How does this stylish PC stack up in the competition?

It was unveiled at the IFA show in Berlin last fall and officially introduced in the Middle East in December. The Toshiba Satellite Z830 is one out of a wide range of Ultrabooks hitting the market right now. So how does it stack up in the competition? As it turns out, very well.

By Magnus Nystedt (PRODUCT REVIEW)

Published: Sat 21 Jan 2012, 9:50 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:54 AM

To start off with, this is a very stylish portable PC. It follows the Ultrabook concept, with a body about 1.6 cm thick, and it weighs about 1.2 kg. Since it’s a 13-inch laptop, that means the Z830 is thin and light enough to carry with you almost anywhere.

The thin design combined with rather sharp lines makes this one stunning laptop. Some other brands have gone for more curvy lines, but I think Toshiba has hit it right on the nail with the Z830. A problem with such a thin design is obviously ports. Toshiba has managed to put a few items on the sides, but the main ones are on the back, like two USB ports, Ethernet, and D-Sub (VGA) connection. That’s a clever design solution, which leaves Toshiba’s designers with some more space to work with.

Often thin and light design means cutting corners on stability, reliability and quality. I don’t get the feeling that Toshiba has cut any corners in that regard, but I do feel a bit of concern for the small hinges attaching the display to the body. It makes the display wiggle a bit too much for my taste, but only long-term use would reveal whether it’s a real problem.

In terms of performance, the Z830 delivers in abundance. It has the Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD for storage. This will run all the usual productivity applications with snappy performance, and you can cram about six hours of work out of the Z830 on one charge. If you really stress the machine, expect perhaps three hours out of one charge, if you’re lucky. Contributing to both speed and battery life is the 128 GB SSD, which, although not as fast as in some other laptops I’ve tried recently, delivers enough for most situations.

Besides what I said about the hinges, there are a couple of other things I would have wished were better. There is a definite and sometimes annoying noise from the fan when the computer shouldn’t be working hard enough to warrant it coming on. Perhaps that can be fixed by a software update, and I hope Toshiba will take a look at it. Also, the display could be brighter and have a bit higher resolution. At 1366 x 768 it’s adequate, but we’ve come to expect better, even from a 13-inch laptop.

For Dh 4,400, you will get one of the thinnest, lightest and most powerful computers available right now. It has a few drawbacks but overall the Toshiba Satellite Portégé Z830 is a very attractive portable PC.

Magnus Nystedt, @mnystedt

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