Toshiba's Portégé Z830 is not the first ultrabook to ship, but it's the best suited for business use that we've seen so far. It packs an impressive amount of power into a very slim and light design, but potential buyers should take the all-day battery life claims with a pinch of salt.
Slim and stylish form factor, full-size I/O connectors, decent performance
Non-removable battery, memory upgrade means return to reseller
£1,099 + VAT
Model: Portégé Z830-104
Display: 13.3in, 1,366x768 HD LED-backlit
Processor: Intel Core i5-2557M
RAM: 4GB (6GB max)
Wireless connections: 802.11 a/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
Ports: Gigabit Ethernet, 2xUSB 2.0, 1xUSB 3.0, HDMI and VGA, SD card slot
Camera: 1.3 megapixel webcam
The Z830 line is Toshiba's entry into the ultrabook market with a pair of super-slim laptops based on Intel's latest Core processors, boasting a speedy boot-up time and a claimed all-day battery life of eight hours.
Available now, the Z830 line-up comprises of two very similar systems. The Portégé Z830 is aimed at professionals and business users, while the Satellite Z830 is a more consumer-oriented version of Toshiba's ultrabook.
In fact, the two models are virtually identical, the main difference being that the Portégé has Intel's Core vPro technology for the corporate market. The Z830 includes a Trusted Platform Module chip and fingerprint scanner for secure log-ins, and ships with Windows 7 Professional as standard.
For our tests, we looked at the Portégé Z830 and found it impressively thin and light, yet Toshiba also seems to have made it sturdy enough to stand up to everyday use thanks to a magnesium alloy chassis.
We also found that the claims of all-day battery life are best taken with a pinch of salt, as few full-size laptops are capable of being used intensively for an eight-hour period, let alone an ultra-slim model such as this.
Sleek design packs impressive specs
Like many other ultrabook models, the Portégé Z830 has a 13.3in screen with a 128GB Flash SSD to keep the weight down, and ships in a stylish steel-grey metallic casing. Our review unit (Portégé Z830-104) was based on Intel's 1.7GHz Core i5-2557M processor, a dual-core chip with Hyper-Threading, plus 4GB of memory included.
Comparisons with Apple's 13in MacBook Air are probably inevitable, and the Toshiba is thinner and lighter, at 1.12kg and 15.9mm at the rear of its case. It is also lighter than the rival Asus Zenbook reviewed by V3 recently, but not quite as thin.
In fact, the Portégé is not as wedge-shaped as either of these two models, and when closed is approximately the same size and shape as a hard-back A4 notepad.
This size helps when carrying the system around, because the 1.12kg weight is distributed over a larger volume when compared with netbooks, for example. You barely notice the extra weight of the Portégé when it is tucked into a briefcase or rucksack.