Toshiba's Thin Port??«g??«, Tecra Laptops Feature Intel 'Sandy Bridge' Chips

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2011-04-13 Print this article Print

Toshiba has introduced three new business laptops-as well as a consumer-geared spinoff-that are its thinnest yet and feature Intel "Sandy Bridge" processors.

Toshiba's business laptop customers have been asking for lighter machines and more robust battery life without a sacrifice to performance, according to the company, and on April 12 it delivered, with thinnest-ever versions of its Tecra and Port??«g??« laptops.

The company introduced an ultraportable Port??«g??« R830, a Tecra R840-25 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than its predecessor-and an also slimmed down Tecra R850, all running Intel's 2nd-generation Core processors and a choice of 7200RPM hard drives or 128GB solid-state drives. Discrete graphics from AMD Radeon with 1GB of dedicated graphics memory are also included, along with USB 3.0, eSATA/USB Combo drives with Toshiba USB Sleep & Charge technology; DisplayPort or HDMI ports; ExpressCard slots, Gigabit Ethernet; and connectors for pairing the laptops with a dock.

A suite of security features, such as multilevel passwords, a fingerprint reader and an optional SmartCard reader, are included, and to lower the total cost of ownership across a fleet deployment, the Tectra and Portege laptops have similar graphics, the same AC power adapter and Hi-Speed Port Replicator II, and the Portege R830 and Tecra R840 have interchangeable 6- and 9-cell batteries.

The Tecra laptops were built with a new fiberglass-reinforced casing and "honeycomb rib" structure.  The R840 features a 14-inch (diagonal) HD or HD-plus LED-backlit display, is an inch thin and weighs just 4.2 pounds. It can be configured with a Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processors and-when paired with a solid state drive-boasts a battery life of up to 11 hours.

There's easy access to the hard drive and memory (just remove two screws), EasyGuard technology to protect against knocks and spills and-a particular point of Toshiba pride-a "highly effective" air intake design for keeping the machine cool. 

The larger Tegra R850 similarly features the range of processor choices but bumps the display to 15.6 inches and includes a 10-key numeric pad on the keyboard. At approximately an inch thick and a starting weight of 5.3 pounds, it's 19 percent thinner and 6 percent lighter than the Tecra A11 that proceeded it, and paired with the solid state drive offers a battery life of seven hours.

The Port??«g??« R830, according to Toshiba, is the "world's lightest 13.3-inch full-performance ultraportable laptop featuring an integrated DVD drive." It, too, is an inch thick, but weighs just 3.1 pounds. Available in seven models, users again have a choice of Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 "Sandy Bridge" processors, plus a hard drive or solid-state drive. They also get a USB 3.0 port, Bluetooth 3.0, the AirFlow cooling system, a Hard Drive Impact Sensor and spill-resistant keyboard.

Toshiba slipped into its announcement that it plans to also offer consumer edition Portege R835 laptops. Housed in spiffy Magnesium Blue covers, they'll feature the Intel's 2nd-generation Core i3 or i5 processors, 4GB of DDR3 memory, 640GB hard drives and a USB 3.0 port. Intel Wireless Display 2.0 capable, they can wirelessly connect to an HDTV, but the docking capabilities will be left off and the warranty will be just a year-versus the three years offered on the enterprise-grade models.

The consumer models start at $889 and are now available at Best Buy, as well as the Microsoft Store and Toshiba, while, through Toshiba resellers and e-tailers the Tecra R840 Series is priced from $899 to $1,479, the Tecra R850 Series from $879 to $1,399 and the Port??«g??« R830 Series from $1,049 to $1,649.

Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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