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Toshiba Portégé R700: 13-inch Screen, DVD drive, and Three Pounds

Toshiba may not have an enormous share of the North American notebook market, but it has often distinguished itself with fine engineering and design. The company may be raising eyebrows again with its new Portégé R700 ultraportable notebook, which the company is claiming is the world’s lightest notebook with a 13.3-inch display and an integrated DVD drive.

“The Portégé R700 delivers the ultimate mobile experience at breakthrough prices that businesses have been waiting for, providing both performance and battery life within an extremely thin and light, yet durable form factor without compromising key features such as an integrated DVD drive,” said Toshiba America Information Systems product development VP Carl Pinto, in a statement.

The Portégé R700 has a starting weight of just three pounds, and measures just one inch thick, and sports a new Airflow Cooling Technology co-developed by Toshiba and Intel that uses directed air streams to cool heat-generating components so the systems can use ful-powered Intel Core processors; the R700s also feature magnesium alloy casing with a honeycomb rib design incorporated into the palm rests and base to increase rigidity without adding weight.

The Portégé R700s will be available with Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors and Windows 7 Professional (XP downgrades available). The units sport an HD 1,366 by 768-pixel LED-backlit display, 4 MB of RAM, an ExpressCard slot, an eSATA/USB combo port, as well as an integrated DVD±RW drive and webcam; folks can also dock with a port replicator for connecting up more desktop peripherals. The R700 will ship with a six-cell battery that should give up to 8.5 hours of use; although an optional 9-cell battery can kick that all the way up to 12.5 hours.

A range of hard drive and SSD storage options wll be available. Configurations aimed at business users will start at $999 for a Core i3-based unit, and run up to starting prices of $1,599 for a Core i7 system with an SSD. The systems are available today through Toshiba’s Preferred PArtner Program resellers as well as from Toshiba’s Web site.

Toshiba also plans to make a consumer version available (the Portégé R705) via Best Buy, with a Core i3 processor, 4 GB of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive, and a blue casing—but no ExpressCard slot or port replicator options. Toshiba hasn’t revealed starting prices, but the unit should go on sale June 27, and it will also be with Intel Wireless Display for connecting to a big-screen HDTV without cables.

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