Portege R500 Series: A Wafer-Thin Wonder

My favorite Monty Python movie is the “Meaning of Life,” where those British comedic masters pick apart every aspect of existence from cradle to grave. One of the best scenes is the ginormous man in the restaurant who eats so much he explodes. The last piece of food that did the trick was the after-dinner mint-which the waiter convinces the man to have by telling him its only “wafer thin.” 

I bring the mint because of these new Portege R500 Series notebooks, which at 1.72 pounds are in the wafer-thin category. In fact, with no optical drive installed, a 3-cell battery, and 64GB solid state drive, they are the lightest 12.1 inch notebooks in existence. At slightly heavier-2.4 pounds-with a DVD-SuperMulti Drive in it, the Portege is still the lightest of its kind.

We’ve covered ultraportable laptops before, and like those heftier ones before it, the Portege makes you wonder how many moving parts can be fit in such a lithe frame. But the bottom line model (the S5001X) features an Intel Core 2 Duo U7600 (1.2GHz) and 1024MB of memory. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, PC Card slots (including Type II), PC Express Slot, Media Port, docking connections, and iLINK all guarantee accessibility. The finger print reader and security cable lock slot ensure security. That starts at $1,999.

The next model up (the S5002) features better battery life and Windows Vista. The third model in the lineup (the S5003) is the world-record holder for weight with its 64GB solid state drive. And the top of the line (the S5004 at $2,999) features 2+GB of RAM and the DVD burner.

These Portege will not make your desktop obsolete of course, but they aren’t made for that. They are made to ease the burden of executive assistants who have to carry this around for their bosses, who then will use the Portege on their many business trips to record brilliant thoughts, connect with subordinates and board members, study spreadsheets and prepare PowerPoints for client meetings.

It may be wafer thin. But don’t underestimate the power of the Portege to satisfy the biggest men in your corporate hierarchy.

Related articles:

Toshiba Portege S100

Satellite P100-ST9742

OLPC Notebook Price Increases

By Matthew Brodsky – Laptopical

Monday, October 01, 2007