks similar to those commonly performed by an average person. General Use will have several different tasks running simultaneously. The system will stream ESPN Radio Primetime's podcast ( http://espnradio.espn.go.com/espnradio/podcast/index ), display a live video feed from the Turtle Bay Resort in Hawaii ( http://www.turtlebayresort.com/About_Us/webcam.asp ), have the Laptop Logic forums open in the background, and perform random web browsing and text editing. At the beginning of the test, the editor will record the start time with a PC-based stop watch program and note when the test concludes.
While we are still gathering test results for this new benchmark, our testing showed the Toshiba Satellite 2100cdt Battery lasted a reasonable 3.5 hours (210 minutes). During our Average usage test, it lasted 265 minutes. Recharging from 0-100% took 225 minutes.
Incredibly thin & lightweight
* Built-in optical drive
* Sleek and stylish design
* Good battery life
* Full-size keyboard
* No modem
* Monoraul speaker
* Specified expandability
* Sluggish performance
Toshiba Toshiba pabas086 Battery has really brought out many of the world's firsts in this ultra-portable machine. It's currently the thinnest and lightest full-featured ultra-portable you can buy on the market. And with it, you'll really stand out and impress passersby.