We’ve been told they were coming a while ago and I for one was waiting for them ever since I first saw the likes of the Asus Ux21 or Samsung 9 Series. Of course, we’re talking about them ultrabooks, the next generation ultra slim and astonishing looking portable laptops Intel and notebook manufacturers have been telling us about in the last months.
One of the latest launches of the breed is the Toshiba Portege Z830, part of their premium business Portege line. In fact, laptops in this class have been sleek before, but nothing like this. The pictures here on the post speak for themselves, but the numbers are here to help you better understand what are we talking about: the Z830 is a 13.3 inch laptop and weighs only 2.45 pounds, while measuring up to 0.63 inches in thickness. By comparison, the similar sized MacBook Air, a landmark between ultra-portables, weighs 2.98 pounds and gets to nearly 0.7 inches in thickness. So this one is a tad slimmer and significantly lighter.
Of course, the exterior is not just fancy looking, but also robust. The casing is made from magnesium alloy and uses a honeycomb structure for extra protection and sturdiness. Opening the lid, there’s a backlit and also spil-resistant chiclet keyboard, a decently sized trackpad and a fingerprint reader between the click buttons.
All these without compromising performances. Like an ultrabook should, the Portege Z830 packs latest generation Intel mobile processors, with options for Core i3, i5 or powerful i7s and up to 6 GB of memory. Graphics are limited to the integrated Intel HD 3000 chip (should be enough for daily use and even some multimedia) and there’s SSD for storage. The 13.3 inch display comes with 1366 x 768 px resolution and a much appreciated matte finish, great for a device that’s meant for life on the road.
As for ports, there’s everything you’ll need on this Portege, with two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port (with Sleep-and-Charge included), VGA, HDMI, Ethernet and SD card. You also get Wireless, Bluetooth and hopefully a 3G modem as well, for top notch connectivity on the go. The speakers shouldn’t be just average either, as Toshiba claims they packed some stereo Waves Maxx Audio ones on the Z830, but we’ll just have to wait to see if they’re actually as good as advertised.
All these completed by an 8 Cell 47 Wh battery sound too good to be true? They sure do right now, but not by the end of the year, as Toshiba plans to have the new Portege in stores by late November for around $1000. Yes, that’s not really netbook like pricing, but nor is anything else about it even close to netbooks. Plus, for those of you not willing to shove that much for a 13.3 incher, there’s also going to be a slightly “cheaper” Portege Z835 version, with entry level hardware, a glossy display and no-fingerprint reader, but we don’t know for sure how much cheaper will it get.
Update: First impressions speak nicely of the screen on this one, the overall build quality and the keyboard, with nice response and enough pace for a device that slim. I still fear that it might overheat, that’s something I encountered on Porteges before, but hopefully I will be wrong.
That’s it for now but stay tuned, the Portege Z830 is an ultrabook you should keep your eyes on. And luckily, it’s not the only one out there.