One of the few laptops that has really grabbed our attention with eye-catching industrial design this year is the Toshiba Portege R400, a slim convertible tablet we saw back in January. The just-announced follow-up, Toshiba's Portege R500, is even more impressive.
We got a chance to play around with one of these a few weeks ago, and it was literally one of the thinnest, lightest 12-inch ultraportable laptops we've ever seen. It's got all the requisite ultraportable features, from an indoor/outdoor backlit LED display to a superthin 7mm DVD drive--similar in some ways to the 13-inch Dell XPS m1330 that leaked yesterday.
Some highlighted specs of the system, which will be around .77 inch thick and weigh just 2.4 pounds, include:
How do they cram all that stuff in a laptop less than an inch thick? According to the company: "To achieve this ultracompact foot print, Toshiba utilized its proprietary High Density Mounting Technology process to create a miniature motherboard with dual-sided component mounting." In other words, the system is built around a custom miniature motherboard.
According to the press release, even more exciting developments are coming later in the year, when the company claims: "In the third quarter of 2007, Toshiba plans to further reduce the weight of the Port?g? R500 Series to 1.72 pounds, effectively creating the world's lightest wide-screen 12.1-inch notebook." We'll believe it when we see it, but hopefully that means a move to SSD hard drives.
Depending on your configuration the Portege R500 runs around $2,000, and should be available to order starting today.