Pros Fast i5 cpu. Great battery life. Once I got used to the keyboard (have had it a week) am finding it nice to type on. Very light. Direct on viewing of the screen is just fine for my use.
Cons Speakers are horrible, but I don't plan to play much audio through them. Have ordered some inexpensive adds for the times I may need them.
Summary Couldn't be happier. This seems to be the 13" machine to have based on all of the reviews and recommendations. I'm not sure why anyone would want to lug around a 17" monster (or even a 15"), although I have a very nice i7 desktop to use at home. My previous laptop was a 14", which was much heavier but just fine until the video died. Contrary to other comments on the hinges, I've found when you're not looking at them directly they slim the waistline of the machine and make it appear smaller.
Pros Value of specs for $800, Sandy Bridge Processor, 3.2 lbs, great battery life, well implemented touch pad, usb 3.0 and e-SATA port, HDMI and VGA out,
Cons Horrible speakers, some bloatware, only 5400 rpm hard drive.
Summary Let me first say this is far and away the best combination of speed, portability, battery life and price that I've had in a laptop. Like many users, I just need a computer to surf the internet, listen to music, do some basic word processing etc. Occasionally, I like to stream my videos from the computer to the TV, take trips and have a lightweight computer handy or use programs that require a bit more processing power (video game, turbotax, whatever).
Two years ago, I got sucked into the netbook fad hoping that a netbook could fill that computing need in my life given it was only $300. Sadly, it was grossly underpowered and simply broke on me about a month ago. So I was in the market for a new laptop and, like every computer prior to the netbook, I wanted one that would last me 5-6 years at a reasonable price. I found this one and couldn't be happier. Despite the i5 processor, ram, and everything else, it still fits into a 3.2 lb package. Its the power of a normal laptop fit into a very portable form.
There are a few different versions of this laptop. The R835-P55x was a better value for me at $800 and the i5 processor, essentially the same to the P56X with a few, non-vital changes. There is also a i3 R835-P50X available for 750. So do some homework on which one is right for you. Overall however, if they all perform like mine, the whole line is great!
- Value for the specs. I5-Sandy Bridge, 4GB RAM, 640GB harddrive, USB 3.0 port, e-SATA port, HDMI and VGA output all in a 3.2lb computer for $800. I really can't express how great it was to find this computer.
- Sandy Bridge Processor makes life easy on speed and battery life. I've squeezed out almost 8 hours of time on a single charge. The new processor will help keep it going for 5-6 years for me.
- Eco Mode/Button - I was able to get great such great battery life by powering down the screen brightness and processors using one simple button. When I'm surfing the web, I like to use it to save battery life. I hardly notice any performance difference when its in eco-mode but when I'm watching video or doing intensive processing, I press the button for full processor speed.
- Multi-touch pad - I don't use a whole lot of gestures with my touchpad but the two-finger scrolling was extremely well implemented on this compared to others that I have used. Almost as good as a Mac touchpad, in my opinion.
- Bad speakers - This is why it lost a star for me. They sound down right horrible. The headphone jack is only slightly better. I like to listen to a lot of music with decent equipment and it downright hurts to listen sometimes. Virtually no bass and the treble can be ear piercing at times.
- A bunch of proprietary software pre-installed. It took me an hour or two going through all the different Toshiba applications and pre-installed demos to figure out which ones I wanted/needed. Some were great like the eco-utility but others were background apps like an aggregator of all the other diagnostic apps they installed which just would slow down the computer.
- 5400 RPM harddrive. A 7200 RPM harddrive would have improved the build just a little bit and would have helped squeeze a few more months out of it towards the end of its usefulness in 5-6 years.
Overall, great product that I would recommend to anyone looking for an extremely lightweight laptop with the fast processing speed to match. A rare combination.
Pros light as a feather, beautiful and powerful. It is easy to gush about a computer when it is new, but after a few months, you really find out the bugs.
Cons Keeps dying on me. I am about to send it off to Toshiba on its 6 month birthday--not even a year old. The hard drive has consistently made an unusually loud sound.
Summary The hardware of this portege is of low quality, and the computer will not start at all for the second time in 6 months. Quality is an issue, and this was not cheap.I forgot to mention I bought it new at Amazon, but once I got it out of the box and started it, the hard drive was too loud. It was not until 2 months later that it died its first death, and now in its 6th month, it has dies again.
Updated on Feb 6, 2012
Pros Lightweight; slim form factor; low heat; quiet fan; bright screen; zippy speed; amazing battery life; solid mouse keys and smooth track pad; amazing price ($800)
Cons The keyboard, while stylish, takes a little to get used to, but that's pretty common for most ultra slim laptops.
Not sure why, but startup is a tad sluggish. I don't really have a benchmark to compare this to, but I feel like my last computer (1.9 GHz C
Summary I initially intended to buy a Macbook Air. But it doesn't have the new Intel chip, Sandy Bridge(yet), and let's face it: you pay a premium for Apple products. Some feel it is justified, I'm still not sure. In the end I really didn't want to spend more than $1000.
So then my heart was set on the Sony Vaio S Series. When this machine was $930, it was a toss up as to which one is better. But now that you can get the Toshiba Portege R835 P56X for $800, there's no comparison. This is simply the fastest, lightest, most well built machine at this price, bar none.
It is literally a joy to use. I like to be on the computer looking at instructions while I play video games, and heaving the old Dell on my lap was both cumbersome and much too warm. This little machine was built for sitting lazily on your lap while you simultaneously browse the internet and watch television. I'm honestly amazed I bothered with the old one laptop as long as I did.
13 inch laptops are the way to go - extremely portable with a full size keyboard and decent screen real estate. The only laptop I would own in excess of 15 inches would be an ultra slim one (e.g. a 15" Macbook Air or the new Dell XPS 15z).
The battery life kills - I love having a machine that is truly portable. I honestly feel comfortable taking it out and not brining the charger with me for the day.
In short: highly recommended for the person who likes to use a laptop for what it's intended for: portability.
Pros Featherweight . . . this laptop is .8lbs heavier than the Acer netbook it replaced, but I haven't noticed the difference.
The battery life is competitive 7hrs practical use with WiFi off vs. 8hrs on my netbook.
Latest Sandy Bridge i3 dual core proce
Cons The plain design is unispiring.
No dedicated toggle switch for WiFi
Only one USB 3.0 port (one 2.0 USB and one combo USB 2.0/eSATA)
Bluetooth is not a standard option
AC power adapter is not grounded (two prong vs. three) (maybe it's trivial)
Summary I've been looking for an ultraportable to replace my Acer netbook. I originally purchased a netbook because I wanted a cheap computer to take with me when I travel. However, I've found that the Intel Atom powered netbook couldn't handle graphics intensive PowerPoint presentations. Time for an upgrade.
I purchased the R835-P50X from Best Buy (largely based on the Cnet review). The Best Buy package is $750. The same package sells for $889 direct from Toshiba. So it's a nice savings even though you give up the Bluetooth and faster Core i5 processor. But since this is a netbook replacement, the specs are more than adequate. Also, the Best Buy package has very little bloatware compared to most laptops. The only trialware I removed was Office 2010 (I was already a Norton IS subscriber). I removed maybe 3-4 more programs like Chrome (sorry Google). I left the Toshiba software onboard until I have a chance to evaluate it.
My initial impression is that this will be an excellent lightweight computer for light to moderate use and very comfortable to travel with. My PowerPoint presentations are snappy and clear. I also ran a movie from HBO Go on the Best Buy floor model. The video ran smoothly with good picture quality. It's a step up from my previous computers and more than adequate for a travel notebook.
If you're looking for a desktop replacement or portable gaming system, try something else. If you want a lightweight, portable laptop with a rich feature set and excellent battery life, say hello to the R835.
Side note: Best Buy's price reflects a $140 discount to the MSRP for a comparably equipped model. However, their extended warranty programs are very expensive. The 3yr warranty with Accidental Damage Protection was 45% cheaper purchased direct from Toshiba (this included a promotional discount for May 2011). And since Best Buy is a an authorized service center, the Toshiba rep told me that in most cases I could still take my laptop to Best Buy for service (otherwise you have to ship it to the service center).