Slim it may be but this Ultrabook is packed with tons of features.
By ZAM KARIM
TOSHIBA'S Portege Z930 is one of the new breed of Ultrabooks in the market. For the uninitiated, Ultrabooks are essentially thin and lightweight notebooks running on the latest Intel Core processor.
They are generally easy to lug around in your backpack.
Although we expected this ultrabook to be light, the Z930 still managed to surprise us as to how weightless it felt when we took it out of the box.
And it is super slim - measuring just 8.3mm at the thinnest point.
However, don't let the size fool you. Armed with the latest Intel Core i7, 6GB RAM and Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip, the Z930 is one mean machine.
With a dark silver brushed finish and a super thin body, the Z930 is a head turner.
Its 13.3in display sports an antiglare coating unlike most other notebooks which have super-glossy panels.
This allows you to see the screen clearly even under bright sunlight which is great if you have to do, say, a business presentation in a cafe.
Most of the Ultrabooks we have come across have screens that flex too much but Toshiba assures us that the unique honeycomb structure within the magnesium alloy chassis of the Z930 gives it increased durability and rigidity.
The chiclet keyboard has a spill-resistant membrane underneath to prevent liquid from sipping into the hardware and damaging it.
The Z930's chassis may be thin but it comes with various connectivity options including a SDHC card slot for transferring data, a HDMI port to view videos on a bigger screen, two USB 2.0 ports for connecting external peripherals, and a faster USB 3.0 port with Sleep & Charge function for recharging a mobile phone, MP3 player or other portable electronics even when the notebook is turned off. As for wireless capability, it has three options - WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and WiDi (Wireless Display).
WiDi is a new wireless technology from Intel that allows users to beam movies, TV shows, webcasts and photos from the notebook to a HDTV that supports the protocol.
The inclusion of a VGA port surprised us as it's more common to just have an HDMI port.
The legacy port still has its uses especially for connecting older peripherals like office projectors.
Like all Ultrabooks, the Z930 uses an SSD (solid-state drive) so that programs can launch quickly and Windows can start up faster.
The daily rigours of working on the move often results in vibrations and shocks to your notebook which can affect internal components in a hard disk drive but SSDs have no moving parts. This makes them better suited for working on the go.
Also, SSDs require less power to operate so you get the added benefit of being able to use the Ultrabook longer.
Which is why it is not surprising that the Z930 was able to clock eight hours on a single charge. That's enough to get a lot of work done on the notebook and still have enough power to watch a video or two.
The Core i7 processor and generous amount of memory (6GB RAM) allows the Z930 to multitask efficiently.
We fired up our web browsers and streamed videos from YouTube while simultaneously playing high-definition video in a media player. Suffice to say that it was able to handle all the tasks with ease.
You might expect thin and hollow audio from a notebook this slim but the Z930 is surprsingly good in this area.
Its stereo speakers with SRS Premium 3D sound produces rich and crisp audio.
This not only will help you create a business presentation with more impact but will also allow you to enjoy music and movies better during your spare time.
As the Z930 targets businesses, it is only natural that it has an array of protective features to help safeguard important data stored on the SSD like Intel vPro, Trusted Platform Module chip and fingerprint scanner.
The Z930 has more than good looks going for it. The slim and lightweight chassis houses some of the latest components which allow the notebook to operate super smoothly.
However, with great power comes a hefty price tag. Be prepared to fork out RM4,899 for the Z930 but that's not too bad considering that it is a business notebook.
If you have the dough to spare, this Ultrabook is worth checking out.
Pros: Chic design; slim and lightweight; plenty of security features; long battery life; runs smooth.
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-3667U (up to 3.2GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology)
MEMORY: 6GB RAM
DISPLAY: 13.3in (1,366 x 768-pixels) with LED backlight
GRAPHICS: Intel HD Graphics 4000
STORAGE: 128GB SSD
CONNECTIVITY: WiFi 802.11n, 10/100 Ethernet port, Bluetooth 4.0
OPTICAL DRIVE: None
PORTS/SLOTS: Two USB2.0 ports, one USB3.0 (Sleep & Charge) port, VGA out, HDMI slot, headphone and microphone jacks
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 7 Professional
OTHER FEATURES: 1.3-megapixel webcam, fingerprint scanner, spill-resistant keyboard
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 316 x 227 x 8.3mm (front)/15.9mm (rear)
Review unit courtesy of Tele Dynamics Sdn. Bhd, (03) 5568 7788