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

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.