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


The Z Series has more external ports than any othe Ultrabook we have seen and Toshiba has found a way to include things such as the SD card slot which you will find beside the headphone and microphone plugins on the left side of the unit. This might not sound so incredible until you examine competitors who have conveniently excluded it in their design. On the back, we find a VGA port, power, HDMI, two USB and an Ethernet port with an additional USB 3 port on the right side.  Toshiba must be thinking, Match that! because nobody else has.

Truth be told, I am not a lover of such ports on the back of my laptops and have cursed a number of times regarding this in the past. In considering this, however, this strategy by Toshiba can only be thought of as unique as it provides options that simply aren’t available in competitor models.

blankWe have also discovered a minor issue with the ethernet port that new owners might want to be aware of.

The two bottom inside edges of the port itself are rather sharp and will catch on your clothing if you happen to be typing with the Z830 resting in your lap.


Some initial estimates identified the Toshiba as having a low battery life which confused us as promotional material quotes it being as high as eleven hours.  Having received the Z830 just before a trip where I found myself typing away for over five hours in the passenger seat of the truck, I was in a good position to get an accurate indication of exactly how the battery would hold up. I am happy to report that it exceeded the eight hour mark at its first time at bat.

In all fairness though, we should be clear in indicating that nobody is going to get premium battery life while the internet is on with your e-mail being checked as well as other activities.  Our first result was really a mix as there was internet and e-mail use on both ends with the internet and bluetooth shut down during the trip and the power options on Power Saver.



Like all other pre-configured systems, the Toshiba Z series comes pre-configured with its share of bloat ware and trial programs that we just don’t need.  We can’t fault a company that uses such to keep prices low as these software packages will be of benefit to some. We even found one or two (ie the Startup Optimizer) that we thought to be rather useful.  Such pre-configurations are ideal for the typical consumer but if you are looking for performance, a fresh install, followed by our SSD Optimization Guide is in order.


The Z830 is relatively simple to open with 13 screws around the outside bottom and one torx security screw under the center rubber pad. Once opened, the SSD can easily be switched off for those that just have to have SATA 3 and  can be seen in the picture below on the left with RAM to its right.  Clicking on any of our review photos brings up larger and better images.blank It is worth noting that the maximum allowed memory configuration for the Z830 is 6GB as 2GB of memory is  integrated leaving only one slot that accepts a module to a maximum of 4GB.  This is a very tight and well constructed chassis and, quite frankly, there would be no room for the additional memory slot without increasing its dimensions and weight.



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

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    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?

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    I finally bought this ultrabook and installed Linux Mint 12. Works fantastic!

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    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.

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    Is this laptop cover come in the box?

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    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.

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    Matte or Glossy screen?

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    Beware the fan noise issue:

    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.

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      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.

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        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?

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        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.

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

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

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    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?

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    Where did you get the sleeve for the laptop?

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

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      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.

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    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 !

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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      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.

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    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?

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      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

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    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?

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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??


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

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    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.

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

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

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    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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    i bought the cori5 but my keyboard light aint turning ON i need help

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