For a long time, Toshiba was the businessman’s number one choice of laptop, which resulted in the company sitting complacently on its laurels. However, with the notebook market not being aggressively fought over, the company has had to bring innovation to the fore.
So we end up with the Portege R200, a super-slim machine that’s a mere 24mm thick. To put that into perspective, the average notebook is often twice that thick. To get to this size, there is no optical drive built into the machine, so will limit its appeal to many users, making it more an email client or a mobile word processor, to which it excels.
You’ll also find that the hard drive isn’t a standard 2.5-inch notebook drive but rather the smaller 1.8-inch variant, which isn’t a problem but limits capacity to 60GB - still more than enough for the average mobile worker.
You’ll also find its weight - a mere 1.3kg - making it noteworthy. If you’re in the market for an ultraportable you can slip into your existing briefcase and not worry too much about it, this may well be the one.
The case is made of aluminium, this helps keep the weight down without needing to be thick. We found the case to be solid with little or no flex, so it’ll survive being carried around on a daily basis. Naturally, you’ll find that components are kept to a minium. So, the screen measures 12.1 inches diagonally across. It’s a standard 4:3 aspect ratio screen but its big enough for reading/writing reports as well as viewing websites or spreadsheets.
The keyboard is a little on the cramped side but the keys are sturdy. It took us a little time to come to grips with using the keyboard but it’s well-built and responsive so you’ll quickly come to like it.
You’ll find a Biometric fingerprint scanner has been built into the case that is supported by a Trusted Protected Module (TPM) chip that can be set up to encrypt your security codes as well as your data. The scanner allows the machine to be set up to use up to 12 users.
To keep noise and heat to a minimum, Toshiba has opted to power this notebook with an Intel Pentium M 753 processor, this ultra-low voltage chip has a running speed of 1.2GHz making it fine for daily office tasks. However, you won’t want to run anything to taxing on the machine as we found it lagged when multiple windows were running.
This was a little surprising considering the 512MB DDR2 memory backing the processor up. One of the advantages of opting for a ULV processor is the lack of a fan, with the processor merely coming with a heatsink to dissipate heat. To this end, you’ll find this an extremely quiet unit to run, especially if you need to use it for presentations.
While not the most powerful of machines, the R200 is a great looking and portable notebook. We managed to get four hours of life from the battery but this was using the machine simply for writing and editing copy - including this review.