Toshiba Tecra R840 (S8430) Review

Now that Toshiba has updated and redesigned all of its business notebooks to look more like the Portege line, the once heavy Tecra is now slimmer and more elegant. R840 Tecra Sports i5 second generation processor power, AMD Radeon, and offers strong battery life for a business notebook 14 inches.
However, priced at $ 1,279 depending on configuration (from U.S. $ 889), how much value are you really getting? Read on to find out.

The shape and curves of the new Toshiba Tecra now resemble their Portege notebooks. Black graphite cover - which has a chrome Toshiba logo in the center - sports a ribbed texture that helps avoid fingerprints spots unattractive. Like the Tecra Portege R840 has hinged chrome-colored plastic, which are highlighted in black cover all the materials and the bezel. As the lid, the palm is based have a striated pattern.

At 13.4 x 9.4 x 0.8-1.1 inches, the new design is thinner than the Tecra A11 (1. 3 inches thick at its thinnest point) were revised last year. The R840 is also more compact than the Dell Latitude E6420 (13.9 x 10.3 x 1.3 inches) and the Fujitsu S751 (13.4 x 9.7 x 1.4 inches) and is lighter than two things: The R840 weighs only 4.6 pounds compared to the Dell E6420 strong 6.2 pounds (with a nine-cell battery) and the S751's 5.4 pounds.

The R840 has features of durability. It includes a spill-resistant keyboard, a chassis reinforced glass fiber, a hard drive accelerometer, and a slot for security cable reinforced security. However, the design of the Dell Latitude E6420 is tri-metal and the HP EliteBook 8460p DuraCase are more resistant.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The framework of reinforced fiberglass provides the R840 is a bit inward, spill-resistant keyboard, a strong feeling. Thanks to the spacious island-style layout, the keyboard was responsive. However, the polished surface and keys are less comfortable writing in this laptop that business notebooks with slightly curved keys (like ThinkPad). On the right side of the keyboard are dedicated buttons to activate the software eco Toshiba utilities and a presentation to extend or mirror your desktop screen when connecting a projector.

The 3.4 x 1.9-inch touchpad of Toshiba R840 offers a larger contact area that both the Fujitsu S751 (2.5 x 1.6 inches) and the Dell E4260 (3.1 x 1.8 inches). Its matte plastic surface is smooth, and a pinch to zoom and scroll with two fingers gestures worked well. A fingerprint reader is located between a pair of discrete buttons, chrome mouse below the touchpad, but do not interfere with our mouse.

The R840 is multitouch touchpad using software designed by the Alpes-mail. That software enabled us to establish customized touch controls on the mouse settings in Control Panel. For example, you can play any of the four corners of the touch screen to perform actions such as cut and paste or open Windows Explorer. Other gestures include scrolling welcome move (up or down pages by moving your finger in circles on the touch screen) and the inertial displacement, in which strong shock travel long distances on a page. You do not get the gestures of three or four fingers to provide Synaptics touchpad.
Pointing Stick

To navigate more nuanced, the R840 comes with a pointing device between the keys G and H. R840 blue pointer is smaller than we would like and covered with a material that is a bit rough. Trackpoints prefer the ThinkPad line. However, the Tecra was quite accurate and more comfortable to use than the Dell E6420, whose bottom is below the level of the keys around and was slippery during use.
Screen and audio

The 14-inch LED display on the R840 offers a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Next to the HP EliteBook 8460p, panel mate the R840 from Toshiba delivers a brighter image. In addition, the viewing angles are comfortably wide. We noticed black spots at about 120 degrees to the right and left just enough room for three people to see the video. However, a 720p movie trailer on YouTube Hanna looked a bit washed out, low contrast.

Do not expect great sound out of the R840 Tecra. While the two speakers produced plenty of volume when streaming a track from The Strokes in Slacker, the audio was metallic and flat. However, the dialogue of the videos on CNN.com came through loud and clear.
Ports and webcam

On the right side of the R840 Tecra is a tray-loading DVD burner, an ExpressCard 34 slot, 6-in-1 memory card reader, USB 3.0 port, an Ethernet connector and a slot for cable reinforced security at the hinge. A VGA port, DisplayPort, USB / eSATA, USB 2.0 and audio jacks for headphones and a microphone on the left side line. That's a total of three USB ports, but both the Dell Latitude E6420 and Fujitsu S751 offers four. The Dell also comes with an HDMI port.

Equipped with a standard definition camera, the R840 Tecra captured images with accurate colors, but only in what detail. A Skype call was acceptable under the fluorescent lights of the office, but a call from a cafe in dim light seemed even better, especially when the night mode activated camera Toshiba Web applications. This software also allows us to adjust the brightness, contrast, gamma, hue, saturation and sharpness, and add effects such as depth filters and video frames.

Callers reported that the microphone Toshiba R840 took our voice very well without any distortion. Unfortunately, the sensing device also recorded background noise such as background music in the cafeteria of the noise and traffic from a nearby window in our office, it forces us to relocate a few feet away.

As a safety feature, customers can use Toshiba's facial recognition software webcam R840 to help lock and unlock the laptop. However, it took several attempts to get the software to accurately record and we face in the system log.

For a thin laptop, the R840 is very good to maintain freshness. After a Hulu streamed for 15 minutes at full screen, the touchpad is 86 degrees Fahrenheit, the keyboard (between the keys G and H) was only 88 degrees, and the bottom of the laptop reached 94, the temperatures are getting one below our threshold of discomfort from heat (95 degrees). hottest spot of the notebook was the area on the left side vent, which rose to 108 degrees. Heat from hot vent our return after an hour of couch-surfing, so users might want to keep the R840 on a desk for extended wear.


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