Toshiba Portege R500 review

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Toshiba Portege R500

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.