Toshiba launches new Tecra, Portégé business notebooksBy Matthew DeCarlo
Toshiba has refreshed its notebook offering, adding the Tecra R840, R850 and Portégé R830 notebook series to its business lineup. The company says all three have been designed with the mobility, speed, durability and battery life professionals require. "We focused on delivering what our customers asked for by reducing weight, increasing battery life and without sacrificing performance," said Carl Pinto, Toshiba VP of product development.
In fact, Toshiba claims the new Portégé and Tecra models mark the company's thinnest business notebooks to date. The Tecra R840 in particular is about 25% thinner and 20% lighter than its predecessor, the Tecra M11. The R840 series is comprised of four 14-inch notebooks ranging from $899 to $1,429, with systems scaling between an Intel Core i3-2310M, Core i5-5250M and Core i7-2620M. Most features are shared across the series:
- AMD Radeon HD 6450M 1GB (on the top two models)
- 4GB of DDR3 1333MHz RAM (the $899 model has 3GB)
- 320GB 7200RPM HDD
- DVD-SuperMulti drive
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n, Bluetooth 3.0 and WiDi
- USB 2.0/3.0 and eSATA ports (HDMI only on the $899 model)
- ExpressCard slot and multi-card reader
- Webcam, mic, facial recognition and fingerprint reader
- Six-cell battery with 7.16 to 10.10-hour autonomy
- Starting weight of 4.19lbs
- Windows 7 Professional 32 or 64-bit
- Three-year warranty (one-year on battery)
That spec sheet paints a pretty accurate picture of the Tecra R850 line, which has three 15.6-inch notebooks ranging from $879 to $1,399. The budget model gets an Intel Core i3-2310M, 3GB of RAM and uses Sandy Bridge's integrated graphics core, the mid-range iteration kicks that up to a Core i5-2520M and 4GB of RAM, while the most expensive model adds a Core i7-2620M along with a discrete AMD Radeon HD 6450M 1GB graphics chip.
Toshiba's new Portégé range represents Toshiba's ultraportable offering with a 13.3-inch display and starting weight of 3.2lbs. There are seven models spanning $899 to $1,649 and the specifications vary a bit more than above. Entry-level and mid-range models are equipped with Core i3 or Core i5, 4GB of RAM, a 320GB to 640GB of storage, Windows 7 Home Premium, and most of the above-mentioned connectivity with the addition of HDMI series-wide.
The most expensive Portégé (R830-S8330) gains the more appropriate Windows 7 Professional edition along with a Core i7-2620M and a 128GB SSD, which affords it about two hours more battery life than the cheaper units get (11+ hours versus about nine hours). All models appear to be stuffed with Toshiba's proprietary and partner software, so be prepared to trim some fat upon purchase. Systems are available directly through the company's store.