Mobile01 News has published a very in-depth review of the Toshiba Portege R500. The model they reviewed is the PPR50T-03302W, that comes without an optical drive (allowing it to weigh in at just over two pounds) – the PPR50T-03R02W comes with an optical drive and weighs slightly more. Either way, it’s pretty amazing considering it has a 12″ widescreen display.
They have some great photos of the R500, showing the display from the side, illustrating just how thin and light and it is. They mentioned the lack of an Express Card slot and the cost of the machine as two of the drawbacks, and these are complaints that others have expressed elsewhere, however at this size, it becomes difficult to include expansion slots (especially when Bluetooth and USB devices have become so prevalent) and in my view, once you start getting below three pounds, with a display of that size, you will find it very hard to find what I would call a “budget” ultraportable laptop. One of the biggest ways they cut the weight down is moving to a Magnesium Alloy (or in Sony’s case, Carbon Fiber) chassis, and that gets expensive.