Portege R700 oozes awesome from every port


— 11:05 AM on June 22, 2010

Like a junior-high boy who is always secretly on the prowl, I have been constantly on the lookout for my next ultraportable laptop, especially since I broke up with my Sharp M4000 WideNote last year. (We're still friends, but the relationship had run its course.) Sure, I spend a lot of time with my Samsung NC20 and my Aspire 1810TZ.  I like things about both of them—the NC20's flawless keyboard and excellent touchpad and display, the 1810TZ's thin profile, eight-hour-plus battery life, and snappy performance.  Besides, we're in fourth period together.

But we're just friends, really. Neither one combines all of the traits I desire into one package, so I'm always looking around, occasionally stealing a long glance at a ThinkPad X301 or a MacBook Air. They're hot, but out of my league, dating the varsity quarterback and the basketball star.

Besides, the X301 has crooked teeth a lousy display.

Despite my best efforts, things were pretty static in my little world of minor angst, until a new girl came to class yesterday. Toshiba's Portégé R700 has turned my world upside down.

Ever since I first saw her, I couldn't stop thinking about her svelte, inch-thick profile and her dark, exotic magnesium casing. I hear she only weighs three pounds.

Some of her best attributes are obvious, like her 13.3" LED-backlit display, wide touchpad with multitouch, and "premium raised tile keyboard." Oh, how I'd like to caress them and see how they feel. She has brains, too, unlike some ditzy cheerleader: an Arrandale "Core 2010" processor with 4GB of DDR3 memory in every configuration. We're talking major brains, like 1400 SAT, going-to-Yale material, not some ultra-low-voltage mirage that winds up at a state school.

I heard she ran cross country at her old school, too. Rumor has it she could go for over eight hours on a six-cell battery or over 12 hours on the optional nine-cell.

"No girl is perfect," you say, but you don't know the R700. Unlike others her size, she has a multi-format DVD drive and an ExpressCard slot built in. She can even connect with a port replicator for USB 3, gigabit Ethernet, audio, and HDMI expansion. She's like a nerd and a model all in one. I tell you, this is more than just a passing infatuation.

Best of all, the R700 is available and isn't too stuck up to hang around geeks like me. The basic config with a Core i3 processor, a 500GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/n, and Bluetooth is only $999 at Toshiba's website. Sure, she can dress up and run with the popular crowd if she wants, going for $1299 with a Core i5-520M and a 320GB, 7200-RPM drive or $1599 with a Core i7-620M and a 128GB SSD. What's to stop her? But she's going to keep it real by hanging out in blue jeans at Best Buy for only $899 later this month. There she'll be going by the name "R705" with a Core i3 and a 500GB hard drive, and will trade her high-class docking ability for Intel Wireless Display support.

Hawt. Like Megan Fox in Transformers, where she was fixing that Camaro for Indy Jr.

I took some pictures of her when she wasn't looking and put them in a gallery below. You'll see what I'm talking about.

I can't wait to introduce myself. I'll bet she likes guys like me.

   
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