Toshiba Tecra R840 review

Toshiba has launched something of an oddity into the laptop market with its new Tecra R840-12F – a thin and light laptop with a larger-than-usual 14in screen. But will that be enough to make it stand out from the competition? Tom Morgan finds out.

Surprisingly, battery life doesn't suffer from the high performance hardware; the R840 managed a lengthy eight and a half hours in our light-use battery test, so you should be able to get through an entire working day without having to find a power socket.

In everyday use, we had no problems typing on the spacious keyboard; its wide, flat keys had relatively short travel times making them feel incredibly responsive although the action was a touch too springy. Each key has a slightly glossy finish that some may find a little slippery, but we quickly adjusted to it. Understandably, there's no room for a full-size keyboard and a separate number pad in a 14in chassis, but this isn't a huge loss as many laptop keyboards with number pads tend to be a little cramped.

The keyboard is comfortable to use, but the tip of the touchstick can sometimes come off making it easy to lose.

The keyboard is comfortable to use, but the tip of the touchstick can sometimes come off making it easy to lose.

We appreciated the large touchpad; the textured plastic finish creates very little friction so finger movements were smooth and the cursor felt responsive. The two buttons directly below it felt slightly stiff, but again had very springy actions. The R840 also includes a second set of mouse buttons, to be used with the blue touchstick set into the keyboard. Some will find this useful, but there's a button that can disable them for those that prefer to use the touchpad or a USB mouse. A fingerprint reader has been squeezed between the bottom two touchpad buttons, while there are plenty of other business features that are worth keeping in mind.

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