The Good This latest version of the Toshiba Portege R835 is still a great value, packing a big hard drive, optical drive, and full-power processor into a chassis not much bigger than an ultrabook.
The Bad This 13-inch laptop once felt thin and light, but similarly priced newer laptops beat it on style and portability.
The Bottom Line This one-time favorite is still an excellent go-to 13-inch laptop, if you don't need something quite as slim as an ultrabook, and you can get it for the right price.
Toshiba Portege R835
Reviewing the Toshiba Portege R835-P88 is like revisiting an old friend. Previous versions of this laptop have won our coveted Editors' Choice Award, by offering excellent all-around performance in a slim, lightweight 13-inch body, for a lot less than you'd expect.
But since we reviewed the last version of the R835, a seismic shift in 13-inch laptops has occurred, thanks to the growing popularity of the ultrabook. The R835 now feels big and a little bulky compared to the 20mm-or-less 13-inch ultrabooks from Dell, HP, and even, which are all available for around $899-$999 for a similar Intel Core i5 configuration, but with a 128GB SSD instead of the R835's standard platter hard drive.
But despite not being the newest or sexiest 13-inch laptop around, the Portege R835 still comes off as an excellent full-featured 13-inch laptop. This specific configuration, the R835-P88, has 6GB of RAM, a big 640GB HDD, and includes features missing from most ultrabooks, such as an optical drive and Intel's Wireless Display technology. While most retailers have this system listed at between $850 and $950, it's currently available on NewEgg for $699, which is an excellent deal.