The Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM81A-08S01S) is a fast and portable 13.3in laptop. It also has a bright pink chassis. While we aren't fans of the notebook's colour, people looking for a design that stands out may enjoy it.
We're used to seeing brands like HP experimenting with fresh notebook art and colours in laptops like the HP Vivienne Tam Special Edition Notebook PC, but the most of Toshiba's notebook designs tend to be businesslike.
The Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM81A-08S01S) laptop throws boardroom sensibilities out the window with what the company calls a Sakura Pink colour scheme. While it uses the same chassis and has similar specifications to the older Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM80A-03H009), this bright pink notebook will raise eyebrows in any workplace — just as it did here.
Most of the PC World staff found the colour scheme to be gaudy, but it'll boil down to your personal preferences and whether or not you enjoy being the centre of attention. Every time we left this laptop out in the open, passers-by would stop to comment on it. If you're a business user that wants a laptop that doesn't stick out of the crowd like a sore thumb, Toshiba also offers a pale grey version.
The Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM81A-08S01S) is easy to carry round; it measures 314(L)x230(W)x28(H)mm and weighs 2kg. The 13.3in screen with its native resolution of 1280x800 is large enough to work on but small enough to make transporting the notebook simple.
Laptops in Toshiba's M800 line-up are usually excellent, with both the Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM80A-01900P) and the Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM80A-03H009) receiving four out of five stars when reviewed.
The Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM81A-08S01S) doesn't let the team down, using an 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor, 4GB of DDR2 RAM and a 320GB hard drive that spins at 5400rpm to provide excellent speed. Although the default 32-bit Windows Vista operating system doesn't support more than 3GB of RAM, Toshiba has included the 64-bit version of the OS on the recovery partition, which can use the full 4GB of RAM.
The Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM81A-08S01S)'s speed was shown in our WorldBench 6 test score of 93, which indicates an ability to perform basic office tasks and image editing with ease. Even hardware-intensive tasks, such as transcoding video files, are easy to do. The CPU's strength was demonstrated by our iTunes MP3 encoding test, which converts 53min of WAV files into MP3 files. The Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM81A-08S01S) laptop completed the task in 1min 13sec, which is an excellent time. The notebook completed its Blender 3D image rendering test in just 1min 14sec.
The Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM81A-08S01S) notebook uses a mobile Intel GMA 4500M integrated graphics card. Unfortunately its performance is underwhelming, as shown by our 3DMark06 test score of 1019. This means that older games like Half Life 2 will run slowly and modern games like Fallout 3 won't stand a chance.
Integrated Bluetooth 2.1 and 802.11b/g/n wireless connectivity are provided, and there is also a Gigabit Ethernet port for wired networking.
The Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM81A-08S01S) has three USB 2.0 Sleep-and-Charge ports that can charge USB-connected devices even if laptop is switched off. One of these USB ports doubles as an eSATA port. An ExpressCards/54 slot is provided, as is a 5-in-1 card reader (SD, MS, MSPro, MMC, xD) — which is good news if you take lots of photos and want to use the laptop to store them. A DVD-RW drive sits on the right side of the laptop.
In our DVD rundown test, the Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM81A-08S01S) lasted 1hr 34min, which is about average for a notebook this size.
If you don't mind the extra attention and love pink, the Toshiba Portege M800 (PPM81A-08S01S) is a solid performer that is worth a look.