Twenty years in the notebook biz and Toshiba shows it knows how to celebrate in style with two new super skinny machines.
At just 1.99Kg, the Protégé S100 is the company’s lightest notebook to feature a 14.1in display. It measures only 2cm deep and integrates a 9.5mm ultra slim, hot swappable drive bay and 2.5in SATA hard drive with full RAID support.
Much like IBM’s (or should I now say Lenovo’s) heralded ThinkPad impact protection system, Tosh has also developed its own technology to monitor movement on all three axis, “bracing” the machine when extreme movement is sensed. Run of the mill clumsiness is covered too, with a spill-resistant keyboard designed to prevent damage to internal components for several minutes after an accident (providing the user with the opportunity to dry it out, save files and power down the notebook).
The S100 is not just a bulimic safety nut though, as it packs a fair amount of punch via Intel’s latest Centrino chipset. nVidia integrated GeForce Go 6200 TE graphics means the machine is no gaming rig, but it will provide more than enough pep in Windows. A second optional battery offers up to six hours of non-stop operation (over three hours, thirty minutes can be achieved with one) and it hits the shops today with configurations starting from a £999 + VAT.
The second notebook, the R200, is an update to the R100 which we reviewed back in March 2004. At the time the R100 was the thinnest and lightest notebook we had ever seen (if pricey) and the R200 is determined to make further inroads.
Weighing a feather light 1.29Kg and being 1.9cm thick, the R200 claims to have cut its size by reducing the area of its PWB (printed wiring board) by 30 per cent. Primarily this was done by reducing wiring intervals and width and managing to mount components on the back of the board after it has been wired. This may sound techy, but it’s clever stuff and means you still get a 12.1in display rather than the shrunken 10 inches often seen on ultra lights.
Like the S100, a Centrino chipset is at the heart of the R200, and it is surrounded by a 60GB HDD, 512MB DDR2 memory, wireless, Bluetooth and Intel 915GMS integrated graphics with up to 128MB of VRAM. Security measures include a built in biometric fingerprint reader and Toshiba’s own EasyGuard Premium and Device Lock software which enable the disabling of drives and ports, and encryption of important files.
Battery life is rated at an impressive five hours and you can take it out for a spin today for a (much R100 reduced) price of £1099 excluding VAT.
All this talk of skinniness is making me peckish...