12.1 in 1,280×800 display, 1.1kg, 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400, 3.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows Vista Business
Toshiba’s Portege R600-11B is the lightest laptop here at just 1.1kg, but Toshiba has still managed to squeeze a DVD writer, 3G modem and 320GB hard disk into its slender and attractive silver case.
There’s even an ExpressCard/54 slot for adding peripherals.
Although the Portege feels well-built, it doesn’t feel as sturdy as the other ultra-portable laptops here – the lid flexes easily under pressure. The cooling fan is irritatingly noisy, even during undemanding tasks, such as web browsing.
Despite the Portege’s size, the keyboard has large, responsive keys that give just the right amount of feedback when pressed, so it’s very comfortable to type on. The touchpad feels accurate, but the small buttons with their slippery gloss coating are difficult to press.
The 12.1in screen is the smallest of any ultra portable here, but it has the same 1,280×800 resolution as the 13.3in display on Samsung’s X360, as well as many of the larger 14in and 15.4in laptops this month. It has a matte finish, so it doesn’t reflect light from overhead sources causing glare but it’s still bright.
The Portege is one of three ultra-portable laptops here to use one of Intel’s ultra-low-voltage processors, in this case a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo SU9400. It’s easily powerful enough for most tasks, but slower than most of the laptops in the other categories at more demanding work such as video editing. It’s fitted with 3GB of RAM, which is more than enough for running Windows and several programs simultaneously.
Although the Portege’s battery life of six hours and 39 minutes is impressive, especially when compared to the non-ultra-portable laptops here, both Samsung’s X360 and Sony’s Vaio VGN-Z31VN/X lasted even longer.
On balance, though, the Portege is the best value ultra-portable laptop here. It’s light and has a comfortable keyboard, a three-year warranty and built-in 3G, making it an excellent buy.
|Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400
|Processor clock speed
|Memory slots free
|Realtek High Definition Audio
|Power consumption standby
|Power consumption idle
|Power consumption active
|Intel GMA 4500M HD
|Total storage capacity
|Optical drive model
|Optical drive type
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports
|Wireless networking support
|PC Card slots
|Supported memory cards
|Windows Vista Business
|Operating system restore option
|restore partition, restore disc
|Toshiba DVD Player
|three years collect and return