Laptop review: Toshiba Portégé R600
Toshiba’s ultra-slim Portégé R600 is stylish, but unobtrusive. John Stokdyk spent a little time to get to know it a little better.
Right out of the box, you can tell this is a seriously sleek laptop. At just over 1kg, it’s compact and light, still but packs in an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 3GB of RAM to drive a Cinemascope-like 12in widescreen that is enviably clear at 1280 x 800 resolution.
For those who care about aesthetics, the Portégé looks very good, but such svelte looks demand compromise on the structural side; the upper half of the laptop betrays a slight flimsiness if you are in the habit of picking it up by the leaf that holds the screen.
It also has a near full-size, low-profile keyboard. Again the keys themselves are a little on the delicate side and initially had a stickiness on the rebound – nothing serious, but they did take some getting used to before I built up towards my optimum typing speed. The space below the keyboard holds a reasonably sized trackpad sensor, with left- and right-click buttons and an array of seven status indicators (power, wireless, disk activity etc). In between the two mouse buttons is a small fingerprint scanner for biometric security.
Just above the top right-hand side of the keyboard are two more switches, one to toggle the screen between backlit and daylight settings and another with a small person icon. This button instantly invokes the Windows Mobility Center, a collection of 7 controls for sound volume, display brightness and second monitor, battery status and energy use, synch and presentation settings. What seemed like an irrelevance on first encounter turned out to be an incredibly handy way to switch between modes and basic system settings. It also typifies the attention to detail that went into the Portégé R600.