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Toshiba Tecra R10 review

Barry de la Rosa
30 Jan 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
947
inc VAT

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Specifications

14.1 in 1,280x800 display, 2.0kg, 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P9300, 2.00GB RAM, 160GB disk, Windows Vista Business

Toshiba's R10 is a business laptop with a 14in screen.

It weighs just under 2kg, which is the upper limit of what we consider ultra-portable. To achieve such a low weight, Toshiba has made sacrifices. The lid is thin and flexes under pressure. It isn't the sturdiest casing we've felt, although overall build quality is good.

Its smooth brushed-aluminium lid has a curved lip that makes it easy to open. The lid is designed so you can still see the indicator lights along the front edge, placed just below the touch pad. The sloped lower edge makes it more comfortable to use the touch pad buttons. These are narrow, but set deeper than they need to be and leave little room for the pad. This is small, but pleasingly responsive.

With enough width for a decent-sized keyboard, it's disappointing that Toshiba has squeezed in a panel on the left of the keyboard for the power button and two short cut buttons. This means some keys are narrower than they should be. The keyboard has a light touch and good feedback, but touch-typists will find the left shift key awkward, and we occasionally hit the small Page Up or Page Down keys instead of the right shift key.

The 160GB hard disk is smaller than we'd like. Still, for a business laptop that won't need to hold lots of videos or photos, it's adequate. A meagre three USB ports is also a let-down, with one of these doubling as an eSATA port.

The R10 didn't score as highly in our application benchmarks as Lenovo's T500, but it's far quicker than any cut-price netbook. Battery life is good, too; it lasted for almost four and-a-half hours in our light-use tests. Compared to similarly sized business laptops, this is a commendable length of time and sufficient for regular mobile work.

The R10's screen has a matt finish that reduces glare from overhead lights; this makes it ideal for both offices and airports. However, it does slightly dull the effect of vibrant colours. Backlighting is consistent across the whole display, and the 1,280x800 resolution looks a lot less cramped here than on the usual 12.1in ultra-portable displays.

It's not cheap, especially compared to the latest range of netbooks, but the R10 could be a tempting proposition for some thanks to its 14in screen, DVD writer and decent battery life in a package weighing just under 2kg. It also comes with a three-year international warranty.

However, Dell's slightly heavier Inspiron 1318 is a better choice for most people. It has similar specifications and battery life, and while the screen is smaller, its resolution is the same as the R10's. At just £440, the 1318 makes the R10 look very overpriced.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P9300
Processor clock speed2.26GHz
Memory2.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size337x252x31mm
Weight2.0kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby2W
Power consumption idle18W
Power consumption active36W

Display

Viewable size14.1 in
Native resolution1,280x800
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 4500M HD
Graphics/video portsVGA
Graphics Memory128MB

Storage

Total storage capacity160GB
Optical drive modelMatshita UJ862AS
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/54
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSD
Other portseSATA (shared with USB socket), minijack audio output, minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseYes
Operating systemWindows Vista Business
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includednone
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year international
Price£947
Detailswww.toshiba.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.dabs.com

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