Toshiba Introduces New Portege R830, Tecra R840 and R850 Business Notebooks

Today Toshiba announced the Portege R830, and Tecra R840 and R850 business notebooks. These systems--13, 14, and 15 inches, respectively--are all thinner than before, at about 1 inch thick, and will run on Intel's second-generation Core processors. All three will have security features, such as fingerprint readers, TPM, and spill-resistant keyboards, as well as docking connections. We especially like the redesigned Tecra notebooks, which look a lot more like the Portege line--only larger.

The R830 will start at $1,049; the R840, $889; and the R850, $879.

Like the previous generation, the Portege R830 is the business version of the Portege R835 (which we reviewed recently). While the system has the same 13.3-inch, 1366 x 768 display and a similar magnesium alloy build, business features include a fingerprint reader between the two mouse buttons, an optional 128GB solid state drive, and a docking connector on the bottom. The notebook can be configured with a second-gen Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor, a 5,400 or 7,200-rpm hard drive, and up to 16GB of RAM.  Ports include USB 3.0, eSATA/USB with Sleep & Charge, HDMI, ExpressCard, Ethernet, and a DVD Supermulti drive. Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth 3.0 + EDR, Intel 802.11 a/g/n Wi-Fi, and Intel Wi-Di. The R830 weighs 3.1 pounds, is about 1 inch thick, and pricing ranges from $1,049 to $1,649.

The Tecra R840 and R850 have undergone a bit of a redesign; the two systems now more closely resemble the Portege line, with similarly styled mouse buttons and curves. The notebooks are also a bit thinner than the last generation, making them a bit sleeker. Business features on both include a fiberglass-reinforced casing, spill-resistant keyboard, Toshiba EasyGuard Technology, a fingerprint reader, optional SmartCard reader, and TPM encryption.

The 14-inch R480 is about 1 inch thick, and has a starting weight of 4.2 pounds. It can be outfitted with a second-gen Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor and up to 8GB of RAM. Customers can also select a discrete AMD Radeon HD 6450M GPU with 1GB of DDR3 memory, which will support up to four displays. Hard drive options include either a mechanical 7,200-rpm drive or an SSD. Ports include USB 3.0, eSATA/USB with Sleep & Charge, HDMI or DisplayPort, and a docking connector on the bottom. Prices range from $889 to $1,479.

The 15-inch R850 will have many of the same options as the R840: Core i3, i5, and i7 CPU options, 7,200-rpm or SSD, up to 8GB of RAM, and an optional AMD Radeon HD 6450M GPU. The R850 will also be as thin as the R840--about an inch--but will weigh a heavier 5.3 pounds. Prices will range from $879 to $1,399.

LAPTOP Reviews Editor