The Toshiba Portege R700-1F7 has plenty of power with an Intel Core i5-M560 processor running at 2.67GHz, supported with Windows 7 Professional 32bit and 4GB of RAM. It's not surprising, then, that it scored 117 in WorldBench 6 - streets ahead of its competitors in our recent ultraportable laptops group test.

The Toshiba Portege R700-1F7's black, brushed-metal finish is smart and the well-spaced keyboard is a definite aid to accurate typing. The screen is non-reflective and while this might not give the deepest, richest colours for video, it is usable in almost any situation.

When you start up the Portege R700, you'll be greeted by a barrage of messages asking you to set up this, what you want to do about that - it's quite overwhelming, actually. There are several useful utilities installed on the Portege but being bombarded like this is an annoyance.

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Of the useful utilities, there's a fingerprint recognition program that allows you to swipe your finger along a scanner between the trackpad buttons, to log on to the computer; or use it to sign into online services. There's also a facial recognition program so you don't have to bother with passwords - simply let the camera scan your face and you're in.

There's an HDD protection utility installed that puts the head of the hard drive into a 'safe' position whenever it detects vibration. This boon is nothing new, although we did find it to be incredibly sensitive, kicking in when the laptop was moved even a fraction. In fact, a number of times it initiated when the laptop was sitting untouched on the testbench in the PCA labs. The battery was a disappointment, too, lasting just 370 minutes in MobileMark 2007 - the lowest score we recorded in this test.

Toshiba Portege R700-1F7: Specs

  • 2.67GHz Intel Core i5 -560M processor
  • 13.3in (1366x768) matt LED backlit display
  • Windows 7 Professional 32bit
  • 4GB DDR3-1066 RAM
  • 320GB 2.5in 5400rpm SATA 3Gbps hard drive
  • Intel GMA HD graphics
  • HDMI out
  • VGA out
  • stereo speakers
  • headphone jack
  • mic input
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • eSATA
  • DVD+/-RW, DVD-RAM
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • gigabit ethernet
  • SD/SDHC/MMC card reader
  • webcam
  • fingerprint reader
  • 66WH lithium-ion removable battery (battery life 370 minutes)
  • 316x227x26.6mm
  • 1.48kg
  • 2.67GHz Intel Core i5 -560M processor
  • 13.3in (1366x768) matt LED backlit display
  • Windows 7 Professional 32bit
  • 4GB DDR3-1066 RAM
  • 320GB 2.5in 5400rpm SATA 3Gbps hard drive
  • Intel GMA HD graphics
  • HDMI out
  • VGA out
  • stereo speakers
  • headphone jack
  • mic input
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • eSATA
  • DVD+/-RW, DVD-RAM
  • 802.11b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • gigabit ethernet
  • SD/SDHC/MMC card reader
  • webcam
  • fingerprint reader
  • 66WH lithium-ion removable battery (battery life 370 minutes)
  • 316x227x26.6mm
  • 1.48kg

OUR VERDICT

For raw speed, the Toshiba Portege R700-1F7 can’t be faulted. It’s fairly noisy, and another oddity we noticed is that it is much heavier on the left hand side than the right. Odd weight distribution aside, though, it’s a nicely built, smart and usable ultraportable at a fair price – but you might not want to take it too far from the mains.

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