It may not have bested the Sony Vaio TZ, (officially the best notebook ever made by anyone - says I), in our estimation, but Toshiba's Portégé R500 did manage to wow us with its jaw-dropping 755g weight. Bearing in mind that it also offered such features as an Ethernet port and a CD drive it is, to my mind at least, a far worthier contender for ultra-portable status than the MacBook Air ever will be. Better yet, Toshiba is preparing to up the ante even further with its next update, which will see the option of adding a built-in HDSPA module to the already impressive spec.
The two models receiving this upgrade are the R500-11J and R500-11I. Both pack a 1.2GHz ULV Core 2 Duo U7600, 2GB DDR2 667MHz RAM and the same 12.1in 1,280 x 800 LED backlit transreflective screens featured on the original R500. Differentiating between the two systems, the 11J omits a DVD drive and sports a 64GB SSD bringing its weight down to a claimed 779g (which experience tells us may actually prove to be an overestimate). The 11I offers a DVD drive and 120GB spindle hard drive but weighs a little more at 999g. And, of course, both models will allow users to browse YouTube and MySpace in the park, on the train and in the back of a corporate limo - should you be so inclined.
According to Akihabara news, the source of this info, both of these models should be available some time this month throughout Europe priced at €2500 (£1,800) and €2050 (£1,500) excluding VAT for the 11J and 11I respectively. Bearing in mind a similarly specified Vaio TZ (which will also pack HSDPA) will set you back around the same amount you'll still be making a trade-off in features to achieve the R500's lightness, so choose wisely.