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Tosh May Best Sony TZ With Portege R500

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Sony’s VGN-TZ1MN may be the best ultra portable laptop on the market right now, but it may not hold onto that title for long…

Out of the blue Toshiba has shocked us with the ‘Portege R500’ which - at 1.2Kg - is virtually identical in weight to the TZ (1.19Kg) but it does a number on the Sony by squeezing in a larger 12.1in LED backlit widescreen display (verses the TZ's 11.1 inches).

Where did this extra inch come from? Possibly because Tosh has integrated the world’s thinnest optical drive: just 7mm, an important decision when the whole machine measures just 1.95cm thick.

The innovations don’t stop there either with Tosh claiming the R500 has the longest battery life for any laptop weighing 1.2Kg or less. Incredibly the company then neglected to provide a figure only describing it as “up to a full day of normal computing on a single charge”. I hope Tosh is referring to an average US or UK working day, not a French one…

Filling out the rest of the specs is an Intel Core 2 Duo U7500 ULV processor, 1GB DDR2 RAM, a 120GB hard drive, Intel’s GMA 950 integrated graphics, Bluetooth 2.0 with support for EDR and wireless that encompasses not just b and g standards but also Draft N.

Determined not to sit on its (rather gilded) laurels Tosh also announced plans to introduce an 64GB SSD into the range come the end of July along with the option to remove the 7mm optical drive. This would make the R500 weigh a remarkable 780g – similar to the mass of most UMPCs.

A three year warranty comes as standard with the R500 and prices will start from $1,999 when it ships towards the end of this month. We wait with baited breath, treading water in pools of our own drool, for this one…

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