When documentary filmmaker and traveller Petr Horký embarked on a journey to the North Pole, he didn't just need his survival skills to cross 150km of dangerous terrain.
In March 2008, Petr Horký and Miroslav Jakes set out for the North Pole to explore the effects of climate change in the Arctic. Having spent the last 12 years making documentaries from various dangerous locations across the world, Petr is used to working in extremely challenging conditions.
However, the expedition to the North Pole was one of the toughest yet. Travelling on foot across acres of snow and thin ice, whilst enduring minus 45° temperatures, the team had to prepare themselves mentally and physically for the challenge as well as making sure their equipment was portable enough to carry and that it would be able to withstand the tough conditions.
The Toshiba Portégé R500 ultraportable laptop was chosen for the expedition and used to store the vital information captured during the trek.
With a weight limit of just 65kg per person, the team had to carefully select what equipment they took, as they trekked the 150km to the northernmost point of the Earth.
Boasting the world's lightest frame (at only 779g), the Portégé R500 was the ideal laptop for the trip. In such an environment, being easily portable is essential. "If you're carrying everything by yourself, you need to count every kilo – the weight of the Portégé R500 was the first advantage," says Petr.
The Portégé R500 is designed with portability in mind. Not only did Petr need a lightweight laptop, he needed one that could also withstand the elements.
At one point during the journey, Petr fell crossing a toros, a large lump of ice, landing on his backpack containing the R500.
"I suspected the laptop would be broken," he explains. "However, the R500 remained fully functional."
With only two slight cracks on the chassis, Petr was able to carry on using the laptop for the rest of the journey.
During their trek, Petr and Miroslav were tackling some of the harshest conditions on the planet, including dangerously low temperatures of around minus 45°. In this kind of environment it is vital to have reliable equipment that can handle the extremes of the weather.
Again, the Portégé R500 stood up to the job, allowing the team to document the geographical changes in the area through a record of images and a voice diary. Video footage was also captured on the expedition using the Toshiba Gigashot high definition camcorder.
"The minus 45° temperatures can be harsh – even my Vodka was partly frozen!" Petr explains. "You need to work with electronic equipment that won't fail and with its SSD memory, the Portégé R500 was the ideal candidate."
The R500 uses an innovative solid state drive (SSD) – unlike a hard disk drive it has no moving parts. The SSD also meant the R500 was more economical with energy consumption. "With just two batteries I was downloading my photos even on The Pole."
Not content with having reached the North Pole, Petr is already planning his next adventure ¬to cross Greenland and to reach the South Pole from the coast, where once again he plans to use the Toshiba Portégé R500.