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Toshiba Portege Z930 hands-on review

We take a tour of the world's lightest 13in ultrabook
Mon Jun 11 2012, 16:26

JAPANESE COMPUTER OUTFIT Toshiba launched a line of notebooks at Computex in Taipei last week and The INQUIRER got a hands on preview of the Portege Z930.

As an update to last year's Toshiba's Z830, the laptop claims to be the world's lightest 13in ultrabook at only 1.12kg.


With a grey brushed metal effect chassis and clean, sharp edges giving it a sleek, classy feel, the Z930 aims for the business market and looks as high-end as its £899 price tag.

This premium look and feel is what most ultrabook vendors are going for these days - think of the very similar looking Vaio S13 by Sony. It's expected now, especially given the prices.

Lifting up the Z930, it's apparent that it's the lightest ultrabook on the market. It's so light in fact that it feels like it shouldn't be a real laptop, more like one of those mock ones you see in the exhibit area at Ikea. Just not as cheap looking, and not made out of cardboard.

On closer inspection, we see that despite suffering from anorexia, the Z930 isn't made of cardboard and has two full size USB ports and full size Ethernet and HDMI inputs. There's also an SD card slot for extra storage options and easier photo transfers when you just can't be bothered to fish out your camera's USB cable.


Opening the slender lid, the first thing we noticed was the fragility of it. Due to the placement of the hinge that sits in the middle of the base, leaving around 2in of nothing but thin air at either side, it doesn't feel as sturdy as we'd have liked.

Doing our usual ultrabook test of toughness, which involves taking each side of the lid with our brawny hands and pulling it ever so slightly in opposite directions, we found there was not enough resistance from the chassis here. It may well be because of the magnesium alloy material, which might pride itself on being less weighty but strong, but in this case feels a little flimsy. In our opinion, it's far more important to keep that display as protected as possible with a more robust case than to try to make it as light as a feather.

We are aware, however, that in average use a user would not be pulling the screen in opposite directions, especially after forking out 900 smackers for it, but it gives us an impression of how the laptop might fare in a drop off the edge of a sofa, for example.


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