Toshiba Tecra R850 review

Tom Morgan
8 May 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A powerful laptop with good battery life, but there are more desirable consumer-focussed laptops available for similar money


Toshiba’s Tecra laptops are aimed more at professionals than home users, but the R850 is still reasonably priced for a high performance machine. If you want the most processing power for your money, it could be just what you’re looking for.

Toshiba Tecra R850

Intel’s dual-core i5-2520M runs at 2.5GHz, jumping up to 3.2GHz using Turbo Boost when the thermal envelope allows. Combined with 4GB of RAM, it managed an overall score of 60 in our multimedia benchmarks, so has enough juice for even demanding applications.

The processor also handles 3D rendering, using the integrated HD 3000 GPU. Although this is fine for watching high definition video, you won’t be able to use it to play modern games. Our Dirt 3 test crawled along with an average frame rate of just 14.1fps, so you’ll have to stick to older titles unless you want to put up with blocky graphics with no fancy effects.

The R850's battery life means you won't have a problem working on the move. The laptop lasted a very impressive seven and three quarter hours away from the mains, so as long as you stick to simple tasks you should be able to last a whole day without having to stop to charge. The R850 does weigh a pretty hefty 2.5kg, though, so you won't want to take it everywhere with you.

Toshiba Tecra R850

We were also impressed with the laptop's connectivity options – there are two USB ports, a single USB3, a multi-format card reader and an eSATA/USB combination port. This is on top of Ethernet, an audio combination jack and both VGA and DisplayPort video outputs, so you should have no trouble connecting all your peripherals.

Toshiba Tecra R850

Although Toshiba labels the R850 as ultra-thin and light, the 15.6in screen is a bit of a giveaway that this isn’t strictly true. However, the screen itself was a delight to use, thanks to its anti-glare matt finish. It diffused light reflections so we could always see what was on the 1,366x768 display. Viewing angles were fairly average, but there was ample screen tilt to compensate. Colours and contrast weren’t particularly impressive, so the screen is better for working on documents than watching films.

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