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Toshiba Portege Z830 13.3″ Ultrabook Laptop Review – Toshiba Creates One Amazing SSD Ultrabook!

REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL WORDS

Toshiba, Samsung, Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, Apple and HP are all competing for a new marketplace that is about to take the laptop industry by storm.  Ultrabooks are not only being introduced at sub $1000 prices, but also, most contain solid state drives which offers the consumer a significantly faster computing experience. Whereas only three years ago premium laptops such as the Dell M1330 were being sold for as high as $3500, premium laptops that are faster and less than half the weight are NOW available for half the price.

At present, there are three competing ultraportable laptops sitting on our test bench and all but one available today have been examined at some point in the past few months.

Each has its own qualities and will appeal to its own audience, however, our goal was to find the absolute best system for our needs without favorites.

We have found that, and then some in the Toshiba Z830 Ultrabook, albeit it with our supercharged SATA 3 ‘SandForce Driven’ companion.  This laptop seems to overtake the crowd in just about every area.  It can only be described as ‘ultraslim’ and comparisons to other Ultrabooks show it to be as much as 1/2 lb lighter.

Unlike the rest, Toshiba Z Series Ultrabooks have found a way to keep all of the ports that one might see in a typical laptop.  We have the SD card slot, mic/headphone jacks, VGA port, power, HDMI, two USB 2.0 ports, ethernet plug in and then a USB 3.0 port on the right side to close things off.

Add to that the fact that EVERY system is shipped with a 128GB Toshiba SSD and they can be configured with several upgrades all the way up to this review unit which has the Intel Core i7 processor, 6GB RAM and Windows professional and Toshiba seems to have pressed all the right buttons since we can get the Satellite Z830/Portege Z835 well below $1000.

FINAL THOUGHTS

As much as the Toshiba Z830 is truly eye candy, it had to be capable of keeping up with our activities to be a part of our family.  It arrived last Friday.  We immediately configured it for our needs and headed out several hours down the road for a weekend meeting.  We arrived back at home base on Sunday, only to see me head out once again on Monday to which I now sit here on Wednesday in a hotel room typing away on the Z830.  I have given 3 presentations since Friday and can state first hand that the Z830 is truly ‘plugged in’.

Our selection of the Z830 seems to be the right choice, in that, it appears to be the most complete all around system available.  Last but not least, for me in any case, the system must be capable of easily fitting into my portfolio which eliminates the need for a laptop case.  Here’s a look at that once again! Click on the piks for a closeup…

Even as a website bought and paid for item, it wouldn’t be fair to deny the Toshiba Z830 with an award that it rightfully deserves!!!

IDEAS, THOUGHTS OR OPINIONS ON THE REVIEW??

TAKE IT TO THE THREADS!!!!

Our report today is going to take a close look at the newly released Toshiba Portege 13.3" Ultrabook, one of the smallest and lightest SSD contained laptop solutions to be released this year. We had previously reviewed the Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook in our search for the ultimate website laptop, however as stunning as the Series 9 was, it had an Achilles heel by way of a very weak wifi signal and we haven't received any notice of repair to date. OUR SEARCH Our search for the ultimate laptop first became evident at CES Las Vegas this past January as…

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  • Nandelbosc

    Can you try to boot with a Ubuntu Live CD and test the hardware? 😉

  • Taylor

    Looks really nice. Did you notice while sliding it into your portfolio it appears the screen or the partwhere it meets, is cracked, based on looking at the first picture. Also how does a 13.3 laptop fit into a 11″ portfolio?

    • Carl

      It is clearly cracked. That is not good.

      • I noticed that as well when I posted and enlarged the pik. It is the light and not cracked in any way shape or form. I have examined it a hundred times including just now again and I cannot replicate that shot. It is a perfectly smooth edge and sealed shut.

  • Nandelbosc

    I finally bought this ultrabook and installed Linux Mint 12. Works fantastic! http://www.linlap.com/wiki/toshiba+portege+z830-10f

    • RoditoreLeo

      That’s really good news! How is the battery life with linux mint?

  • Leyra

    Just bought this ultrabook (Portege Z830) 3 days ago. I’m truly satisfied with the overall performance, but what really dissapoint me is that the running battery life is only 3 hours, as opposed to what they claimed 5-7 hours. If I just ON the notebook without doing anything then i can get 6 hours. AND this is running with eco-mode being switch on.

  • tyti

    Is this laptop cover come in the box?

  • Vergotis

    I have been researching this and can’t find information regarding the warranty beyond it being 1-yr. Is it an international warranty? I live between Canada and Greece.

    • I can check with our Toshiba contacts and get back to you..

    • From Canada Toshiba Business Site:

      This Portege notebook comes with a three (3) year parts and labour Limited International Warranty. Note the original battery is warranted for one year from date of purchase. Pre-installed software is excluded from TCL standard limited warranty.

  • Guestorous12

    Matte or Glossy screen?

  • Beware the fan noise issue:

    http://www.google.com.au/search?q=toshiba+z830+fan+noise

    The fan noise issue appears not to affect all machines, so possibly a quality control issue. It’s barely noticeable in a room with lots of background noise (e.g. a busy computer store), but can be an irritating buzz that you don’t want or expect to hear if you’re in an otherwise quiet room.

    • Chrisduca

      I too have a loud fan, nice system except for the fan noise. The only thing really missing is built in broadband. All the ports are present so you do not have to carry several dongles, but now you have to carry a Mi-Fi and power for the Mi-fi since they do not last as long as the z830 does on battery. Otherwise GREAT System.

      • I dont know if it is the system configuration but I have very little fan noise and am starting to wonder if it could be the fact that I am running an i7 unlike most who are running different configurations. Is it possible they have to work harder and heat up quicker?

      • 234

        Just received the z830-s8302 with the i7, and the fan is loud. With music on, not a problem, but it is nice to work quietly at times, and the fan sound is more than just the air coming out – it has a sort of humming that is quite intrusive.

      • Appreciated. As much as the noise is null for me I did wonder about other i7 users.

  • Mayinje

    Do the come up with different colours and if so which colours are available

  • leo

    Hey guys
    Lightroom software is one of the most mysterious about the performance from the hardware, I was wondering if you had the opportunity to test lightroom on this Toshiba Z830 Runcore T50 6gb sata3 combination?
    Thanks.

  • Roe Steven

    Where did you get the sleeve for the laptop?

  • yyc403

    How does one compare 128GB SDD memory with old standard of XXXGB HDD memory?

    • I don’t quite understand but it wasn’t so long ago that the typical laptop came with 160GB HDD. The true comparison lies, however, in the incredible performance leap from the hard drive to the SSD as well as the significant start time reduction.

  • Sargent75

    The Asia model of this Z830 is kind of a let down where there is NO backlit keyboard. This clearly shows Japanese products are no longer competitive.

    Just compare Samsung LCD and Sony LCD. I will choose a Samsung anytime with their quality, price and features !

    They tell me it’s only available in the US ! Is the Sun in Asia brighter ?

    Toshiba can be sometimes very confusing, they can have more than two model number for the exactly the same product e.g. with the difference of just only the backlit keyboard !

  • Yu Qian

    hi, I got my Z830 last week. also T50 120G. but I have problem to install the windows 7 on the SSD under AHCI mode. always give me BSOD. make me wonder the SSD you test here have problem free of BSOD? my T50 have the firmware of 3.3.4, what you got in there. need your help to find out the problem here. thanks.

  • Tom

    I am having problem with the WiFi in my Z830. Even if I place it near the access point, the signal strength is very weak and if i need to connect it to and external monitor and I close the lid, there wont be any internet connection at all. I have done all the methods Toshiba support has asked me and also gave for servicing. Still no help…
    Other than this issue, the unit is really a great one

  • what’s your overall opinion on Toshiba Portégé Z835-P370 – Core i5 1.6 GHz – 6 GB Ram?

    its seems like the solved the load fan issue with a bio’s update.

    • Personally, I am not a fan of the bios update and wish I could undo it. I NEVER had a fan issue prior to the update and hardly EVER heard the fan, even while playing video. Now, it is on and much much louder when video is playing and it is very bothersome as the fan is full bore.

  • Dongetti

    Great review guys. I’m having a major video lag issue with this notebook when trying to edit video. I think it may be this sata 2 causing the problem, where can I buy the sata 3 upgrade you guys put on yours? Do I just need the drive?
    Thanks

    • Unfortunately no. Apparently our testing was somewhat unique in that neither Toshiba or Runcore can duplicate we we pulled off as well as us at this point in time. WE are all aware that getting SATA 3 to function correctly on the Z830 is simply a software upgrade but unfortunately Toshiba has yet to approve and put an update in to do this.

      Now, even we cannot get SATA 3 to work through other mSATA SSDs nor can we repeat what was originally received

  • Alexion0001

    Can a Samsung 830 Series 256 ssd SATA III, devoid of its case, be used as a replacement drive for this Toshiba Ultrabook? Is the 7mm case too thick to work as it is..? Are there any currently available high speed 256 GB SSD solutions on the market? For this Toshiba Ultrabook?

  • Alexion0001

    Another question and comment. Will the i7 version of this Ultrabook recognize an 8GB SoDimm in lieu of the 4 GB that comes in the slot? I know that the i3 version will recognize the full 10 GB (2 GB soldered on board + 8GB SoDimm) but I am not certain if the i7 version will do the same, or top out at 8GB). According to Intel’s site, the i3 that comes on the Z835 will recognize up tov16 Gbs, and the i5 and i7 will recognize up to 8GBs. Has anyone tried putting in an 8GB SoDimm in either the i5 or the i7 versions yet? I will be getting my i7 version of the Z835 tomorrow, and I am curious as to whether or not the 8GB SoSoDimm upgrade would workbwith

  • There are differences in the speed of SSDs. Some are actually much slower than others. Also, don’t buy the cheap 64GB drives, as you will run out of room fairly quickly. At the minimum, I’d go for 120GB. I personally have two 240 GB SSDs that will be going into my new build, and plan on getting another.

  • At home, I hook my current laptop to the TV with HDMI and watch stuff that way. This would be wonderful though for a lighter solution.

    • WIDI is the way to go if televisions would have it integrated right off the pop without a substantial price increase IMHO.

  • Dartarius

    Is it possible to open the Z830 and upgrade the 128 GB SSD drive to a 256 GB? It is said in this article that they are using a different kind of SSD drive. So if you can upgrade to a bigger SSD drive, what kind do we need to get??

    Thanks

    • Of course it is and right now I have the 256 (or rather 240GB) Renice in there….

  • Dartarius

    Can you upgrade the Z830 from a 128 GB SSD to 256? If so, what type of drive if its not a standard SSD?

  • Sieberfe

    I own one and it is a great laptop except for two key weaknesses: easily broken display (due to being so thin) and extremely weak wireless capability. I dropped mine from only 6 inches–while in a Targus sleeve within a Targus laptop bag–and the screen split. Luckily I had bought an extended warranty and it has been repaired.

    The wireless is very weak. I have my daughter’s $400 Toshiba sitting here and it is getting four bars while I consistently get two. Spend the money on a wireless adapter.

  • Nick

    what kind of leather case is that on the first page? Looks great!!

    • It is a simple $13 portfolio from Staples in Canada and has served us very well….fits perfectly.

  • Jorge

    hello there
    Does the Ultra z830 works fine with a 512gb SATA 2 SSD?
    thanks

  • suhail

    I am having Toshiba Portege Z830-A256 it has 128GB SSD I wan to upgrade it to 512Gb SSD. Will it support ? Need reply

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