Toshiba Portégé Z830 review

2 Dec 2011

Toshiba delivers the first business-ready Ultrabook, and despite a few niggles it’s a serious contender

Price when reviewed: 
1,088(£1088 inc VAT)
5

Most manufacturers are confidently aiming their Ultrabooks at the consumer market, but Toshiba’s Portégé Z830 bucks the trend. Squeezing business-friendly features into a millimetres-thick chassis, this is the executive Ultrabook that every executive has been waiting for.

It’s no surprise to find that the Portégé Z830 is slim and light – such attributes are the very currency of the Ultrabook – but Toshiba has done a sterling job with the design. Weighing in at just 1.09kg, the Toshiba is disconcertingly light, even by the standards of its peers. And yet, somehow, it still manages to feel solid enough to inspire confidence. The base barely flexes at all, and while the lid is altogether more malleable, you have to prod viciously on it before any pressure impinges on the delicate LCD panel within.

Toshiba Portégé Z830 - front

Visually, it’s less successful. Where other Ultrabooks trade on their striking good looks, the Toshiba’s dark grey chassis looks rather ordinary. What it lacks in style, however, it more than makes up for with sheer practicality. You’ll find a USB 3 port on its right flank; an SD card reader, headphone and microphone sockets on its left. It crams even more along its rear edge, adding two USB 2 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, D-SUB and HDMI.

With a fingerprint reader nestling between the two touchpad buttons, and a TPM 1.2 module inside, security is also top of the Portégé Z830’s priorities. Wireless connectivity is good, too, stretching to dual-band 802.11n and Bluetooth 3, but the current model lacks 3G. Thankfully, Toshiba has confirmed that there's room in the chassis for future models to accommodate 3G.

Toshiba Portégé Z830 - rear

This, the top-of-the-range model, has precious little lacking elsewhere. It comes with a 1.7Ghz Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and the Intel QM67 chipset throws in vPro support for good measure. It all makes for a seriously nippy machine. Applications spring into view within seconds, and the low-voltage processor ploughs through even intense video editing without breaking a sweat.

Battery life is great – the Toshiba’s non user-replaceable battery lasted 8hrs 3mins in our light usage battery test – but the Core i5 processor is more than capable of stepping up a gear. With a result of 0.6 in our Real World Benchmarks, the Portégé Z830 is a featherweight that packs a mighty punch. So mighty, in fact, that we found the area above the keyboard and around the rear cooling vent getting rather warm with extended use. Squeezing this much power into such a dainty slice does, after all, have its downsides.

Details

Price ex VAT £907
Price inc VAT £1,088
Overall rating 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5
Performance 5

Warranty

Warranty 1yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 316 x 227 x 16mm (WDH)
Weight 1.090kg
Travelling weight 1.4kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i5-2557M
Motherboard chipset Intel QM67 Express
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 1

Screen and video

Screen size 13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics 3000
Graphics card RAM N/A
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 128GB
Spindle speed N/A
Internal disk interface SATA/600
Optical disc technology N/A
Optical drive N/A
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 2
FireWire ports 0
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader no
MMC (multimedia card) reader no
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.3mp
TPM yes
Fingerprint reader yes
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 8hr 3min
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.60
Responsiveness score 0.72
Media score 0.62
Multitasking score 0.45

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Recovery partition
Software supplied N/A