Skip to main content

Toshiba Portege R705-P35 Trends

Toshiba has had a long, outstanding history of making desirable ultraportable laptops. Today, it continues to crank them out as thin and as light as ones that cost over $2,000. Indeed, the Toshiba Portege R705-P35 ($899.99 list) costs a fraction of what the Sony VAIO VPC-Z116GXS ($1,800 direct, 4 stars) is selling for, yet both are easily the lightest 13-inch ultraportables (with optical drives) in the world. Since the last iteration, the Portege R705-P25 ($800 street, 4 stars), Toshiba and Best Buy have partnered up to include WiMax (4G) support, a faster Core i3 processor, and a larger battery (from 63WH to 66WH)—all while keeping the price down. The Sony Z116GXS is still the most luxurious ultraportable, but the Portege R705-P35 takes over as the new Editors' Choice (in the ultraportable category) for being as luxurious as it is practical.

Specifications
Type
General Purpose, Media, Ultraportable, Small Business
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Processor Speed
2.4 GHz
Processor Name
Intel Core i3-370M
RAM
4 GB
Weight
3.1 lb
Screen Size
13.3 inches
Screen Size Type
widescreen
Graphics Card
Intel GMA HD
Storage Capacity (as Tested)
500 GB
Networking Options
802.11n
Primary Optical Drive
Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW
Design
Metal, like magnesium alloy, can be pounded into thin, yet rigid sheets, which help make the R705-P35 one of the lightest ultraportables in its class. It's the same delicate feeling you get when you pick up the Sony Z116GXS, which is draped in carbon fiber and only slightly lighter at 3 pounds. At 3.1 pounds, the Portege R705-P35 is lighter than the Dell Latitude 13 ($860 direct, 3.5 stars) (3.5 lbs) and Apple MacBook Air ($1,799 direct, 3 stars) (3.4 lbs), but not thinner.

The R705-P35 13.3-inch widescreen boasts a 1,366 by 768 resolution. A higher screen resolution in this price range is a rare find, which is why the 1,600-by-900 screens on the Sony Z116GXS and HP Envy 14 ($1,286 direct, 4 stars) are deemed luxuries. The full-size keyboard is a critical component of the R705-P35's success, as it was obtained from Toshiba's award-winning Satellite mini NB305-N410 ($400 direct, 4.5 stars) and Satellite T235-S1350 ($630 direct, 4 stars). The higher-priced Sony Z116GXS and HP Envy 14 have backlit keyboards, which you don't get with the R705-P35. The R705-P35's mouse buttons are tuned with the just the right amount of resistance and detached from the touchpad, unlike the "clickpads" found in the Apple MacBook (Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz) ($999 direct, 3.5 stars) and HP dm4-1160us ($850 street, 4 stars). You'll enjoy, as I have, the typing and navigating experiences on this laptop.

Features
An internal DVD burner is a feature you wouldn't expect from an ultraportable as light as the R705-P35, but it's there if you need it. The internal 5,400rpm 500GB hard drive is as ample as the one found in the Asus U45Jc-A1 ($867 street, 4.5 stars) and HP dm4-1160us. If you need to extend storage capacity, an eSATA (and USB combo) port will let you do that while transferring data as fast as the internal one. An HDMI and SD slot are also included, while two more USB ports (for a total of three) can hook up the rest of your external peripherals. The pair of speakers is its weakest link, as adjusting the screen or picking up the system causes all kinds of distortion; you'll find better ones in the Asus U45Jc-A1 and HP dm4-1160us.

Two of the R705-P35's marquee features are based on Intel's latest wireless technologies—WiMax and Wireless Display (WiDi). When utilized, they can simplify your play and work life. Sprint and Clearwire, the two companies building the WiMax infrastructure, are offering a Wi-Fi-like connection that covers an entire city—54 of them, to be exact. New York and San Francisco are expected to get WiMax by the end of the year. Though typical costs can run up to $40 a month, WiMax, or 4G wireless, has better download speeds (2-5Mbps) than 3G data rates from your smartphone, blankets an entire city, and can be the backup internet connection you need in case your primary one goes down.

Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi) technology is the other wireless phenom. Similar to HDMI, WiDi allows you to stream video and audio content from your laptop to an HDTV; only it does it wirelessly, provided you buy a separate receiver (Netgear Push2TV) that connects to an HDTV. The external adapter is a $100 option at Best Buy, but with it, you can stream high-definition videos (up to 720p), picture slide shows, or multimedia PowerPoint slides without using those pesky HDMI cables.

Performance
The R705-P35 also receives some performance enhancements, one of which includes a faster processor. The latest 2.4GHz Intel Core i3-370M CPU is not the nimblest compared with the Core i5 processors found in the HP dm4-1160us and Sony Z116GXS , but you would be hard pressed to notice the difference in the real world. It's a faster processor than the previous generation ones found in the Dell Latitude 13 (2,971) and Apple MacBook (4,074), as evidenced by an overall performance indicator like PCMark Vantage (5,241). Handbrake (3:04) and Cinebench R11.5 (2.0), meanwhile, were in line with the Asus U45Jc-A1.

Increasing the battery capacity to 66WH (from 63WH) is the other performance enhancement. The bump may seem insignificant at first, but it boosted the R705's battery score past the 7-hour mark (7:01); the previous iteration lasted 6 hours 20 minutes, so it's a healthy increase. The R705-P35 also outlasted the Sony Z116GXS (5:10) and HP dm4-1160us (5:30), but couldn't catch up to the Asus U45Jc-A1's monster 84WH battery (9:27).

The Toshiba Portege R705-P35 is basically your poor man's Sony VAIO VPC-Z116GXS. Together, they're the lightest ultraportables with 13-inch screens and built-in optical drives, except one cost half as much as the other. The R705-P35 is a beautifully made ultraportable and ideal for those who have busy travelling schedules and are reluctant to sacrifice all the amenities of a full size laptop. Adding extra features like WiMax, a bigger battery, and a faster Core i3 processor is nice, but keeping the price where it is, despite the additions, is sweeter than sweet.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Latest Trends Xbox 360 (250GB)

Microsoft was the first to enter this current console-gaming generation with its original Xbox 360, a hulk of a system that beat both Nintendo and Sony to the punch. Despite the millions of Xboxes sold (or possibly because of it), the 360 line—encompassing the Xbox 360 Core, Xbox 360 Elite, Xbox 360 Pro, and Xbox 360 Arcade has been plagued by the infamous red ring of death, a fatal design flaw that caused some overheated Xbox 360 units to shut down and become inoperable. It also lacked built-in Wi-Fi (a feature that Sony's competing PlayStation 3 has included since it's launch), and the hard drive, which protruded slightly from the system, gave it an even bulkier appearance. Microsoft aims to remedy all of these ills with its latest $299.99 (list) Xbox 360 (250GB). Dubbed the "Xbox 360 slim" by both journalists and consumers, the redesigned Xbox 360 has the same horsepower, game library, and rich online experience as previous Xbox 360 models, but contains several ke…

HP Envy 14-1110NR Reviews

When I think of high-end mainstream laptops, brands like Apple's MacBook Pro, Dell's XPS, and Asus's U-Series are usually what come to mind. Another rising star in this category is the HP Envy 14-1110NR ($1,050 list), found at Staples. As its name suggests, it's the 14-inch version of HP's Envy line, lavished with features such as a glass-covered screen, a backlit keyboard, and some of the fastest components available. There are some lingering issues with the gesture touchpad, and the system is a little on the heavy side. Otherwise, the Envy 14-1110NR is a viable mainstream laptop for sophisticated users.


Design
Anodized aluminum is the recurring theme in HP laptops. The Envy 14 is covered in it, whereas laptops like the Asus U45Jc-A1 ($867 street, 4.5 stars) and HP Pavilion dm4-1160us ($849.98 list, 4 stars) only use it on the cover and palm rest area. The design concept is similar to the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz) ($1,199 direct, 4 stars), in th…

Epson Stylus NX625 Reviews

The Epson Stylus NX625 continues the tradition of Epson's NX line's tradition as a modestly priced multifunction printer geared mostly to home use. It has some big shoes to fill, as the model it's replacing—the Epson Stylus NX515—is an Editors' Choice. Although the NX625's text quality doesn't match the NX515's, the new model is even faster (and more well-rounded) than its notoriously speedy predecessor, making it the new Editors' Choice for a home MFP in its price range.

The NX625 measures 6.7 by 22.2 by 17 inches (HWD) and weighs 13.7 pounds. A 2.5-inch color LCD anchors its tilt-up front panel. It has a 150-sheet internal paper tray and an automatic duplexer for printing on both sides of a sheet of paper. Both should add to its home-office cred. (The NX515 only offered a 100-sheet paper tray, and lacked the auto-duplexer.) The new model does lose a port for printing from PictBridge-enabled cameras or USB thumb drives, though it has slots that support …