Toshiba Portégé Z835-P330 Ultrabook Review - HotHardware

Toshiba Portégé Z835-P330 Ultrabook Review

11 thumbs up
We're going to let you in on a little secret, and while you're free to pass it on, understand that nobody will ever believe you. In fact, if you do share this secret, you might suffer a barrage of insults, and depending on your stature, could even end up with a wedgie. You've been warned. Are you ready? Here goes: Many Windows users, even die hard ones, have a secret lust for Apple's MacBook Air. Yup, we said it, and now we'll give you a moment to clean the coffee off your monitor and keyboard.

Few Windows users will ever admit it, but the MacBook Air is a finely crafted laptop from a physical design standpoint. It's exceptionally thin, extremely lightweight, and terrifically styled. We can say this because it's our job to check any biases at the door before showing up to work, and if we're being totally honest, then there it is. So what is there for Windows users these days? Up until recently, there really were not many equivalent solutions, but with the introduction of Intel's Ultrabook form factor, suddenly it's a whole new ball game.

Toshiba's Portégé R835-P330 is one of just a handful Ultrabooks currently available and is part of a new breed of laptops intended to blend ultra-portability with performance. Thin, lightweight, and well equipped, the Ultrabook form factor is the direction the Windows laptop market is headed, but first manufacturers have to get a grip on price. Early Ultrabook models have struggled to stay below the $1,000 ceiling Intel has encouraged them to stay under.

Toshiba's Z835-P330 gets there, and with room to spare. It's available at Best Buy for $800, and we've seen it on sale for as low as $700. It's the least expensive Ultrabook model currently available, and unlike Acer's Aspire S3, which is another lower-priced Ultrabook, Toshiba's model sports a dedicated 128GB solid state drive for storage chores (the Aspire S3 features a 320GB HDD + 20GB SSD). It also has a backlit keyboard, 13.3-inch LED backlit display, USB 3.0 support, and even a GbE LAN port.

How is it that Toshiba can offer a seemingly full featured Ultrabook for less scratch than the competition? That's a great question, and is one of many we'll be answering on the following pages. But first, a little teaser from Toshiba...

Toshiba Portégé Z835-P330 Ultrabook
Specifications & Features
Processor Intel® Core i3 2367M Processor
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Chipset Intel® QS67 Express Chipset
Graphics Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000
Memory 4GB DDR3 1333 MHz DRAM
Display 13.3" 16:9 (1366x768) HD TruBrite LED Backlight
Storage Toshiba 128GB SG2 mSATA 3Gbps SSD
Networking Integrated 802.11 b/g/n
10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN
Interface 1 x Headphone-out jack (Audio-in Combo)
1 x USB 3.0 port
2 x USB 2.0 port (1 with Sleep and Charge)
1 x HDMI
1 x VGA
Battery Li-Ion (47Wh, 8-Cell), Up to 8.28 hours
Power Adapter 45W (19V 2.37A) Auto-sensing, 100-240V / 50-6-Hz input
Dimensions 0.33-0.63 (H) x 12.4 (W) x 8.94 (D) inches
Weight 2.47 pounds
Manufacturer Warranty 1-Year Parts and Labor; 1-Year Battery
Pricing: $929.99 MSRP; $799 street as tested

If you look closely at the spec sheet, you'll see part of the reason why Toshiba is able to sell the Z835-P330 for several hundred dollars less than a grand. It starts with the Core i3-2367M processor, a definite downgrade compared to the Core i5 and i7 processors found in nearly every other Ultrabook. We were also suspect of the SATA 3Gbps solid state drive, and for good reason. We looked up the specs online (PDF), and according to Toshiba, the SG2 series is only rated for 180MB/s read and 50MB/s write speeds, and while those are average (as opposed to peak) ratings, the SSD is a far cry from the performance oriented SATA 6Gbps model tucked into the Asus Zenbook lineup (we reviewed here).

Elsewhere things look decidedly better. The Z835-P330 is a 13.3-inch Ultrabook with a large capacity battery, a USB 3.0 port, Sleep and Charge capabilities, an Ethernet LAN port, and an extremely thin frame that weighs a mere 2.47 pounds.

Article Index:

+ -

looks almost as a macbook with the chiclet style keyboard. Though, thanks for being honest! Flimsy lid alone would offset my decision to buy this. Cant imagine what would happen overtime.

I had to replace my hinges on my Dell Latitude D640 after 18 months of abuse!

+ -

@sarcasticJosh - I had a Dell Lat D640, those were friggin' gladiators at least build wise, from your comment it seems you used your laptop as an accordion. It is a laptop lcd panel not an effing bellows. As for those chiclet style keyboard, those were a sony invention, not Apple's. Apple stole that idea too, just as they stole pretty much every idea in their product line up since the 90s ... :D ... your Jobsian fanboyism is showing.

+ -

Always knew hothardware writers were secret Apple religious followers. They can't stop talking about Apple products, no matter what the article is about. And here we have one admitting his secret desires about Apple. He makes the same mistake many deluded people do, and is projecting his own desires onto everyone else.

Apple equipment is vile, it has little to no software for an artist like me to make a living off (WINDOWS is the art platform, and I recently moved my whole studio from OSX to Windows ... and one MorphOS Amiga), it has sycophant airhead followers who berate you no matter what you carry because you are not as much of a true believer in the God Apple than they are... Get this through your simple minds hothardware writers... We DONT CARE about Apple. we DONT WANT Apple! When we read a story about a Windows machine we stop reading as soon as you start raving about Apple hardware!

+ -

We DONT CARE about Apple. we DONT WANT Apple!

What is this ~we~ crap? You have a Frog in your pocket? LOL!

I think that it's wonderful that you can, (with just four posts under your belt) speak for all of us here. What a guy!

+ -

Unfortunately, boybunny, this article was written on a day when we were all out of sand, so I had no place to bury my head and pretend that Apple products -- and specifically, the MacBook Air, for which Intel's Ultrabook concept is competing against -- don't exist. Even worse, we're still without sand, so I can't even promise this won't be the last time anything positive is ever said about Apple when the context dictates it's applicable.

+ -

The MacBook air is beautiful... Not worth the price or the OS, but its absolutely gorgeous. I am super excited that we are seeing so many new laptops that have its slim form.

+ -

wow the Toshiba Ultrabook puts this old dell lattitude to complete shame. just about every complaint ive had with the lattitude, is proven fixed in the ultrabook: lattitude: big and bulky. hard to type while browsing in the dark, super slow usb transferring, no HDMI output, which sucks, AND the screen on the ultrabook has a safety lock, which is awsome. also, the lattitude technically belongs to the school. which sucks.

+ -

The Portege Z835 has treated me quite well as an ultrabook on the cheaper side. I bought it for my aunt and used it for a while before ultimately giving it to her (as a computer enthusiast, gamer, and programmer, I wanted to make sure it was as good as it seemed), and it definitely was a good choice.


The computer is, as you might expect from the specs of the computer, fast. The 128GB SSD ensures that programs open almost instantly, and while the processor, the intel core i3 model, is on the lower end of Intel's line of processors, it is still zippy and over 2 times as fast as the last generation core 2 duo processors. The combination of that with a generous 4GB of ram make this ultrabook respond very well, so long as you aren't doing anything particularly strenuous like gaming, which this computer really isn't designed for. If you want to watch movies, listen to music, do text editing, and the like, this laptop is pretty great. It's also quiet in all those cases, too. I haven't tried playing any games on it--if I get the opportunity, I'll edit this post with that info.

Battery life is excellent. In normal use it doesn't reach 8 hours like Toshiba claims, but more like 6 is a reasonable estimate. That's pretty great for what is packed inside the laptop. Finally, it's reliable. I never had it crash on me or overheat. Excellent.


This thing is LIGHT. Just like many other ultrabooks you may have seen, this is among the lightest 13" computers I've ever seen. I can't wait for the day that every laptop is this light. It also feels reasonably well built. While the hinge of the laptop tends to wobble a little bit, it isn't much of an issue and doesn't make me feel less secure about the laptop's structural integrity.


The webcam is pretty average, but that isn't a deal-breaker at all. the keyboard feels more or less solid, although while the keys are normal sied they are spaced out a bit too much so i wish the individual keys were a little bigger (not a big deal, but just something I noticed). The trackpad is very basic--don't expect fancy multitouch features. That being said it works quite reliably since it doesn't rely on weird trackpad buttons or finnicky multitouch gestures (you got us there, Apple!). Ports are fantastic for an ultrabook--lots of USB slots, HDMI to hook up monitors, a card reader. This blows away most of the competition's port selection.


While other laptops may feel more solid or look more aesthetically pleasing than this one, this ultrabook beats most of them out on price. Definitely look around for this laptop around the internet to see what's the lowest price you can snag--if you're in the market for an ultrabook, you can score this cheaper than the rest and have a really solid experience with it.

*NOTE: if you're will buy the Toshiba Portege Z835-P330, I suggest you have to check for best deal before you decide at:

hope this review is helpful.

+ -

Has anyone had any problems with the Portege Z835 keyboard? the a,g, and space bar do not work, they have helped me reset the computer twice and have replaced the keyboard but the problem presist.

Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: