Guess what it's the successor to. Here's a hint: think R500.
We’ve been waiting for the R500 to see a real update for some time now. Sure, the HSDPA-fitted R500 was great but the Vaio TZ also had that option and unless getting a lightweight machine is your overriding priority was still the better option. With the Sony Vaio TT launch just around the corner, Toshiba definitely needs to up its game. Hopefully the R600, rolled out onto Toshiba’s Canadian site, can do just that.
On the specs front, some effort has definitely been made, with an update to the chipset used and CPUs on offer – thanks to Intel finally making low voltage Penryn parts available to manufacturers.
- Intel Core 2 Duo 1.4GHz SU9400 or 1.2GHz SU9300 (both 800MHz FSB, 3MB L2 cache)
- 12.1in, 1,280 x 800 screen
- Up to 5GB DDR2 (1GB embedded, 4GB DIMM), 2GB standard
- 160GB hard drive or 128GB SSD
- Intel G45 chipset, X4500 graphics
- Built-in DVD drive
- 970g weight
- 9 hours batter life (claimed)
As improved as the power efficiency of those Penryn CPUs over their predecessors is, that 9-hour battery life claim is probably still a vast overestimate – at least in real terms. The R600 should still be better on that front than R500 was, though.
As could easily be predicted, then, the R600 is pretty much just a Centrino 2 version of the R500. Until we get our hands on one there’s no way to know if the hardware reinforcements we thought were necessary have been undertaken, but I hope so!
At around CA$2,400 (~£1,200) for the config most people are going to want to buy (128GB SSD), Toshiba is keeping things in the sensible region. At that price, for many users, the updates to the underlying hardware of the Portégé R500, turning it into the R600, might just be enough to tempt a purchase. Just hope you don’t run into anyone with a Vaio TT?