Excerpt: One of the goals of the Ultrabook specification was affordability, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at the list of options currently available, nor the list of laptops soon to be released. Many models will set you back one Grover Cleveland — and that’s if you don’t pick any options.
Conclusion: Toshiba’s Z835 does not make a good first impression. It’s as thin as a piece of cardboard, and feels just slightly stronger. These snap judgments about the laptop’s strength are only worsened by a sub-par keyboard and a display that isn’t sharp or beautiful.
Pros: Incredibly thin and light, Great connectivity, Excellent performance, Useful bundled software
Cons: Drab design, Flimsy chassis, Terrible keyboard, Disappointing display and audio quality, Runs loud and warm, Expensive as-tested
Conclusion: The Toshiba Portege Z835-P330 is the lightest, longest lasting ultrabook we've seen yet, and its affordability adds sparkle to a system with moderate performance and limited graphics capability.
Pros: Lightest ultrabook yet. Full feature set, with extras like USB 3.0, WiDi 2.0, and full-sized HDMI. Longest battery life in the category.
Cons: Wimpy processing and graphics. Flimsy screen. Keyboard flexes. Small touchpad.
Excerpt: In the last couple of weeks, ultrabooks — Intel’s new category of ultrathin and ultralight laptops — have been arriving one by one, each aiming to derail the MacBook Air’s lead with a mix of competitive pricing and new features.
Pros: Incredibly light (even lighter than the 13-Macbook Air), Backlit keyboard, Good battery life, Very competitive price
Cons: Not the most attractive design, Build quality could be better, Screen is washed out, Base configuration only has Core i3
Excerpt: Nothing gets the gadget fiend excited as much as the phrase, “A Best Buy Exclusive.” Expectations could not have been lower for this machine, seeing as it’s headed into that electronic dumping ground: Holiday season at big box retailers.
Pros: Gorgeous display, great performance, ultra-cheap price, and dazzlingly light weight. More port options than most ultrabooks. Sleek and sophisticated looks despite the plastic construction. Above-average battery life at over 5 hours.
Cons: More crashes than you can shake a MacBook Air at. Screen flexes ominously. Weak keyboard with ugly backlighting. Ports (almost all in the rear) are difficult to reach.
Summary: The Toshiba Portege Z835 is arguably the best Ultrabook yet--and certainly the best option under $1,000. For $899, you get the lightest 13-inch laptop around, full-size ports, and an accurate touchpad. The nearly 7 hours of battery life is another big plus.