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Toshiba Portege Z830 enters ultrabook fray

A look at the newly released Toshiba Portege Z830 ultrabook, which while light to hold is not quite as well specified as rivals in its price range
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By Ben Woods, Senior reporter on
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Toshiba Portege front view

Toshiba has released the Portege Z830, its first fully fledged ultrabook aimed at both businesses and consumers.

The Z830 was unveiled at the IFA trade show in Berlin in September, and it went on sale in the UK on Wednesday, with prices starting from £899 before VAT.

"The Ultrabook devices feature a light yet durable magnesium alloy casing that is reinforced with an enhanced Honeycomb Rib design and new internal structures that provide shock absorption and increased rigidity," Toshiba said. "The Portege Z830 Series provides the performance needed for work and entertainment plus improved power management."

Battery life is eight hours, according to Toshiba.

The base model comes with a 13.3-inch display, 1.4GHz Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3-2367M processor, 128GB solid-state drive (SSD), 4GB RAM and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit edition pre-installed. Windows 7 Professional 64-bit is an add-on option that takes the total price to £969. There is no option to upgrade the integrated Intel graphics.

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Toshiba Portege side view

The Z830 is 8.3mm at its thinnest point, and 1.12kg in weight. This places it firmly within the Intel-defined ultrabook category, as it is lighter and thinner than some rivals, such as the Asus UX31 Zenbook or HP Folio 13. It certainly felt light enough in ZDNet UK's limited testing.

In comparison with other recent new ultrabooks, such as the HP Folio, the Z830 starts from a more expensive base price. The Folio is expected to cost from £849 when it launches in February 2012, but comes with a 1.6GHz Core i5-2467M processor.

The Portege does have a cheaper base price than some competitors, such the Asus UX31 Zenbook, though that Asus model ships with a 1.8GHz Core i7 processor as standard. The Folio and the UX31 offer the same level of RAM and SSD storage. However, the Portege Z830 is lighter than both.

Upgrading the Portege Z830's CPU to an Intel Core i5-2557M takes the price to £1,099.

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Toshiba Portege back view

The ultrabook, which omits an optical drive to keep the weight and size down, comes with two USB 2.0 inputs, one USB 3.0 input, VGA- and HDMI-out, and an SD card reader. It also has Bluetooth 3.0 and a 1.3-megapixel web camera for video calling.

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Toshiba Portege held view

Toshiba has placed the speakers on the Z830 on the forward edge of the outside shell of the device (circled), to improve audio performance when it is used on a lap rather than a table.


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