November 29, 2011
- Competitively priced
- Lightweight & sturdy build
- USB 3.0 & Wi-Di connectivity
- Above average battery life
- Mediocre display
- Performance is only average
The Toshiba Portégé Z835 is another "ultrabook" laptop that has a 13.3-inch display that is a lightweight, comfortable laptop to use, especially if you need a computer to carry around with you daily. It has a competitive price and decent specifications, but the available configurations are limited to just one and the display could be better.
Intel's new "ultrabook" category of computers have really been taking off recently and this computer is yet another addition to that category. The design of the Toshiba Portégé Z835 is easy on the eyes, but not as sexy as the Apple MacBook Pro, but this laptop isn't too far behind. It has a brushed metal finish that feels good to the touch. The chassis is also quite sturdy too, especially the display hinge, which is one, solid slim hinge.
The whole thing measures 12.4 x 8.9 x 0.6-inches (wdh) and weighs 2.47-pounds. This makes it an extremely light laptop, especially since it has a 13-inch display. It's also quite thin, which is another benefit for people who will need a laptop to carry around frequently.
The 13.3-inch display has a native resolution of 1366 x 768-pixels and is an HD (720p) TruBrite LED backlit display. We found the display to be lacking in quality, mostly because the colors seemed washed out. We do appreciate the slightly larger display size as most other ultrabooks are only 11.6-inches in size.
Toshiba includes a full-sized Chiclet-style keyboard that provided a comfortable typing experience. The keys didn't have any noticeable flex to them and were well spaced with no issues in terms of key size or spacing. Also, the keys are backlit and spill resistant, but we didn't test the latter for obvious reasons. The mouse touchpad has two discrete buttons and is slightly smaller than most others, but it has a very smooth, frictionless surface. We found it to be quite responsive and accurate too. Below the click buttons are seven status lights that also look quite slick.
In terms of connectivity, the Toshiba Portégé Z835 has one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-out, VGA-out, audio in/out ports, Ethernet and an SD card slot. One of the two USB ports features Toshiba's Sleep and Charge technology, which lets you charge mobile devices while the computer is asleep or powered off. We appreciate the inclusion of a USB 3.0 port, which is a must for new computers in order to keep them "current". There is also 802.11b/g/n/ wireless and support for Intel's Wi-Di wireless display technology.
Specifications of the Portégé Z835 include an Intel Core i3-2367M (1.4GHz), 4GB of RAM, a 128GB solid state hard drive and Intel Integrated Mobile HD graphics. Because Toshiba choose one of the lower-end Sandy Bridge CPUs to use in this computer, the performance of the system was slightly lower than other similar ultrabooks. However, the solid state drive (SSD) improves performance a little bit because less time is needed to read/write to an SSD than a traditional, spinning hard drive. There is also
In total, performance was decent for the computer in comparison to other ultrabook laptops. Graphics performance was slightly better than the others, but not by much. In the end, we didn't have problems playing streaming HD video from the Internet or doing some moderate multitasking. Most users will probably find the performance of this system to be adequate, but if you do anything processor-intensive, like lots of photo/video editing, this probably isn't the computer for you.
Battery life of the Toshiba Portégé Z835 is really great, especially compared to other ultrabooks. We were able to get about 5-hours of battery life and the category average is about 4-hours. It's crucial to have a good battery life with an ultrabook because their batteries are not removable, so you can't rely on spares.