Sunday, December 4, 2011

Unboxing the Toshiba Portege Z830/Z835 Ultrabook

Update: The Z835 is on sale at Best Buy right now for only $699 (12/11-12/17).

So I finally caved in and got an ultrabook.

I really wanted to get the Asus UX31 because of the 1600x900 resolution but there have been too many reports of issues with the first iteration of it ( It also does not have backlit keyboard and I'm not a fan of their keyboard layout.

I've always favored the Toshiba Portege Z830 series because of the two things I mentioned the Asus was lacking and also the number of ports it has:
  • Three USB ports (one 3.0) whereas most others have only two.
  • Full size network 10/100/1gb port
  • SD card slot
  • Full size HDMI
  • Full size VGA port (I believe it's the only ultrabook to have one)
At $899, which was the original MSRP, this was a good deal, but when the Z835 came out as a Best Buy exclusive, the price was $799. They raised it back up to $899 last week but dropped it again this week so I had to go get one. Only one Best Buy in my area (we have 4 in the immediate area) had it in-store to see in person (which happened to be one of the farthest away from me). The other good thing is because Best Buy no longer has their 15% stocking fee and are doing extended returns until January 24, I can really give this a try to see if it can replace my Macbook Air 13".

So here is my second unboxing video (the first was for the Sony VAIO SE):

The Best Buy Z835 is an i3 with 4gb RAM, 128gb SDD and 13.3" screen. The difference between this and the Z830 series is a lack of Bluetooth and a fingerprint reader, and the display only comes in TruBrite (which is a glossy screen). The Z830 series can also be configured with i5/i7 processors. And unlike the other ultrabooks, the memory is "user" upgradeable up to 6gb (2gb soldered on, one slot that can hold up to 4gb).

It's a really light and thin notebook and the build quality is great. It's not a unibody like the MacBook Air but it's more solid than the plastic-y notebooks you regularly see.

I didn't have a chance to prep it beforehand so that you can see the display and hear the sound (so no Justin Bieber for Mitlov from the forums... heh) but I'll do that on a follow-up video and compare it to the MacBook Air and also my Sony SE.

If you want to read more comments about the Z830/Z835 visit the forums:

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