Toshiba Portege R700 laptop review Toshiba Portege R700 laptop review

We love
Quality build, connectivity, performance for the price, stunningly light
We hate
Screen perhaps a shade too flexy
For anyone who needs a laptop on the go, this is your best bet with Windows by a long way
Launch Price
£From 629
6 Pages

Toshiba Portege R700 laptop review

The Toshiba Portege R700 was almost overlooked back at Toshiba’s June press conference, outflanked in the attention seeking stakes as it was by two other oddball mobile machines (The Libretto and Android AC100). It’s a shame really, as the Toshiba Portege R700 is by far the most impressive of the trio – so much so that we’re not hesitating to give it the full five stars. Read on to find out why in our full Toshiba Portege R700 review.

Read the rest of our Toshiba Portege R700 laptop review
Toshiba Portege R700 laptop review: Build
Toshiba Portege R700 laptop review: Performance and battery

If you can shake off the shiny shiny syndrome for a second and tear yourself away from the dual touchscreen Libretto W100 or Android AC100, we strongly urge you to take a look at the Toshiba Portege R700 if you’re on the hunt for a new laptop. At least on the Windows side of the fence, it’s the best 13-inch laptop money can buy.

There are quite a few different SKUs for the Toshiba Portege R700 available in the UK (You can see the full list here), but prices start at £629 for a model with an Intel Core i3-350M processor and 2GB of RAM, stretching up to £1,299 for a model with a 128GB SSD, Core i7 CPU and 3G connectivity, but the review sample we were sent was the £899 model with a 2.4GHz Core i5 chip, 320GB hard drive and 2GB of RAM, and it’s by far the most impressive of a spate of “ultra portable” machines we’ve seen over the last year and a half, simply because Toshiba doesn’t appear to have made any sacrifices for the size and cost.

On the build front, the Toshiba Portege R700 wows. The plastic casing has a brushed metal-type finish, and is a world away from the smeary cheap efforts from the likes of Acer and Asus you see floating around at the bottom end of the price range. This is a laptop you could happily pull out to takes notes in a lecture hall or a boardroom (And the security features like face and fingerprint recognition will certainly please the suits out there).

The 13.3-inch screen on the Toshiba Portege R700 has respectable viewing angles and is more than ample for checking out 720p HD YouTube videos, while the chiclet keyboard will let you crank out words at high speed, particularly if you prefer low set style island keys as we do. And frankly, the connectivity on the Toshiba Portege R700 is astounding, and it puts both larger netbooks and the MacBook Air to shame. It’s not so much thicker than Apple’s slim laptop, and yet it manages to fit in two USB ports, eSATA, a VGA connection, SD card slot, Ethernet, audio, an HDMI socket and even (optionally) a DVD drive and 3G SIM card slot.

But more than anything, it’s the size and weight of the Toshiba Portege R700 that has us smitten. Our model weighs just 1.38kg, while some top in at just 1.28kg: you can quite happily lift it by a corner between finger and thumb. And despite this, the six-cell battery still runs for a more than acceptable amount of time. We got a good five hours of real world use out of it, with Wi-Fi on, music streaming and surfing the web and typing.

Check out our Best laptop Top 5 here

That’s nowhere near the eight hours of claimed battery life (We can only assume Toshiba played a brief game of Minesweeper then turned on the screensaver to get that much) but considering the Toshiba Portege R700 is fueled by a full Intel Core chip rather than a piddly ultra low voltage processor, this is still an exceptional runtime. You’d struggle to actually get more done with an Intel Atom netbook with an 8 hour battery life anyway, considering how much loading time you’d have to sit through trying to do more than just open Paint.

Performance was superb for the role Toshiba Portege R700 aims to play: productivity applications, general oddjobs and streaming even HD video at a pinch. Integrated Intel graphics mean this isn’t really a gamer’s machine, but that’s not who this machine is targeted at: if you turn your nose up at 2GB of RAM, the chances you don’t need just a more powerful laptop, but a bigger one too.

How to choose: Best laptop

For this size, and this price, the Toshiba Portege R700 represents absurdly good value, and we’re struggling to see where any sort of compromise has been made. You can hook it up to any monitor or TV with ease, and with a USB port on either side, you won’t have that awkward situation where wider memory sticks or peripherals crush up against each other when plugged in.

For anyone looking for a desktop replacement the whole family can use, the Toshiba Portege R700 is a perhaps a bit too underpowered, and more obviously, too small. But for individual use, whether as a student or on business, if you ever plan on taking your next laptop out of the house regularly, the Toshiba Portege R700 really should be at the top of your list.

The decision comes down to this: are you a Mac or PC? For the best value ultra portable on the former, go for the plastic MacBook. If you know you’re in the Microsoft camp, you need the Toshiba Portege R700, no question about it.

The Toshiba Portege R700 has made our best laptop and best PC laptop Top 5 lists, which is why we’ve given it our Recommended rosette. Check out more Top 5s here and find out more about how they work with our Top 5 guarantee.

Read the rest of our Toshiba Portege R700 laptop review
Toshiba Portege R700 laptop review: Build
Toshiba Portege R700 laptop review: Performance and battery

  • jo

    The main problem with this series of toshiba laptops is their cheap lid. The LCD comes off the lid breaking at the hinges if you carry it in bag with other files. Not strong at all

  • toshiba laptop coupons

    The 13.3-inch Toshiba Portege R700 has good viewing angles and it is more than respectable enough to see the 720p HD videos from YouTube, while the keyboard will allow you chiclet out the words very quickly. Especially if you prefer low key style of the island as we do. And frankly, connectivity in the Toshiba Portege R700 is a surprise and that puts both larger netbooks and MacBook Air to shame.

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