A Closer Look:

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

In the ongoing battle to make notebooks as thin and light as possible, Toshiba forges ahead of the competition with the latest iteration of the Portege, the R500-S5007V.

Once you combine the words thin, light and notebook into a sentence, most people feel that the word "compromise" must be added. The Toshiba Portege R500-S5007V helps nearly eliminate compromise from the sentence. For example, the R500 incorporates a full-size keyboard, decent-sized display and an integrated optical drive into a system that offers almost 7 hours of battery life and a slew of ports, effectively reducing the compromises found on typical slim and light notebooks.


Long battery life and a small form factor usually spell out low performance; here is another area that Toshiba helps to buck the trend and eliminate that nasty word, "compromise." The combination of the U7700 Intel processor, 2 GB of RAM and the solid state hard drive add up to usable performance, with the system scoring a PassMark Rating of 320. Not blazingly fast, but as fast as most any 6 pound value notebook on the market. Frequent travelers will come to love the Portege; the unit is easy to carry, quite sturdy and well assembled. For those on long flights, the unit’s diminutive size allows it to be used comfortably on the typical airline seat tray, without the worry that the screen will get crushed if the seat in front is suddenly reclined.


For those doing presentations, the VGA port comes in handy, but the unit’s tiny single speaker is not up to snuff, so a projector with integrated speakers may become a presenter’s second best friend. The keyboard offers good feel and response for speed typists and the touch pad offers good, reliable control of the cursor.


While the Toshiba Portege R500-S5007V does an excellent job of minimizing compromises, there is one compromise that cannot be ignored, one that affects the pocketbook, a price tag of $3,000. Especially when one considers that the Portege offers the performance and features of a notebook that is half the price, but double the size. That may limit the unit’s appeal to the travelling executive, who demands the very best in convenience.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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