The Satellite R630-141 is one of the best ultra-portables you can buy. Offering stunning power and mobility at a fairly low price, we would be more than happy to have one in our bag next time we hit the road.
Incredible battery life
Not the best graphics abilities
no office software
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While Toshiba's Satellite range comprises its consumer laptops, the Satellite R630-141 (£764 inc. VAT) takes its design entirely from Toshiba's corporate Portégé R700 line. Offering high-powered mobility, it is an absolutely fantastic choice for the frequent traveller.
Weighing just 1.4kg, this 13.3-inch this laptop is one of the smallest and lightest machines in this category. The sleek chassis is eminently portable and easy to carry during the day, while the 398-minute battery life vastly beats its rivals here to keep you working for nearly seven hours.
Finished in brushed magnesium alloy, the chassis combines black and gun-metal colour schemes that add an eye-catching yet understated look. The tough plastics prove suitably resilient to scratches and general damage, although we found they quickly attract smudges.
Despite its small dimensions, a large and comfortable isolation-style keyboard is in place. The keys move smoothly and quietly, making long-term use comfortable.
Although the 13.3-inch screen is the smallest in this group, it uses the same resolution as the larger Asus U53Jc Bamboo and HP Envy 14 to deliver a very detailed image. The bright panel provides strong colour and contrast and even the glossy Super-TFT coating hides reflections surprisingly well.
Impressively for such a small laptop, the Toshiba uses the same Intel Core i5 processor as the huge Sony Vaio VPCEC3S0E/WI in this group test. Even more impressively, it manages to outperform the Asus U53Jc Bamboo, HP Envy 14 and the Sony Vaio VPCEC3S0E/WI, speeding through our benchmark tests with unexpected speed and ease.
Graphics are inevitably less powerful, but remain capable enough for basic use. Due to the confines of the small chassis, an integrated Intel graphics card is in place, and it delivers enough power to run high-definition (HD) video and even allow a bit of light media-editing work.
Unusually for such a small laptop at this comparatively low price, an integrated DVD rewriter has been fitted for creating your own discs as you travel. Complimenting the suitably capacious 320GB hard drive, it provides the laptop with ample storage capabilities for a busy life on the move.
Adding final value to this machine is its software package. While there is no office software included, you get market-leading tools for internet security, data backup and disc creation, among others.
While the Satellite R630-141 is beaten by the stronger specification and graphics of the Asus U53Jc Bamboo and Sony Vaio VPCEC3S0E/WI, this is still one of the best ultra-portables you can buy. Offering stunning power and mobility at a fairly low price, we would be more than happy to have one in our bag next time we hit the road.