Toshiba's Tecra R10 is a solid business laptop with plenty of performance and all the features a mobile user might need. While the high-end model covered here has 4GB RAM and a Flash hard disk, this specification is a steep price hike over the £899 of the entry-level model. Battery life is also short for working away from mains power for any time.
Decent 14.1in screen; comprehensive specification for business.
Flash SSD version costly; relatively low battery life.
£1,499 (as reviewed)
Toshiba's Tecra R10 is a mainstream business laptop offering a comprehensive set of features plus a decent sized display, all while keeping the weight down to a reasonable level.
Available since late 2008, the Tecra R10 is a somewhat unremarkable looking laptop, but comes with an ample specification for running business applications. It is also Toshiba's first laptop with a 14.1in wide-screen display to weigh in at less than 2kg - although only just.
This makes the Tecra attractive as a mainstream business client, but our evaluation unit features a Flash solid state drive (SSD) that inflates the purchase price considerably compared with other models in the Tecra R10 line-up. Buyers should consider whether they really do need that Flash drive.
We looked at the top end Tecra R10-114, which is based on Intel's vPro platform with a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo SP9400 processor, 4GB of memory (up to 8GB can be fitted), a Toshiba 128GB Flash SSD and DVD Super Multi drive. As well as having more memory than other Tecra R10 configurations, this model is the only one in the line-up with a built-in HSDPA modem for connectivity while out on the road.
Our first impressions of the Tecra is that it is quite light at 1.97kg for a system of its size, although it is beaten in the thin-and-light stakes by Lenovo's ThinkPad X300 and X301 models which weigh about half a kilo less but have slightly smaller 13.3in screens.
The Tecra also felt sturdy enough to last, but we wondered again why Toshiba settled on a silver colour scheme. As noted in an earlier review of the Portégé R600, we found this looks rather cheap and nasty instead of giving an impression of corporate elegance, but such things are a matter of personal taste.
We found the Tecra R10 comfortable to use while on your lap, although one slight niggle is that the keyboard is offset slightly to one side by a thin strip holding the power switch and two buttons for Toshiba Assist and presentation mode, instead of positioned centrally. The keyboard is otherwise comfortable for typing on, with full-sized keys, except for the function keys and arrow (cursor) keys.
The laptop's display can be comfortably viewed when the system is on your lap or placed on a desktop, and we found the screen gave a nice clear image at it native resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels.
Toshiba ships the Tecra R10 with Windows Vista Business as standard, and this operating system comes with its own performance measurement tool, the Windows Experience Index. Under this, the Tecra achieved a score of 3.8, but this was pegged back by the system's low score for 3D gaming graphics due to the integrated functions in its Intel chipset. For each of memory, graphics and hard disk performance, the Tecra scored over 5, where 5.9 is the maximum.