Toshiba's Tecra range strikes a fine balance between consumer and business laptops. The Tecra R840-11E offers tons of business features and great performance in a light and slim body, but at a price that isn't out of grasp for the average consumer.
The first of the business features is a built-in fingerprint scanner wedged between the mouse buttons. You can use this to log on to your laptop, which saves the hassle of remembering complex passwords.
An ExpressCard slot allows you to add peripherals, such as graphics cards, TV Tuner cards and extra storage, while an eSATA port can be used to back up your files to an external hard drive.
DisplayPort and VGA ports mean you can hook up an external monitor or projector. You can even connect wirelessly with compatible televisions.
Your data will be protected from theft by the aforementioned fingerprint scanner, but it's also protected against accidental damage by the hard drive. If the drive detects an unexpected motion (for example, the laptop plummeting off a desk), it will reset itself. This lowers the risk of failure on impact.
While 320GB of storage space isn't a lot, it should still suit most users who simply want to carry their important files around, as well as a modest collection of songs and photos.
More impressive is the fact that Toshiba has squeezed in a DVD drive. Not a bad effort, considering the slender body measures just 31mm at its thickest point and weighs a modest 2.1kg. With its compact chassis, it fits with ease into most bags.
However, while the Tecra may be slim and light, we weren't exactly excited by the plain black design. The frame and lid have a bevelled plastic texture, which does a great job of hiding fingerprints and scuff marks, but isn't visually appealing. Thankfully there isn't much flex, and the lid is particularly solid.