Toshiba Portege R500-S5002

GCN Lab review


THE TOSHIBA PORTEGE R500-S5002 is a model for how an ultraportable laptop PC should look. Weighing only 2 pounds, 6 ounces, it tied for lightest in the review. Its 11- inch width is about as narrow a full-sized keyboard can get. The keys are nicely spaced and clearly marked, making it easy to hit the one you want.

MAIN STORY: Portability meets performance

The Portege doesn't boast every extra feature that some laptops in the review have, but it includes a smart-card reader; high-powered USB port for devices that draw more power than a normal USB port produces; and an i.Link port, also known as FireWire. This array should let a user perform most general office tasks.

Considering how the Portege is designed, it would be the perfect ultraportable laptop if only it had more processing power. In our benchmark performance test, the R500 scored 315.7, third-highest in the review but significantly behind the top two. The Toshiba did reasonably well in hard-drive performance and some of the graphical tests. However, the lackluster performance of its ultra-low-voltage U7600 processor and 1G of memory counteracted those positives.

In our battery life tests, the Portege outlasted all but one other laptop, finally losing power at 3 hours, 45 minutes. This would last through most commuter flights, and you could get a good amount of work done running on batteries.

Toshiba offers the R500 at a list price of $2,149. That is pretty good considering its near-perfect form factor and excellent battery life. Although not the fastest, the Toshiba Portege R500-S5002 is easily the best-configured in terms of weight and format. It's perfect for a frequent traveler who has to perform the usual office-related tasks on the go.

Toshiba, (800) 867-4422,

About the Authors

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.


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