In the last few years, Toshiba has produced some of the highest quality mid-range Windows 7 laptops on the market. Reliable, speedy and attractive, their Satellite machines have a strong following for good reason. So, with the launch of the Portege line of Ultrabooks, Toshiba hopes to capture that lightning in a bottle once more and provide top tier mobile, lightweight computing for Windows 7 users.
The Portege at a Glance
If you have read anything about Ultrabooks in the last few months, you should be fairly familiar with what the Portege Z835 lineup has to offer. The P370 is a mid-range option in this line – starting at $950 and including an Intel Core i5 processor, 6GB of DDR3 memory, and a 128GB SDD hard drive.
As with other ultrabooks, the Portege does not sport an optical drive and has an onboard graphics chip that allocates memory from your system memory, so don’t expect to use this machine for any heavy duty gaming any time soon.
Battery life is a huge plus for the Portege. Out of the box, Toshiba claims you will get up to 8.28 hours of battery life, though actual benchmarks put the number closer to 7 and a half hours – still a very strong number when compared to other models currently on the market. And at less than 2.5 pounds, it is super sleek. Sporting the metal case that has become so popular in recent years, the Portege looks…amazing.
Performance at a Glance
So, the Portege looks amazing, has a strong lineup of components under the hood and is backed by a powerful brand in portable computing. How does it stand up to the demands of daily use?
First, there is the start from sleep feature that Ultrabooks all sport. While Toshiba’s technology isn’t quite as “instant” as say Acer or Asus, it is still very respectable at less than 10 seconds from sleep to editing your documents. Combined with a 2+ week standby time on its battery, you’ll be hard pressed to turn the machine off anytime soon.
With an i5 processor and a solid 6GB of memory, this machine will do almost anything you need it to. Benchmarks for standard performance in photo editing and web surfing are solid across the board and honestly, it looks really good.
Drawbacks of the Portege
If there is one drawback that most reviewers point to after spending time with the Portege, it is the fan noise. It turns on frequently (even with the recent bios upgrade from Toshiba), it stays on for a long time and it makes a tremendous amount of noise. No one wants their machine to overheat, but still, this is a bit excessive.
The touchpad has been another point of contention for many Portege owners – a holdover from Satellite touchpad issues on older Toshiba models.
Still, when you consider the sheer number of things the Portege does right, it’s incredibly lightweight chassis and the fact that it runs smoothly for days, even when left on, the drawbacks are easy to overlook.
The Right Fit for the Portege
With so many very similar Ultrabooks flooding the market at the same time, it’s hard to know for sure which is the best fit for your needs. Yes, the Portege still has many of the drawbacks that other machines in this category have – no optical drive, limited graphical capabilities, and limited storage – but with its steady performance, the Portege is by far one of the best fits for the crown of top Ultrabook on the market and the price is impossible to ignore. Also, by adding one the best laser printers under $200 you entire mobile office will be ready to go.