Toshiba Portégé Z835-P330 Ultrabook Review

Software & First Boot

Ultrabooks are one of the rare cases where a smaller bundle is not only acceptable, but perhaps even desirable. After all, these systems are all about compact portability, and the more you have to lug around, the less portable it becomes. Unpacking we the Z835-P330, we found the main unit (always a good thing), power adapter, quick start guide, user manual, warranty documentation, a 15 percent off coupon for Toshiba laptop accessories and service plans, a $10 eMusic card, and various trialware paperwork (Norton and MS Office).

We're always thrilled to see a clean desktop when first booting up an OEM system, and outside of a Best Buy link, Toshiba's home screen is pristine. It was also interesting to see Google's Chrome browser come pre-installed alongside Microsoft's obligatory Internet Explorer. Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2012 also comes installed as an optional 30-day trial.

Booting into Windows from a powered off state took 32 seconds. Shutting down took 10 seconds.

In place of a bunch of trialware, Toshiba opted to install a bunch of its own software and utilities instead. There's quite a few, though they're unobtrusive and only a couple load at startup. One of the utilities is the Toshiba Bulletin Board, which is like a customized mini homepage to help you keep track of appointments, plan vacations, and various other tasks.

Of more utility, at least if you're a bookworm, is Toshiba's Book Place. It's an eBook reader powered by Blio. It's an eBook reader for Windows and Android that supports sounds, color, video, a "ReadAloud" feature, integrated Web search, hyperlinks, text-to-speech capabilities, exportable notes, and more.

Most of what Toshiba offers is fluff, but if there's one utility a power user might be apt to use, it's the PC Health Monitor. It serves as a central hub of sorts for different diagnostics and provides a live visual snapshot of the state of your system.

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