The Toshiba R850 laptop is marketed as a thin, light desktop replacement, so how does it stack up in reality. The R850 weighs in at 2.40kg, impressive for a 15” laptop, while the chassis feels strong and high build quality. Performance wise, the 2.5 Ghz Core i5 feels snappy, but one can’t help but think an SSD would have tipped it over the edge.
While most review units go back after 2 weeks, I asked Toshiba to keep it longer, to seriously test battery life in the real world. They say you can get up to 10 hours battery life, impressive.. if only it was true. I took the R850 on the road to CeBit and Remix conferences, emulating what a business laptop may be used for. In my experience, the R850 averaged 5-6 hours between charges.
Toshiba provide a customised Windows 7 power mode called ‘Eco’ which turns off area glass effects and no doubt restricts hard drive and processor performance to save power. Don’t get me wrong, 5-6 hours is actually pretty decent for a laptop this size and powerful, much better than the 1-2 hours most of us are used to, but just understand you won’t get 10 hours with real use.
Being part of the Toshiba R800 range means the R850 comes with Intel’s AMT 7.0 technology which enable your IT departments to manage, diagnose, isolate and repair a notebook remotely, regardless of the power state. It also comes with a dock underneath so you can work during the day, then take it home at night and keep working. With Display Port and USB3.0 connectivity, you can connect multiple external displays, so yes, this could replace some desktop systems.
Security is catered for with a fingerprint reader positioned between the left and right trackpad buttons, as well as facial recognition using the in-built webcam. Using the fingerprint reader to logon to Windows works well and in crowded environments rather not type out my passwords in front of peering eyes. The facial recognition wasn’t anywhere near successful and I ended up turning it off.
Specs / Features
Processor: Intel® Core i5 Processor 2520M (2.5 GHz boost up to 3.2 GHz)
RAM: 4GB DDR3 (1333MHz)
Display: 15.6” widescreen, LED backlit (1366×768 res)
HDD: 320GB (5400rpm)
Ports: 1 x USB 2.0, + 1 x USB 3.0, eSATA, VGA, Display Port
Slots: 1x PCI Express Card, SD card reader
Networking: Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11 a/g/n, 1GB Ethernet.
RRP $1,485-$3,300 inc GST
There’s no doubt the Toshiba R850 is a solid laptop that I’d have no trouble recommending. With great built quality, impressive lightness, good performance and reasonable pricing, it’s certainly worth considering for you next work/play/combination laptop. Personally travelling in planes semi-regular means that 15” is just too big and the relatively low resolution is certainly an issue. If your Dell or HP person, take a second to think before buying next time and consider the Toshiba R850.
More information @ Toshiba