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Toshiba Portégé® Z830 Ultrabook

Toshiba Portégé® Z830 Ultrabook

So yes, this is part of the crazy pursuit and a crazy purchase in its own right too. I usually research whatever I buy to literal death first before I buy it. I knew I wanted to take a laptop on my trip to Canada and Ecuador, but was not planning on buying one today. A friend asked me to keep him company on a shopping trip, I saw this laptop, and it just looked right for me. It weighs only 2.1 pound. Unfortunately the screen is not a non-reflecting screen, as that is what Samsung would have given me. But it was a compromise on a very excellent price, as it was on a great special. And i7. So yes, instead of swotting up all of the specifications before I bought a piece of equipment, I bought it first and then checked its specifications. Am I nuts or what!!!!

I'm not really a Toshiba fan nor a laptop person as I'm quite happy with my stand alone computers at home and work. Am sure however that once I get the hang of Toshiba probably will be happy with it. I just can't see myself going on a month's holiday without being in touch with all of my Internet hobbies. I also am helping someone with a Website, so would like to be able to make modifications to my Website online. And do whatever I'm able to do on my stand alone computer on my laptop. The dealer said the battery life is 7-8 hours, so that's probably the first thing I'm going to check out once I've fully charged it. It's charging as I'm writing this blog post. Very Happy

Wonder where I could get a global charger for it? They did not have any of the accessories on sale at the store.

These are the specs:
•Intel® Core™ i7-2677M processor
•Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 64-bit, SP1
Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 32-bit, SP1
•13.3" widescreen
•6GB DDR3 1333MHz memory
•128GB Solid State Drive (Serial ATA, SSD)
•Intel® Integrated Graphics

Wonder what it means when I have both Windows 64-bit and 32-bit?

This is what it looks like - slim and trim - the colour of my laptop is silver though

22 blog comments below

Nice laptop, although probably not great for gaming with the integrated graphics card (but if you don't play graphic intensive games this is not a problem). The ssd on the other hand and the good processor make it a great developer laptop, although the resolution is a bit small I think.

About Windows, I assume you will have to take the 64-bit version as otherwise you will most likely only be able to use 3GB of your RAM and not the full 6GB.

Oh and don't forget to take regular backups of your important data stored on the SSD. SSD's can be very fast, but they crash sometimes (so do normal hard drives, but a bit less frequently).
Bondings on Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:43 pm
Thanks for the tip about the 64-bit version. There is already a Windows loaded, so not sure what it is. Does it allow a person to choose the version?

PS: When I was reading some of the reviews they did point out they were not getting the 6GB so that must have been it. I'll check it now.

Note: Just checked and it does have a 64-bit operating system *relief*

Thanks also for the tip about the backups. Very Happy
deanhills on Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:00 pm
The power adapter should take both 110V and 220V input, almost all of them do; you'll just need a plug converter for Canada and Ecuador outlets; no power conversion required (Of course, check the specs on the adapter when the laptop arrives to be 100% certain).

Certainly looks like a decent piece of hardware for traveling. I have mixed feelings on Toshiba, though. At one point, I'd swear by them, but that was many years back. In recent years, when I worked selling electronics, I've come to find their quality to price ratio has altered for the worse. Some of them were still good, but several were far worse than, say, most of the Acers I was also selling, despite the price difference. My opinion of the brand slid somewhat after selling them, and experiencing modern set ups, recoveries, and hardware issues (like keys popping off of keyboards and the like).

I really hope this is one of those models that's still classic Toshiba quality!!
Ankhanu on Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:04 pm
Congratulations Dean on your spontaneous/impulse purchase!! Look good. Just wait for the airport security to tear it apart.
standready on Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:38 pm
Thanks for the feedback Ankhanu. I'll check out the specs later today. Thanks Standready, am curious, what could the airport security potentially do to my laptop .... Shocked
deanhills on Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:33 am
Congrats on the laptop. It looks to be nice one, of course with more money one can usually buy a slightly better one. That being said it looks like it was a nice bargain and should fair relatively well on your trip. For the adapters you might be able to find a converter box, so that your electronics can all work off of it, instead of one for each item. Good luck and enjoy your trip.
pauline123 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:58 pm
So spent a number of hours today getting to know Toby my laptop. What irritated me were all of those pop ups. Toshiba seems to have partnered up with Macafee, Amazon, Skype, eBay, etc and Toshiba products as well. Every now and then there is a message that comes up. So found a place where I could deactivate some, but there are still too many for my comfort. They're not listed among the software in my applications either. I did however find Macafee which I deleted with relish, and replaced with another anti-virus software. Then found a shortcut on the desktop to a Toshiba Manual - 130 pages, that was VERY useful to get to know the laptop. Particularly the do's and don'ts of handling it. I went through the diagrams carefully too. Covering all the nooks and crannies of Toby. Managed to work through 62 pages today.

I'm not too partial to the touch pad, so am using an old logitech mouse that I had around. I was considering a key board as well, particularly since there is no number pad in the laptop, but found the key board of the laptop quite OK to use. There are some function keys in conjunction with an F key that one can use to construct a number pad of sorts. Sort of a really intelligent key board with back-lit keys.

All and all think I'll be OK with the laptop. I've never been a Toshiba fan, yet this one feels a little different from the ones I've handled before. More sophisticated and less clumsy. Also the reflecting screen is not that bad. It is LED back-lit, so I see myself maybe just for the initial part of turning the laptop on, but once I'm doing some work, or surfing the Internet, I'm totally unaware of any reflection. One nice surprise is that I thought there were only two USB slots, but there seems to be a third one too in exactly the right position for my mouse. The stereo sound is also not shabby at all for such a lightweight laptop.
deanhills on Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:00 pm
Connect it to the tele and go big screen. Smile
truespeed on Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:21 pm
@truespeed, or connect it to a Full HD 21-24 inch lcd screen (and check that it is really 1920x1200 or 1920x1080). Those are very cheap nowadays. Of course this is only needed if you need the screen real estate.
Bondings on Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:58 pm
Good to see your new laptop.
Look nice..

You beat my new laptop configuration. Wink
cybersa on Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:54 pm
@Bondings. That PDF Manual of theirs is tops, including step by step information how to install a monitor! Enormously easy to figure out everything. I like the monitor as it is however. The only reflection I notice is when it is booting up. Once I'm working on it I can't notice it at all.

This morning I checked through the balance of the Manual pages. I also studied how to create a simulated number pad on the key board. All I have to do is press a special "F" Function Key plus F11. If I want the Home/Insert/ etc keys "F" plus F10 - although afterwards I discovered they were there any way - vertically arranged down the right hand side of the keyboard. This laptop is great with its "F" combo keys. So there is compensation for not having a number key pad.

It also has a thumb print and face recognition security feature. Not sure I'll use those however. I've never used a password for a laptop yet, I guess I should really, shouldn't I?

Only thing I still have to figure out are the actual hours of my battery. It looks like 5 hours instead of the 7-8 the sales agent said it has and the 5 hours seem to be going VERY fast, more like two to three hours, probably with how the laptop is set up right now, it must be power hungry. I suspect I need to get on Toshiba's eco-friendly system. Helps to control the degree of lighting, and features that would make less use of the battery. And I guess that way one would probably get the extra 3 hours. I had a very brief look at it early this morning, but will make a greater study of it tomorrow. In order to check the eco-friendly zone one has to click on "Terms and Conditions", so thought I'd wait a little while before I ventured in. Twisted Evil

I've noticed the back-up feature too - darn, everything is just where it is supposed to be, and not hidden somewhere in a maze of clicks. I'm going to set up the back-up tomorrow. To an external disk as recommended. Hope my flash disk of 8GB will be OK.

Sort of great to be able to carry the laptop in the hollow of one's arm like a thin book or something. Just amazing how fast it installed my mouse. Almost like a flash, and it immediately recognized Logitech as Logitech mouse. Don't know where I got this mouse from, but it just seems to work perfectly with the laptop.

Think I'm in love with this laptop. Haha .... if someone would have mentioned Toshiba as a possibility for me a week ago, I'd have laughed at them!
deanhills on Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:57 pm
Right. So today tackled the back-up feature. And that worked enormously well. Then while I was doing that I noticed links for creating a boot disk, a system repair disk and a system image disk. I completely underestimated the time the system image disks would take, but managed to do all of them. I also learned where I could find the key for my Windows 7 software, which is under my laptop. Probably need to write it down and put it in a safe place.

Next project is to load all of my essential software. I noticed that my Ulead GIF Animator 5 Software was incompatible with Windows 7, according to Microsoft's Windows 7 Compatibility Center. Since I like the software so much, checked up on it for a Windows 7 version, and then discovered that Corel Draw had taken it over and it no longer existed in its original form. Then checked through some Forums and one guy mentioned that his old version of GIF Animator 5 worked with Windows 7 .... totally surprisingly. And thankfully my software was also an old version, so that was the first one I tried, and it WORKED!
deanhills on Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:36 pm
Purchase a pc that functions conventional add-ons. Just about every PC might be separated into some key elements: Brand device, observe, key pad, and rabbit.
jasonmilsont on Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:44 pm
Congrats Deanhills.
Looks like a great laptop and light too.
I think it has good specs, especially being an i7 processor.
With the portege being light, it must be quite nice to carry around everywhere, instead of being at a desk all the time.
menino on Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:04 am
Thanks Menino. Indeed. It's VERY light. It weighs only 2.1 lb. I bought a nice thick sleeve for it this weekend as well as a Seagate external hard disk (750 GB). That hard disk is out of this world. I've always had flash disks before, and then this came recommended to me as a special at Sharaf DG. Sort of thrilled with it as never experienced speed like that in an external hard disk before. So first thing I did when I got home was to make a back-up of my laptop again. Am happy with that purchase. As I am with the laptop. Only thing left, and probably a biggie is to see how it performs with wireless.
deanhills on Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:43 pm
I think power consumption is a combination of processor, fan, and screen. Of course what performance do you need when you are just writing and if you walk away you do not want to screen brightness up. There are many settings you can choose from I think and get into good habits for battery health.

I heard complete discharging then uninterrupted charge times actually improve battery condition. Of course keeping your computer cool helps too. What does that mean store it in the bar fridge? Nice machine by the way. I think wifi performance depends on the wifi connection and it varies because with the provider. I like the cafe shops some are pretty good.
Bluedoll on Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:46 pm
You've got a couple misconceptions, Bluedoll... though keeping the system cool is a good idea in general.
Power consumption is a factor of ALL components used, though, yes, the CPU and screen are strong factors in influencing it. Another contender is the HDD and optical drive, if you're using one, this is why most portable HDDs are somewhat low RPM; they're a little slower with the data, but lower power to operate. Add in your USB peripherals, and mainboard and other component designs (a well designed system will have more efficient architecture), and you cover what's eating your power away. It's not just two or three components, but the whole system. The OS will offer several ways to reduce power consumption, from reducing screen brightness to influencing how quickly the system stops accessing the HDD after you've loaded something. Play around a bit to find the best balance between performance and battery saving for your applications.

Wifi performance has NOTHING to do with your service provider, though your ultimate internet connection speed often does. Wifi is not your internet connection, however, it is a networking interface for a local network (which is usually used as a gateway to the internet, but not always). Wifi performance will depend on several factors, including the quality of both the Wifi adapter in the laptop and of the router to which you're trying to connect, and how well they communicate with one another, to environmental factors like distance between the two, and EM wave interfering materials between them that block or absorb the communicating waves.
As such, variation in your connection in various cafes has little to do with their modem, and much more to do with the combination of your adapter, their router and the actual environment (and number of other users connecting to the router).

The battery part, I hear conflicting reports on, and I'm not entirely sure. Most modern LiIon batteries (unlike older NiCd or NiMH batteries) don't really require full deep cycling, you can charge from partial and be ok... all the same, I like to perform a full cycle on mine every now and again, just in case.
Ankhanu on Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:29 pm
Thanks for the valuable info Ankhanu. Particularly about Wifi performance. The product claims that it has been specially designed for optimal Wifi performance, but I've seen some reviews about this laptop that say otherwise, and now understand that there could be other factors at play here. I hope I'm going to be OK with the Wifi. It seems to be working fine at work, but would be interesting to see how well it works when I'm traveling different continents.

With regard to the battery, the literature that came with the laptop suggests the same as your advice, to let the battery run full cycle at least every few days.
deanhills on Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:35 pm
It does look nice but with all properties you can't play heavy games. I think this laptop will be good for basic use but not for applications or games which require higher graphics requirements.
gwencorwin123 on Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:15 pm
You're probably right gwencorwin123, thank you for the comment. Think a powerful desktop is the best for games and the laptop won't do. Any way, my purpose for the laptop was for traveling only, and it's worked out well for that purpose.
deanhills on Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:35 pm
Looks good to me. By coincidence I'm currently bidding for a new laptop for my own use. I'm bidding on a couple of machines - one of which is a Tosh - the Qosimio X870. Not much use for travelling though - hefty at 3.5kg and only a couple of hours battery max.
Bikerman on Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:25 pm
Thanks for commenting Chris. Always good to hear about new laptops in the Toshiba range as well. One of the biggest reasons I got the Toshiba Ultrabook was how light it is. One hardly notices the laptop when one carries it and it takes up minimal space in my back pack. It's a breeze through airport customs as well. Some people seem to prefer laptops to desktops, i.e. the laptop has to come with all the bells and whistles of a desktop, which makes it into quite a heavy item.

Good luck with the new laptop. Would be nice if you let us know what you got eventually. Smile
deanhills on Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:08 am

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