Toshiba Portégé Z835-P330 Ultrabook Review

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To really appreciate the Z835-P330, you need to get up close and personal with it. There aren't any wild designs or flashy LEDs to draw your attention to it, just a solid mix of metal and plastic in a frame that's so thin you'll wonder how Toshiba managed to cram any hardware at all inside of it. Dimensions check in at 0.33-0.63 (H) x 12.4 (W) x 8.94 (D) inches, roughly on par with the MacBook Air, but about a half a pound lighter at 2.47 pounds versus 2.96 pounds. It's also less of a tapered design than the MacBook Air or Asus ZenBook.

It's hard to see in pictures, but there's a subtle brushed aluminum motif going on with the silver lid and extending to the wrist rest inside. Chrome colored hinges and Toshiba's logo sitting smack dab in the middle accent an overall attractive machine. When closed, the Z835-P330 feels well built and sturdy despite its lightweight design, though there's a hint of flex if you press down on the lid that will make you leery about tossing around your backpack with this Ultrabook tucked inside.

As for the hardware, we covered the main bits on the previous page, but if you require more processing oomph, Toshiba also offers a couple of better spec'd configurations, including the Z830-S8301 (Core i5 2557M processor, 4GB DDR3 memory, 128GB SSD) and Z830-S8302 (Core i7 2677M, 6GB DDR3 memory, 1238GB SSD). The big difference is the processor:
  • Core i3 2367M: 1.4GHz, 3MB cache, 350MHz GPU, No Turbo Boost
  • Core i5 2557M: 1.7GHz, 3MB cache, 350MHz GPU, 2.7GHz Turbo Boost
  • Core i7 2677M: 1.8GHz, 4MB cache, 350MHz GPU, 2.9GHz Turbo Boost
The Core i3 chip with its lack of Turbo Boost is by far the biggest tradeoff you're making with the Z835-P330 compared to other Ultrabooks, and you'll see this play out in our benchmarks.


While the body feels tight and sturdy, the little bit of flex we noticed in the lid becomes a whole lot of elasticity when we open it up. The screen is easily bendable to the point where you'll feel like the world's strongest man (or woman) simply by gripping each side and flexing it back and forth. Otherwise, the hinges do a good job of keeping the limp screen in place.

Typing on the Z835-P330 takes a little getting used to. The keys are a little smaller than we would like, and this is especially noticeable on the spacebar. Our thumbs naturally want to sit below the slimmed down spacebar, which is an annoyance until you adapt to the layout. The click action is fair, which is to say it's neither spectacular nor crummy.

Below the keyboard is a two-button touchpad with multi-touch support. It supports gestures like pinch, swipe, rotate, and scroll. There's also a button just above to disable the trackpad altogether.

While typing on the keyboard is an awesome experience, the inclusion of a backlight is totally rad at this price point and gives Z835-P330 owners a point of bragging rights over Asus Zenbook owners. We also appreciate that it's spill resistant.

Another high point is the inclusion of a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, a feature not found on Acer's Aspire S3, which is currently the only other 13.3-inch Ultrabook that competes with the Z835-P330 in price. For those who do a lot of file transfers, especially large size files, this could very well be a deciding factor between the two models. Also visible on the right-hand side is a security lock slot.

Over on the left side of the Z835-P330 is a microphone jack, headphone jack, and a full size SD card slot, all positioned towards the back.

Most of the I/O ports are found on the rear of Toshiba's Ultrabook. From left to right you'll find a GbE LAN port, USB 2.0 port, USB 2.0 port with Sleep and Charge capabilities, full size HDMI output, DC-in, and a VGA port. There's also a cooling vent on the back where hot air is actively pushed out by an internal fan. There's an audible whir associated with the fan, though it's not obnoxiously loud or whiny.

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sarcasticjosh 2 years ago

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!

NChatterjee 2 years ago

@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.

boybunny 2 years ago

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!

realneil 2 years ago

[quote user="boybunny"]We DONT CARE about Apple. we DONT WANT Apple![/quote]

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!

paul_lilly 2 years ago

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.

LShawMcMinn 2 years ago

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.

JZitting 2 years ago

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.

GLugo 2 years ago

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.

randie one year ago

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.

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