Toshiba released the Portege R600 today, an amazingly thin and hopefully more durable version of the R500 ultraportable. We liked the R500 the two times we reviewed it, but we had the system for only a few weeks at a stretch. If you look at the user comments on our reviews, you'll soon notice a trend of readers questioning the R500's build quality and complaining about its flimsy chassis. The Portege R600 looks very similar to the R500, weighing 2.4 pounds (with integrated DVD burner), and measuring 0.77 inch thick along its front edge. Toshiba states the R600 will arrive in a durable chassis; we can't wait to get our hands on one to put it to the test.
The Portege R600 uses the Core 2 Duo Ultra Low Voltage SU9300 or SU9400 CPU on the Intel GS45 chipset, up to 5GB of RAM, and either a 160GB (spinning) hard drive or a 128GB SSD. Toshiba promises 8 hours of running time from the system's six-cell battery. Other features on the R600 include an LED-backlit transreflective display with a 1280x800, Toshiba's USB Sleep-and-Charge technology, and an eSATA port. Also on board is Toshiba's EasyGuard package, which monitors system components and includes hard drive protection, a spill-resistant keyboard, a fingerprint reader, and a Trusted Platform Module. Pricing starts at $2,099. Toshiba's U.S. site has yet to be updated to include the R600, but our neighbors to the north have the goods.
Also announced today is the Portege A600, which is a 12.1-inch ultraportable that adds a little heft but trims the price of the R600. The A600 weighs 3.2 pounds, measures 1.2 inches thick, and starts at $1,399. You also lose out on the R600's solid-state hard drive option and three-year warranty; the A600 is backed by one year of coverage.
Lastly, Toshiba released the Portege M750, an update to the M700 that moves Toshiba's convertible tablet to the Centrino 2 platform. It features a 12.1-inch LED-backlit display, an integrated optical drive, and a $1,699 starting price.