Toshiba Portege R500: The lightest laptop ever?

We've just spent the morning checking out the Toshiba Portege R500 -- a laptop that Toshiba believes is the lightest in the world. Ever

We've just spent the morning checking out the Toshiba Portege R500 -- a laptop that Toshiba believes is the lightest in the world. Ever. It's so light, in fact, that Toshiba has asked feted explorer David Hempleman-Adams to carry it on a world-record hot air ballooning attempt -- where weight is of the utmost importance.

Crave isn't intrepid enough to fly a wicker basket 3,425km across the ocean -- radio-controlled helicopters are more our speed -- but if we were, the 779g R500 would be on our equipment checklist. Not only is the 12.1-inch laptop lighter than a bag of sugar, but it also reportedly has one of the world's longest battery lives -- 12.5 hours. It's also durable enough to survive crash landings. Although probably not from 10,000ft.

Other tricks up its sleeve include a transflective display, which can run with or without the aid of a backlight. The screen has a matte finish so as to minimise reflectivity. This is a welcome change from most laptops -- you can still see what's going on even in direct sunlight.

The R500 uses an ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo U7600 CPU clocked at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, 802.11a,b,g Wi-Fi, and a 64GB solid-state hard drive. Some models even use a 19.5mm thick optical drive, and a standard 1.8-inch laptop hard drive (up to 120GB), although this pushes the overall weight up to around the 1kg mark.

The Portege R500 will be available from the end of August and start for a quite reasonable £1,299. Watch out for a full review soon. For more information on the Toshiba Transatlantic Challenge visit the official Web site.

Update: A full review of the Portege R500-10U is now available. -Rory Reid

 

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