Toshiba is a trusted name when it comes to business laptops, and it's not hard to see why. Its range has machines to suit every need, from ludicrous gaming rigs to thin, light and ground-breaking ultra-portables. The Tecra R840 we're looking is closer to the latter than the former, but this machine is designed to cope with anything you throw at it.
Our review sample does this by featuring an Intel Core i7 processor. There is also a USB 3.0 connection on the right of the machine and a pair of USB 2.0 sockets on the left (one of which is shared with an eSATA socket). DisplayPort and VGA sockets should provide all the video outputs you're likely to need, although an adaptor will be needed for HDMI connectivity.
The R840 will also be able to charge or power any USB devices, even when the laptop itself is off. The option for this is managed through Windows, and the laptop will ask you about it when you plug in your first USB device.
The machine is also smart enough to know when its own battery is running too low to power another device, and a user-defined limit can be set at which point it stops powering USB devices until it is turned back on.
Physically, the Toshiba is a very nice looking computer. It's slim and reasonably light and looks smart and professional. It's unlikly to get the kind of admiring glances given to the Macbook Air, but this is a laptop designed to be small and powerful.
Construction is fairly solid, but give the keyboard a push and you can see the case bow in response. This didn't affect the laptop in regular use, but it does set it apart from some of Lenovo's more solid machines and Apple's delightful metal beasts. We do like the island keys, and typing on this laptop is very pleasant.