Toshiba Portege R830 review: Toshiba Portege R830

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The Good Fast processor; integrated mobile broadband; good keyboard.

The Bad Build quality could be better; short battery life.

The Bottom Line Our version of the Toshiba Portege R830, the R830-138, offers great performance and some smashing features, such as integrated mobile broadband. There's no denying that it's very expensive for a 13-inch laptop, though.

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6.5 Overall

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The Toshiba Portege R830 aims to put some serious firepower at your fingertips when you're on the move. This 13.3-inch laptop packs in a pretty feisty processor, yet weighs only 1.48kg. It doesn't come cheap, though. Our version, the R830-138, which has an Intel Core i5-2520M chip and 500GB hard drive, will set you back just shy of £1,250.

Looks the business

With its matte black lid, brushed-metal-effect wrist rest and chrome highlights, the R830 looks ready for business. Measuring 316 by 277 by 27, it's petite enough to fit in even small backpacks and briefcases.

Toshiba usually has build quality licked, but the R830 isn't one of its finest efforts. When the laptop is closed, the lid feels very flimsy, flexing significantly if you its press its centre.

The 13.3-inch display isn't anything out of the ordinary -- it has the same 1,366x768-pixel resolution that you'll find on most screens of this size. It's very bright, though, offering good viewing angles both on the horizontal and vertical axes. The display has a matte finish, so reflections aren't a problem and colours still manage to look quite rich and natural.

The isolated keys on the keyboard are reasonably large, and their flat surface makes them easy to hit accurately with your fingers. The keys don't have a huge amount of travel, but they still feel fast and responsive to type on. We had no problem using them to touch type at speed.

The keyboard isn't backlit, however, which is disappointing given the laptop's high price. Nevertheless, we like the large trackpad and, nestled between the two trackpad buttons, there's a fingerprint reader that you can use with the pre-loaded software to secure your files.

A fingerprint reader is nestled between the two trackpad buttons.

Despite the slim chassis, Toshiba has managed to fit in a DVD writer, and there's also a pretty generously sized 500GB hard drive for storing your files.

The line-up of ports isn't too bad either. On the right-hand side, there's a USB 3.0 port, while the left-hand side is home to a USB 2.0 port, as well as a dual-function eSATA and USB port. The latter is also enabled for 'sleep and charge', so you can use it to charge mobile devices, such as phones and cameras, when the laptop is powered down.

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