Portable and affordable, but terrible keyboard
Toshiba's Portégé range of business laptops is renowned for their market-leading usability and portability, and the Satellite R630 is a consumer take on a Portégé legend – the Toshiba R700. By in large it is very successful, but there are a few issues with usability.
Nevertheless, Portability is exceptional, and the 398 minute battery life will beat most other ultraportable laptops, if not netbooks. That Toshiba has managed to squeeze so much into such as tiny chassis is impressive, and the 1.5kg Satellite R630 will be no problem to carry around all day long.
Despite its diminutive size and shape the chassis is built from magnesium and is surprisingly strong, providing good protection for the internal components on the road.
Toshiba R630: Screen and keyboard
The Satellite R630’s 13.3-inch screen features a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution but is slightly underwhelming, and can't match the likes of the Apple MacBook Air or the excelelnt Sony VAIO VPCZ13M9E/B for quality.
Similarly the keyboard doesn't pass muster, providing an irritatingly spongy action which makes typing for long periods something of a chore. Also, the keys are cut from a slippery plastic and keeping a good purchase on them is surprisingly hard.
Despite the (relatively) low price point the Toshiba Satellite R630 boasts a very powerful Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of DDR3 memory – the latest, fastest and most resource light technology. As a result performance is extremely flexible, letting you do everything from word processing to intensive image rendering at the same time with ease.
It is worth nothing that the Satellite R630 – largely thanks to the powerful components aforementioned – can get uncomfortably hot during use.
The same can't be said for graphical power, and the Satellite R630’s integrated Intel chip offers basic performance that rules out gaming and any other heavy multimedia work instantly. Nevertheless, there's enough punch for entry-level video editing and watching DVDs or video on the internet.
Toshiba R630: Storage and connections
A 320GB hard drive provides more than enough space for large quantities of data, but not as much future proofing as we’d like, and if you hoard music, movies and holiday snaps you’re going to need to upgrade the hard drive in a year or so.
A healthy number of ports include an eSATA interface for transferring data rapidly to an external compatible device, such as a hard drive, and both VGA and HDMI video out for hooking up the Satellite R630 to an external display in the office, or TV at home.
It's hard to knock the Toshiba Satellite R630 considering the value for money on offer, and those after latest generation everyday performance and portability will struggle to do better.
Toshiba Satellite R630 launch date: Out now, link Toshiba
Toshiba Satellite R630 price: Around £749
Toshiba Sateillie R630 Specifications
- OS: Win 7 Home Premium
- Screen: 13.3-inch, 1366 x 768
- Processor: Intel 2.53GHz Core i5 460M
- Graphics: Intel GMA HD
- Memory: 4GB Ram
- Storage: 320Gb
- Connections: 3x USB, eSATA, VGA, HDMI, card reader, N Wi-Fi, gigabit ethernet, Bluetooth 2.1
- Optical drive:DVD-RW
- Battery tested: 398mins
- Dimensions/Weight: 316x227x18mm/Weight 1.5kg