In the past, some of Toshiba's ultra-portables have looked rather dull, but the company is looking to change all that with the Satellite R630. This laptop not only has a gorgeously slim design but, as the chassis is hewn from magnesium alloy, it's very light, too. You can buy it for around £700 online.
Supermodel-slim with Scrabble keys
The R630 is certainly a sexy machine. The magnesium alloy chassis feels remarkably well built and should easily stand up to the bumps, knocks and scrapes it's likely to suffer on the road. The black and silver paint job looks suitably professional and, at a mere 26mm thick, Toshiba has managed to keep it impressively slim for a machine that packs in a DVD writer. The magnesium alloy chassis also helps the laptop remain very light, tipping the scales at just 1.4kg, so it's an ideal companion for frequent travellers.
Its screen may be small at 13.3 inches, but the R630 has a pretty decent resolution of 1,366x768 pixels. It provides just enough room to allow you to work on two documents side by side. As with most of today's consumer-oriented laptops, the display has a glossy TruBrite coating. This helps produce impressively punchy colours that make photos and videos stand out, but it's also a tad reflective, especially if you use it near a window where sunlight is streaming in.
Toshiba has followed the current keyboard trend of isolated, Scrabble-style keys. This is no bad thing, as not only does the keyboard look quite cool, the keys also have a fast action that makes it easy to rattle off emails and Word documents at a decent speed. The large trackpad is excellent -- its matte finish means your finger glides effortlessly across it and the two large trackpad buttons have a pleasing, springy action.