Pros We've had this laptop for a week and have been impressed with its speed and its moderate noise and temp. The light weight is amazing yet the case flex is minimal. We get 7-8 hours from the battery using wifi and office applications. The wifi is very fast
Cons The display is adequate but not very versatile in terms of viewing angle or brightness. My wife had some difficulty using the R835 in the car on a partly cloudy day. The P56X supposedly has the corrected sandy bridge chipset but even though it was built (
Summary We needed a new laptop last week and I had given up on Toshiba's new R800 series being available...then it suddenly popped up on Amazon.The wait for next generation Intel core (sandy bridge) was frustrating...especially watching Apple get corrected processors to customers faster than most PC product lines such as Portege. Most 13.3" models are still waiting to ship. To me it signals the advantage of diversity and competition in the PC industry has become a growing disadvantage, promoting waste like GM's multitude of product lines. We need PC makers to trim the fat so we keep getting alternatives to Apple like this very good Portege but the difference in price is getting smaller. For me, the new Sony vaio sb was a good option but heavier, $100 more, and Sony couldn't get it shipped as soon. I also like Lenovo's new E420S but again, heavier and they couldn't get it shipped. You can learn a lot about companies by how they respond to problems. PC makers seem to be plodding through the sandy bridge problem but they have a competitor who does it better and if PC makers don't shape up, my next laptop will likely have a piece of fruit on its cover.
Pros Fast, full-voltage Core i5 processor,
Decent build quality,
Long battery life (though not the 9 hours claimed),
Shockingly lightweight for a laptop with an optical drive built in,
Professional looking (though I could do without the chrome hinges)
Cons Low quality screen (low contrast, poor viewing angles),
Tons of utilities and bloatware programs preinstalled by default,
Slow 5400 RPM hard disk (should be 7200 RPM at this price)
A little warm and loud when doing CPU intensive tasks,
Not as sleek loo
Summary Recommended for the price, though the outgoing model is arguable a better value at just $699 for the R705-P35. Overall this is a very powerful, professional-looking ultraportable at a reasonable (but not bargain) price. Recommended if you want a lightweight laptop with an optical drive. If you can afford to spend $300-$500 more and can do without an optical drive, then there are some sleeker options on the market now (Samsung 9-series, Macbook Air, etc). NOTE: If you plan to upgrade this laptop to an SSD, avoid the Sandforce based drives (or at least do further research) as they have sleep/hibernate issues with the nearly-identical previous version of this laptop.
Pros Fast, light, great battery, efficient
Cons Boring looking
Summary Extremely well built laptop. Can't beat it for the price.
Pros Great screen, keyboard. Fast processor.
Cons None that I have found
Summary For the money, nothing beats it.
Pros Battery life is great, boots fast/resumes fast from sleep, and its a sturdy design that looks great. The keyboard is actually pretty nice. And finally, if you are a Linux user at all, you'll be glad to know that it runs Ubuntu Natty almost flawlessly
Cons Cons are few and far between but.... I don't like the loud click the clickpad buttons make, there isn't any direct buttons for brightness/volume, and of course Toshiba's notorious bloatware out of box is a pain to deal with.
Summary I was in the market for a new laptop but wasn't sure what I wanted. I bought a 17" HP from Costco that was a beast (to replace the 17" I just had). After about 2 months, I realized that I just needed something smaller. After much research, I picked this guy up at the beginning of May. Here are a couple thoughts.
Design: This thing is sturdy as heck. The all metal design makes me pretty confident that I won't destroy it over time. I was worried about the keyboard, with other reviewers saying it was small and cramped, but I don't find it hard to use at all. A backlit keyboard would have been nice. I would have been willing to pay a premium for that. The trackpad is just about the right size for this laptop and I like having dedicated click buttons. But like I said above, the click is way too loud for me and I end up double tapping the pad instead to avoid the sound. The A/C charger is typical, with the brick design halfway down the cord and the round metal prong at the end. When is someone other than apple going to come up with something better than this? The screen is a good size, it seems to be more widescreen than other 13" equivalents which is good for watching movies (also it still has a DVD drive which is a huge plus).
Performance: I've found this little guy to be more of a powerhouse than I was expecting. Backing up my DVD's with DVD shrink and Handbrake is a snap. I can't use the "eco" mode while watching streaming video though... so be prepared to lose a bit of battery life if you're doing that. On that note, the battery life is amazing. My previous laptop had about 1.5 hours on the most conservative setting. I continuously get 6-8 hours out of this battery. The screen gets a 3 star rating from me. It is a glossy finish and reflects a lot of light back at me, and the viewing angles are not great. I find myself tilting the screen to find the sweet spot. That said, the resolution is a good fit for this size screen and the screen does have a good range of brightness. The speakers are also not that great. Although... what do you expect in a 13" laptop? They can get pretty loud, but there is no low end and the high end can clip off at the top volume. It is good for listening while you are at the computer, but you'll need external speakers if you want to play music to a room full of people.
Linux/Ubuntu: I am a big fan of free and open source software, therefore I'm going to write about this laptops performance with Ubuntu Linux. After installing Ubuntu 11.04 I had almost nothing to tweak. I recognized all the components and I didn't have to use proprietary drivers. The trackpad took just a bit of tweaking to get it to my preferred sensitivity, but otherwise was great. For some reason, running Ubuntu sucks a little more power so I ended up getting more in the 6 hour range from the battery. If I played around with it, I'm sure it could be better. Dual booting was a snap (and I actually used the in Windows installer for the first time... and had no problems). There are still a couple of the Function buttons that I have yet to get working like the "lock screen". Ubuntu also doesn't seems to recognize the dedicated trackpad disable button also... but maybe I just haven't found the right settings yet.
And on another side note I really like the BIOS on this laptop. They give you ample control over different components and functions of the laptop... and that is much appreciated from Toshiba.
This laptop is a great buy for what you get. I almost bought an Macbook, but I'm glad I ended up getting the Portege.