Ready for your first helping of Ultrabook? Because it's here. Behold: Toshiba's Portege Z830. Checking in at 2.5 pounds and 0.63 inches thick, the 13.3-inch magnesium-clad beaut that lies before you is 20 percent lighter and 40 percent thinner than its (relatively) svelte sibling, the R380. But don't be fooled by that diminutive profile, as Toshiba still managed to cram some serious silicon (an optional Core i7 CPU), up to 6GB of RAM and an eight-cell 47Wh battery inside. On top of those guts resides a keyboard that's both backlit and spill-resistant (!), a 1366 x 768 display and a 1.3 megapixel webcam in the lid. Also onboard are three USB ports -- one 3.0 and two 2.0, one of which does sleep and charge -- an Ethernet jack, HDMI and VGA output and an SD card slot. There's also the obligatory 802.11b/g/n WiFi radio, along with optional Intel Wireless Display.
We're still waiting for a full rundown of the various configurations and specs, but Toshiba did tell us that the Z830 line will start at under $1,000 when it goes on sale come November. Until then, hop past the break for some brief impressions of a prototype unit.
Unfortunately, the pre-production model we played with lacked the company's honeycomb ribbed internals, so we can't make assumptions on rigidity or how sturdy it'll be. The company did assure us that it was aware of the Ultrabook's squishy nature, and that production units would be much more rigid. Regardless, we were smitten with the Z830's thickness (or lack thereof) and its comely magnesium skin, which compares favorably to the existing thin and light champion, the MacBook Air. We also liked the crisp and bright matte LED backlit display, but felt the bezel was a bit burly, particularly after seeing what Samsung's done with its Series 7. Another pleasant surprise was the chiclet keyboard which boasted keys that were surprisingly springy, with a nice throw depth that ended in a satisfying click with each stroke. A definite improvement over the grid on our Portege R705, and something we weren't expecting on a notebook this thin. We like what we've seen so far, but we can't wait to get our hands on a finished product and really see what this featherweight can do.
Michael Gorman contributed to this report.
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TOSHIBA UNVEILS PORTÉGÉ Z830 SERIES OF ULTRABOOK SYSTEMS
The World's Lightest 13.3-inch Platform, Sub-2.5 Pound Portégé Z830 Series Match Style, Supreme Portability and Enhanced Functionality at Affordable Prices
IRVINE, Calif. - Sept. 1, 2011 - Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today unveiled the Portégé® Z830 Series, the company's first UltrabookTM using 2nd Generation Intel® CoreTM processors. Weighing less than 2.5 pounds1 and featuring a 0.63-inch (15.9 mm) profile, the Portégé Z830 Series is about 20 percent lighter and 40 percent thinner than the award-winning ultraportable Portégé R830 Series. These new systems offer unprecedented portability, durability and essential features with visibly smart style and responsiveness - and start at under $1,000 MSRP2.
Supporting the latest 2nd Generation Intel Core processors3 and ultra-fast DDR3 memory, the Portégé Z830 Series provides the performance needed for work and entertainment plus improved power management for great battery life. The Ultrabook device's 128GB solid state drive4 delivers an extremely responsive experience, increased durability and increased energy efficiency. Paired with Toshiba's new exclusive Hi-Speed Start Technology, the Portégé Z830 can power on and get users up and running at work or home in just seconds.
"The Portégé Z830 Series sets a new standard for thin and light systems, not just in portability, but also in affordability for such cutting-edge designs," said Carl Pinto, vice president of product development, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. "Toshiba's engineering achievements and expert craftsmanship have resulted in a brilliant and fully thought-through innovation that exceeds expectations, perfect for both mobile business professionals and consumers."
The Portégé Z830 Series is built with a host of convenience-driven features such as a full-size LED Backlit and spill-resistant keyboard that makes typing easy in low light conditions and helps guard against accidents. The Ultrabook also includes Toshiba's USB Sleep & Charge5 technology to give users the freedom to power up their smartphones even while the system is powered down. Stereo speakers with enhanced audio technology from Waves Audio make the Portégé Z830 ideal for listening to music, watching movies and video chatting.
The Ultrabook devices feature a light, yet durable magnesium alloy casing that is reinforced with an enhanced Honeycomb Rib design and new internal structures that provide shock absorption and increased rigidity. The systems also feature Toshiba's EasyGuard® Technology, designed to address the security, reliability and durability issues mobile users encounter.
Portégé Z830 Series Ultrabook systems will be available in November 2011 at select retail stores as well as through select Toshiba Preferred Partner Program resellers and directly at toshibadirect.com.
Image Gallery: http://bit.ly/PortegeZ830Series
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About Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (TAIS)
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., TAIS is comprised of four business units: Digital Products Division, Imaging Systems Division, Storage Device Division, and Telecommunication Systems Division. Together, these divisions provide digital products, services and solutions, including industry-leading portable computers; televisions, TV/DVD Combination products, Blu-ray Disc and DVD products, and portable devices; imaging products for the security, medical and manufacturing markets; storage products for automotive, computer and consumer electronics applications; and IP business telephone systems with unified communications, collaboration and mobility applications. TAIS provides sales, marketing and services for its wide range of products in the United States and Latin America. TAIS is an independent operating company owned by Toshiba America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation. For more information on TAIS visit us.toshiba.com.
About Toshiba Corporation
Toshiba Corporation is a world leader and innovator in pioneering high technology, a diversified manufacturer and marketer of advanced electronic and electrical products spanning digital consumer products; electronic devices and components; power systems, including nuclear energy; industrial and social infrastructure systems; and home appliances. Toshiba was founded in 1875, and today operates a global network of more than 490 companies, with 203,000 employees worldwide and annual sales surpassing 6.3 trillion yen (US$77 billion). Visit Toshiba's web site at www.toshiba.co.jp/index.htm.