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Toshiba Unveils SSD Notebook (with An Acceptable Price Tag)


Irvine (CA) - There is no doubt that most road warriors are looking to notebooks with solid state disk drives today, hoping that the technology will deliver gains and add battery time. The downside, of course, is that these SSD notebooks are expensive. That does not necessarily change with Toshiba’s Portégé R500-S5007V, but, for the very first time, this device does not come with a price tag that is so outrageous that will make you question the technology altogether.

We won’t tease you. Here’s the price of the Portégé: $2999 MSRP. Yes, it is not cheap, but the price includes a 128 GB solid state disk drives, which is, in terms of capacity, competitive with many hard drive-based (mainstream) notebooks out there. And while it depends on your checking account whether you can afford such a notebook or not, we tend to say that the Portégé looks like a bargain in today’s notebook world. Alienware only offers 64 GB SSD capacities right now (a $700 option), Apple asks for its admittedly more stylish MacBook Air with a 64 GB SSD $3100 and Lenovo’s Thinkpad X300 will cost at least $2850 with a 64 GB SSD.

Besides the big standard SSD, the 12.1" Portégé R500-S5007V is the first notebook to ship with a super-thin 7 mm DVD drive. Toshiba said that the notebook is only 0.77" thick and uses a motherboard that is only one third the size of what is typically used in 15.4" notebooks today. The whole laptop weighs just 1.72 pounds.

Other features include an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor U7700 (1.33 GHz), 2 GB of memory, 1280x800 pixel screen resolution and Intel’s GMA950 integrated graphics chipset.

Toshiba also offers the 500 model without SSD. Equipped with a 160 GB hard drive, the notebook is available from $2100.