When Toshiba first teased the Portege Z10t business Ultrabook at IDF Beijing last month, our initial hands-on went as smoothly as things usually go at trade shows: we bum-rushed the stage to take a few photos, while company reps declined to answer any of our questions. Fortunately for all of us, the mystery is gone: Toshiba just formally unveiled the Z10t, and it's available now starting at $1,499.
As we reported earlier, this is an 11-inch laptop / tablet hybrid aimed at the enterprise. It will launch initially with Ivy Bridge vPro chips, as well as some industry-standard security features like TPM. What we didn't realize, however, is that it sports a 1080p IPS screen, along with a Wacom digitizer for pen input. In any case, if all you wanted was a firm MSRP and release date following our initial hands-on, well, there ya go. But if you were hoping for a few more details, we've got those too. Meet us past the break for a full rundown of all the features, along with some first impressions.
Toshiba Portege Z10t hands-on
Toshiba Portege Z10t
The Z10t is home to one of the best tablet displays we've ever laid eyes on: a 1080p IPS panel with a matte finish -- an unusual choice for a device like this. The benefits there are three-fold: it reduces glare, masks fingerprints and, best of all, makes pen input feel more like writing on actual paper. Speaking of the sort, the tablet ships with a stylus, but since this is a Wacom digitizer you can swap in any compatible pen of your choosing. There's also a smaller "emergency" pen with more basic functionality that can be stowed inside a slot on the tablet; the main stylus is too big to fit that hole, though.
On the inside, the Z10t runs your choice of Core i5 or i7 vPro processor. For now, at least, that means Ivy Bridge, but a Haswell refresh will follow sometime in early Q4 (the reason being: Intel isn't launching its next-gen vPro CPUs as early as it is its new consumer chips). We're also told it'll come with a 128GB or 256GB SSD and four gigs of RAM (an 8GB option will be offered after the Haswell refresh). As you'll see, most of the heavy-duty ports (VGA, HDMI, Ethernet) are located on the keyboard dock, but even the tablet itself is home to a USB 3.0 connection, full-size SD reader and a micro-HDMI socket. Not bad, especially compared to what competitors like HP are doing. Software-wise, this comes with Windows 8 by default (natch), but Toshiba is also allowing for Windows 7 downgrades in the event businesses aren't quite ready to deal with Live Tiles. As a bonus, businesses also get a minimum of three years' warranty coverage, though four-year plans will be offered too.
Aside from that stunner of a display, the hardware is basically what you'd expect from a business machine. Which is to say, it's conservative. Serious-looking. The whole thing is made of a brownish high-resin plastic, with a textured finish that's mercifully immune to scratches and fingerprints. It's a bit thick and a bit heavy -- the tablet alone weighs 1.98 pounds -- but with a total weight of 3.1 pounds, it's still eminently portable, even if most 11-inch laptops weigh far less than that. And it's definitely not as heavy as carrying a laptop and tablet separately.
Moving along, the keyboard is backlit and spill-resistant, with a slightly squished layout similar to what was used on the current Z835 / Z935 Ultrabook. Unlike the Z835, though, Toshiba threw in a tracking point in addition to a touchpad. We tried both, and we have to say that while the tracking stick might not be ThinkPad-quality, it does have a nice, textured feel that keeps your finger from slipping off.
Now that we've gotten hands-on twice, the next step is clearly a full review. We hope to bring you one as soon as we can, but in the meantime, enjoy those pics up there.