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Toshiba Portege R400: Sexy, smart and in your lap

Come check out the hot new Portege R400, one of the sexiest and smartest laptops at CES 2007

The coolest laptop at CES is probably the Asus W5Fe, but a close second surely has to be the Toshiba Portege R400, a convertible tablet/laptop hybrid with looks to die for.

It features a 12.1-inch LED backlit screen that swivels round to sit flat against the keyboard, facing upwards, at which point it can be used with a stylus in tablet mode.

More notably, Toshiba says it's the world's first laptop that is compatible with Microsoft Active Notifications, which automatically synchronises your email with your calendar. It also has what's called an Edge Display system, which is exactly that, an LCD display on the front edge of the laptop. It's not quite SideShow, but it does let you view your inbox and calendar whether the laptop is open or closed.

Another significant feature of the R400 is its ability to connect wirelessly to its optional docking station -- the Toshiba Wireless Port Replicator. This uses ultra wideband (UWB) wireless technology, so when the laptop is within 1m of the docking station, it'll connect itself without the hassle of cables. Toshiba says wireless docking doesn't have any significant drawbacks: USB 2.0 devices, for example, operate at their full 480Mbps bandwidth.

Our geekier readers will be pleased to note the R400 weighs only 1.7kg and has a battery-friendly 1.2GHz U2500 Core Duo processor, up to 2GB of RAM, on-board Intel graphics, an 80GB hard drive and a USB DVD multidrive. It is scheduled to hit stores after Windows Vista's 30 January launch and will cost $2,599 (about £1,350). -RR