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CNET First Look
Toshiba Portege R835With nearly double the battery life of last year's model, Toshiba's new R800 series of Portege laptops are hard to beat, even in the highly competitive 13-inch laptop category.
-I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at Toshiba's new Portege R835. Now, last year, Toshiba's R700 series was one of our favorite laptops. It really kind of ate that MacBook look, around the same size, the same weight, 13-inch screen, a lot of the same features. So, if you needed to get something that was maybe a little bit less expensive than a MacBook or you need it to be a Windows, that was our go-to choice. Six months later, Toshiba has updated it. Now, it's the R800 series and they have kept a lot of the things we liked about the previous version and they've added some new stuff, which is really what you're looking for at a 2011 laptop. Probably the biggest change is they've moved to Intel's new second generation of Core i series processors. You might have heard of these as Sandy Bridge and that gives you better performance, somewhat better integrated graphics, and in a lot of case a better battery life. It kept the basic look and feel, the metallic design. There's a large keyboard right here, that really big touch pad, which we like a lot with two big separate mouse buttons. A lot of these smaller laptops seem to have one of those rocker bars instead of separate mouse buttons. Obviously, big separate buttons is where you want to be, but the biggest change here is by using those new Intel chip's battery life on these new R800 version, it's almost twice as good as it was on last year's R700. We got a little bit more of the 7 hours of battery life on this and that's using our pretty grueling battery drain test. If you just use this casually, it will definitely last you all day long. So, if you're looking for something that's kind of vaguely 13 inch, MacBook like, but you need to be on Windows or you only want to spend, let's say, 899 which is what these start at, they-- they crawl up a little bit depending on what kind of options you get, then the Toshiba Portege series, now the R800 version of it, remains one of our favorite choices. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Toshiba Portege R835.