Toshiba Portege R500 (PPR50A-00V05C)
- Weight, Optical drive despite its size, Battery Life
- Screen flexibility
Although the Toshiba Portege R500 is clearly not a power user's choice, its lightweight frame, small size and good battery life make it an excellent choice for simple tasks such as email, Web surfing and simple office applications while travelling for business.
Price$ 3,300.00 (AUD)
Toshiba is touting its Portege R500 as the lightest notebook in the world. At 1.2kg without its power supply, we are inclined to agree. It is slim and stylish, but still manages to include an internal optical drive, an SD card reader and a basic set of ports. It's not a very powerful system, but offers great portability and would suit regular business travellers to a tee.
The Portege R500 uses one of Intel's latest ultra low voltage (ULV) CPUs from its latest Centrino Platform (codenamed Santa Rosa). The U7600 Core 2 Duo CPU is the top of the line when it comes to ULV processors, offering two cores at a 1.20GHz with a 2MB L2 cache and a 533MHz front side bus (the non-ULV models offer up to 800MHz). However, this processor is built for low heat and good battery life, not speed - so don't get too excited. Although the CPU is a low power model, the system does include 2GB of DDR2 RAM for a bit of a boost. A 120GB hard drive has been installed, which seems plenty for a notebook that's probably best used for email, document reading or writing and other work and travel related tasks.
As far as hardware features go, there's little to talk of, apart from the key internal components, the DVD re-writer and the 12.1in LED backlit display. Both audio channels are funnelled through one tiny speaker on the left above the keyboard, which is surprisingly loud for its physical size, and would be enough to watch a movie by as long as there isn't too much ambient noise. A set of audio jacks for headphones and a microphone are available, and a volume dial on the left edge allows quick control over the volume settings.
There are limited connectivity options, due to the smaller chassis, but the basics are included, such as three USB ports and a mini FireWire port. A VGA output is also included, which will allow this unit to connect to a projector for meetings, or to a larger monitor at home or work. An SD media card reader and a PC Card slot are included for good measure.
There's no shortage of space for a biometric fingerprint reader, however, which accompanies a few software controlled security features hosted by the Toshiba Security Assist software. Security Assist is comprised mainly of BIOS, hard drive and fingerprint scanner settings, but also encompasses Toshiba's ConfigFree software, a network setup and management tool. As well as offering Intel's new 802.11 draft-n standard among the usual a/b/g connectivity the Portege R500 offers a gigabit Ethernet port for wired connection.
The build seems fairly sturdy, despite its size, though it does feel a little bit toy-like with its lightweight frame. The screen is probably the biggest concern as far as build quality goes. The extremely thin LCD enclosure allows a disturbing amount of flexibility and we wouldn't recommend this notebook be subjected to any roughhousing purely for the sake of the LCD panel. The screen itself offers a nice bright image with decent contrast, but its viewing angle is poor - just like the majority other notebook screens.
We were only able to run a portion of our benchmark tests on the Portege. It was able to run and complete WorldBench 6, but we were unable to obtain a score at the end. However, judging by our other tests and the time it took to complete WorldBench 6, we can guess it would have achieved a fairly low score.
In our MP3 encoding tests, which put the CPU on trial, we saw expectedly slow performance. Using Cdex (which encodes using only one core of the CPU) it took the Portege R500 229 seconds to encode 53 minutes of WAV files to 192kbps MP3s. Using iTunes (which uses both cores) to encode the same data took 140 seconds when compressing to 56Kbps MP3 files. Neither of these results are fast by comparison to notebooks in the mid-high performance range, but we weren't expecting the Portege R500 to be on par.
As we've stated this notebook is not intended for power users, but rather for portability and travel. In our battery test, where we loop a DVD until the battery is completely drained, this ultra portable device did very well; it lasted a solid 151 minutes, about an hour longer than the average Centrino Duo notebook. The DVD test is a worst case scenario as it uses both the optical drive and the speakers, on top of the other components normally involved in the notebook's operation; namely the CPU, the hard drive and the screen among others.
Join the newsletter!
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Bose SoundLink Micro
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Xbox One X
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- macOS High Sierra ‘root’ security issue allows admin access to your Mac—but there's a fix
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Lenovo ThinkPad celebrates 25 years of cutting edge technology
- Crowdfunding campaign to bring wireless charging to the Macbook
- Google Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixelbook, Google Home Mini & Max: Everything Announced At Today’s Google Event
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTJunior CRM Support AnalystOther
- TPSecurity AnalystACT
- FT.Net DeveloperOther
- CCTest Analyst - BrisbaneACT
- CCSystems EngineerWA
- FT.NET DeveloperACT
- FTDevOps Engineer - Financial ServicesOther
- TPDelivery Lead - IT Services Function - Day rateNSW
- FTOracle Financial Functional Oracle FinancialNSW
- CCProject ManagerQLD
- FTAutomation Test ManagerOther
- CCSenior Program ManagerNSW
- CCProgram ManagerNSW
- CCContent WriterQLD
- TPJava DeveloperWA
- FTSenior Data Warehouse Developer, Power BIOther
- TPSenior Test AnalystNSW
- FTCustomer Service OperatorOther
- FTManagement Consultant - ConsultancyOther
- FTData Centre Support Engineer -| 6mth ContractOther
- FTSQL DeveloperQLD
- CCMiddle-ware Developer - IBM WebsphereQLD
- CCDynamics AX Functional Consultant ? Finance | Supply ChainQLD
- CCSolution Architect ? Office 365 MigrationQLD
- CCSenior AngularJS DeveloperNSW