Its creators claim the new Toshiba Portege Z935 to be the lightest ultraportable solution in the world. Officially launched by the manufacturer at Computex 2012 show, this novelty became the logical development of the Portege Z835 model that made its debut at the end of 2011, and comes configured with the latest generation Intel Ivy Bridge processors.
Design and Look
Housed in a standard magnesium-alloy chassis that features a dark silver color scheme, the new Toshiba Portege Z935 ultrabook may look like nothing special but its ultrathin and light profile makes it an elegant must-have that will appeal to all kinds of users
Setting the standard, the Portege Z935 machine measures 0.63 inches at its thickest point and weighs in at a mere 2.5 pounds (2.93 pounds with the AC adapter which is also on the light side). For the sake of comparison, the Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air measures 0.68 inches thick, and nearly a half-pound heavier at 2.96 pounds (without accessories). All things considered, the Toshiba’s upgraded Portege Z series offers the lightest ultrabooks on the market, thus making them a really tempting buying option.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The Z935’s keyboard sports an island-style layout with well-spaced keys that, thanks to their good grippy feel, make for a pleasant and comfortable typing experience. The keyboard is both backlit and spill-resistant.
Measuring 3.3 x 1.9 inches, the Portege’s Synaptics trackpad is pretty small, but offers enough room for the whole variety of multi-touch gestures: horizontal and vertical flicking, two-finger rotation, two-finger scroll and pinch-to-zoom are easy to execute and make the navigation process smooth and accurate.
It cannot go unmentioned that the Z935’s trackpad features a physical on/off switch between the trackpad and the keyboard. It comes set to scroll with a single finger on the right and bottom edges (old-school style), but users can also set the trackpad via the control panel to respond to the above mentioned two- and three-finger swipes.
The Toshiba Portege Z935 family comes with a glossy 13.3-inch widescreen display that sports a standard resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels (which is common for the majority of 13-inchers in this category). Overall, the screen gets the job done – the colors look vibrant, while images and objects are sharp and detailed.
Horizontal off-axis viewing angles are mediocre and users will have to carefully adjust the screen so the colors are not inverted (especially while sharing it with friends or family).
In terms of brightness, the Z935 measures 234 lux, which is higher than the category average. To compare, the HP Envy Spectre XT sports a poorer 176-lux display.
The small stereo speakers sit on the bottom of the machine, near the front. Though not very loud, the system delivers clear audio quality and proves fine for impromptu music and movie sessions.
To enhance the audio experience, Toshiba ships its Portege Z935 with the SRS Premium Sound 3D technology onboard which, coupled with some headphones, will provide a more enjoyable and vivid emotions.
Ports and Connections
When it comes to I/O ports, the Portege Z935 boasts a decent selection of two USB 2.0 ports, a super-speed USB 3.0 socket for much quicker data transfers (with sleep and charge capabilities), full-sized Ethernet and HMDI ports, a VGA video out, an SD card slot, and microphone and headphone jacks.
In terms of wireless connectivity, the laptops goes on sale with Wireless-N Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) for ultra-fast connectivity to home and business networks along with Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting to peripherals like a wireless mouse, headset, and more.
The Toshiba’s Portege Z series comes powered by an Intel Core i5-3317U ultra-low voltage Ivy Bridge chip clocked at 1.7 GHz (with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.6 GHz) along with 4GB RAM (16 GB maximum), 128GB SSD and Intel HD Graphics 4000 graphics card with up to 1696 MB of dynamically allocated shared graphics memory.
In addition, the laptop supports a 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium upgradable to Windows 8 version with which users will enjoy a rapid start-up, superior fluidity and speed, while staying more connected with the interactive Windows 8 tiles interface.
The Toshiba Portege Z935 ultrabook’s 4-cell lithium-ion battery gives above-average longevity for the reviewed category of ultraportables. In various tests, including Web surfing over Wi-Fi and looping videos with the brightness level fixed at 40 %, the laptop’s battery provides over 6 hours, which is quite impressive. By comparison, Intel’s Ultrabook specifications require at least 5 hours of battery life.
The USA market prices for the Toshiba Portege Z935 ultraportable start at $856. At the moment, this is the best buying option, which include the Z935’s entry-level configuration (1.7-GHz Intel Core i5-3317U CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD + Intel HD 4000 GPU). Extra features will obviously make users spend extra money – more advanced models featuring 6GB (or higher) RAM teamed up with more powerful chips will jack up the prices up to $1,500.