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Toshiba Portege R500 Review

written by: •edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 9/30/2008

The pros and cons of the ultraportable Toshiba Portege R500

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    Toshiba Portege R500
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    The Portege R500 is slimmer and lighter than most ultraportables and packs just as much power. It has received EPEAT’s gold environmental rating for low energy consumption and minimum environmental impact.


    The R500’s sleek, smooth design makes it compact and stylish. This is not the most durable of notebooks. The case is made of magnesium alloy and feels a little too insubstantial. Though the notebook’s footprint is small it has a good sized keyboard with a fingerprint reader located between the two mouse buttons. This is the first ultra slim, ultra light computer to include an optical drive. Powered by an ULV U7600 Intel Core 2 Duo processor, the R500 gets five stars for energy efficiency. The DVD-SuperMulti drive is great for the whole range of media activities from watching movies to recording music. The indoor/outdoor transreflective LED backlit display ensures high quality color and sharp images inside and out.

    For a notebook it has an excellent range of ports including:

    • 3 USB 2.0 ports (two on the left and one on the right)
    • IEEE 1394 / FireWire port
    • Monitor out port
    • Headphone / line-out port
    • Microphone in port
    • ExpressCard 54 slot
    • Ethernet LAN port
    • SD card slot reader

    What’s missing?

    • Mobile broadband
    • Webcam.


    The 5400 rpm hard drive makes for a speedy start up, applications open quickly and file transfer a good pace. The Core 2 Duo processor makes the grade when it comes to general office activities and light entertainment but lacks power for gaming and heavy multi-tasking. The mouse buttons could use a little more sensitivity. The R500 has a battery life of 2.40 – 4 hours.


    Processor - 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7600

    Memory – 1GB, 667MHz DDR2

    Hard Drive - 120GB 5,400rpm

    Graphics - Mobile Intel Express 950GM (integrated)

    Operating system – Window’s Vista Premium

    Dimensions - 11.1 x 8.5 x .77 inches

    Screen size – 12.1 inches

    Weight - 2.4/3.1 pounds

    Video – VGA out

    Audio - headphone/microphone jacks

    Data - 3 USB 2.0, mini-FireWire, SD card reader

    Networking - modem, Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

    Optical drive – DVD burner

    Category - ultraportable

    The Portege R500 retails from around $2,149.