Microsoft and Toshiba Announce the Portege R400

Protege R400

The Portege R400 is one sexy looking laptop (if you can say that about a billion or so transistors). It looks to of taken a fair bit of style ideas from the Mac (only available in gloss black or white) and is the ideal portable companion for Windows Vista (which also seems to of “borrowed” a few ideas from the Mac world).

The R400 is aimed at the so called I-Worker, technological leaders that have grown up in the notebook age. One of Microsoft’s earlier aims was to have a computer on ever desk (which it succeeded in big time many moons ago) now it’s going for MP Cubed, a Mobile PC Per Person. The Portege is a business PC but has also offers dual functionality (thanks to Vista) so that it’s at home (excuse the pun) when being used for work or recreation.

Some of the nice new features of the Portege include:

– Wireless Port replication. This looked really cool, simply move the notebook within 5 meters of the docking station and the display is seamlessly duplicated on the desktop screen, along with fully functional keyboard and remote USB ports. It uses Ultra Wide Band technology (to be standized later this year) so even full screen HD video was transmitted without any noticeable lag.

– Active notification. Along the side of the R400 is a 256×16 dot matrix display. This is used to display important information in real time which is clearly visible when the laptop is closed, so things like email notification, meeting reminders and probably horoscopes are accessible whilst on the move. What would be really cool is if they could extend this technology to display active content notification on other devices, as when I’m carrying my laptop about it’s normally a bag.

-Ultra portable and ready to go. The Portege did look exceedingly slim and offered a feature I’d of really benefited from this week, ultra fast boot time. With the help of Vista the Protege can be ready to use in under 2 seconds (from hibernation not a cold boot).

The Portege is due to be available around the end of March (though red tape ad standards may delay that), there is no set in stone price as yet but expect it to be in the region of 3000 euros.

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