You don’t have to make the thinnest, lightest or longest running ultrabook to score a homerun in this
emerging portable computing category, but it helps lot.
Toshiba’s Portage Z835-P370 ultrabook makes my point. I’ve been cranking on it for more than a month and it’s never let me down>In fact, it’s exceeded virtually all of my expectations.
Although ultrabooks are by definition small; and light weight,. Toshiba’s P835 is noticeably lighter than other manufacturers I’ve used or evaluated.
At 2.3 pounds , this ultrabook went almost unnoticed on two 14 mile roundtrip back pack trips I made to a gold panning region on the upper East Fork branch of the San Gabriel Canyon. Based on my real world ultra-portable computing experience, the fit, finish and construction of Toshiba’s ultrabook totally eliminates any fears I may have had about reliability. It’s as rock solid as mountain granite.
I like this system’s configuration—6GB of fast DDR SDRAM, a bright 13.3 inch LCD screen with a resolution of1366 x 768 pixels, a 128 GB SSD drive that enables the fastest boot up time I’ve experienced on any ultrabook I’ve tested so far, an i5 1.6GHz processor with a top end boost speed of 2.3 GHZ),three USB ports (two USB .20 an one USB , audio jacks, a,and an RJ-45 Ethernet connector.An HDMI and one RGBvideo connector plus an eight-cell lithium Ion battery, and a 300GB ATA hard disk drive. Round out the Z835’s configuration.
The price of the unit supplied to me for this review is about $1,050, although it’s offered for sale by some Internet retailers for less.
I’ve always been a fan of the keyboards used on Toshiba’s portable computers and the Portage Z835’s had only one feature I don’t like-it’s smaller than normal and in my view somewhat flimsy space bar. The back lighting makes using this machine easy to use in dimly lighted conference rooms or in primitive campgrounds. Moreover, the keys on this keyboard haven’t been scaled down to fit the form factor. To put a point on it; I have large hands and wear a men’s size 16 ring and I’ve been able to use this keyboard without making numerous typos.
I also like the two-button trackpad used on this ultrabook. Its scrolling capabilities get you where you want quite handily—regardless of whether you’re in a large document, gigantic spreadsheet or at the far end of a digitized quarter sectional topo map.the real treat on the Portage Ultrabook is an on off switch mounted in front of the trackpad, which come in handy when you’ve plugged a mouse into a USB port. It’s a great feature I wish were used on other ultportable makers adopted.
In real word testing, the Z835’s power pack consistently delivered more than six hours of battery life (above average for this class of portable)
The performance of Toshiba’s Portage ultrabook is very good—its 128 GB SSD drive slashes boot times, but its 300 GB AT drive turned in only average scores. The video display sub systems exceeded my expectations. This computer’s13 .3-inch screen Is bright enough to make working with detailed maps or spread sheets a snap. When used used with common applications like email word processing, or spreadsheets, the Z835 doesn’t bog down when running computationally intensive tasks. The Z835 P370’s 6GB basic memory configuration is a major factor in the overall performance of this ultrabook.
From a usability stand point this ultrabook is a top flight machine. It boots very quickly – about 26 seconds, so you’re not going to be impatiently tapping your toes or cracking your knuckles waiting to go to work. Its screen is bright and displays are crisp enough to cut the strain associated with most general computing tasks. But after testing this unit in canyons, local coffee shops and two dimly lighted conference settings I believe the Portage Z835 is the best ultrabook I’ve tested so far. The integrated audio speakers on the Z835 are good enough for YouTube videos and most audio files but if you want to really get your groove on, I recommend using ear buds.
The Toshiba Portage Z835-P370 is a stalwart and incredibly useful traveling companion that exceeded my expectations every time I pulled it out of my backpack. I love this ultrabook’s wicked fast boot time and extreme functionality.
With the Portage Z835-P370, Toshiba has done much more that simply build a computer to an Intel specification. Instead it’s designed an ultrabook that is so good, it makes it to the tippy top of my recommended list.
Take away my Portage ultrabook? From my cold dead hands!—Jim Forbes 07/31/2012.