Thanks to its gleaming white gloss finish, it’s difficult to ignore Toshiba’s Portégé M800. With accentuated curves and a chassis clad in white pinstripes, it has the potential to look horribly tacky.
It doesn’t, though, and this exterior conceals a particularly well-constructed laptop. The lid is just a touch too pliant, but the flex-free base makes up for it.
The build quality doesn’t come at the expense of heft either; at 2.09kg, the Toshiba is far from lightweight, but it’s still easily slung in a bag when required.
And whether you’re on the move or sat at a desk, the Toshiba is a comfortable companion. The fine, glossy display might lack a little brightness, but the colour reproduction and good contrast is ample reward.
The flex in the keyboard backing threatens to spoil the party, but the positive break at the end of each keystroke and light action make up for it.
The specification is good – especially given the price. An Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 sits alongside 4GB of DDR2 memory, and the 320GB hard disk ably swallows video and music files. Performance is a little behind similar laptops, but 1.13 is still snappy enough for most tasks. You can forget gaming, though.
The Intel GMA X4500MHD stumbled through our lowest Crysis benchmark at a rate of just 6fps. The 3700mAh battery cripples the M800’s stamina, too. Just short of three hours in light use puts the Toshiba well behind the rest of the pack.
It’s a shame because the Toshiba has much to offer.
Luxuries such as FireWire, eSATA and HDMI are present and correct, and there’s even a fingerprint reader. Plus, in a rarity for a laptop, the M800 is blessed with a fine pair of speakers.
But the Toshiba’s greatest problem is the competition. With the likes of Lenovo ThinkPad X200 proving cheaper and better in almost every regard, it just doesn’t do enough.
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