The new Toshiba Portege Z30-C feels very much like the last model I tried in 2012. It is as thin and light as I remember.
It even has a business-like magnesium alloy chassis like those of earlier versions. At 1.17kg, the Portege is one of the lightest 13-inch laptops in the market, narrowly besting such ultrabooks as the Asus ZenBook UX305 and the Lenovo Yoga 900.
Even the preloaded operating system - Windows 7 Professional - seems like something from another era now that Windows 10 has been available for half a year. Toshiba does offer Windows 10 on the Portege, but this business laptop has no touchscreen.
Of course, the guts are very different. The current Portege comes with Intel's latest Skylake-class Core i7 processor, which brings significant improvements in performance and battery life. The laptop also has a healthy 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive.
The Portege felt responsive when I was opening folders and loading apps. But I am not a fan of the product offers and ads from the likes of Dropbox and TripAdvisor plastered all over the Windows desktop.
While it is easier to delete these than preloaded apps you do not need, such offers are still bloatware.
Like many business laptops, the Portege has a mediocre display. The screen resolution is relatively low at 1,366x768 pixels. Viewing angles are decent enough, but colours appear washed out when viewed from the side.
The keyboard feels shallow and the function keys in the top row are so small that I had to peck at them carefully. On the bright side, the keyboard does have a LED backlight and is spill-resistant.
A pointer stick is available for those who prefer it to a touchpad. The fingerprint sensor is at the bottom of the touchpad.
Another old-school but handy feature is the Portege's VGA port, which is useful for connecting to older projectors. For more modern projectors, there is HDMI and Intel Wireless Display technology on the laptop.
The Portege Z series has always been known for its battery stamina. And the Z30-C lived up to expectations with an uptime of 9 hrs 25min in our video-loop battery test. Compare this with six to seven hours on a typical ultrabook.
The Z30-C is intended for business users and is not available in retail stores. Contact Toshiba directly to place an order.
The Portege is light, capable and, more importantly, has outstanding battery life.
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-6500U (2.5GHz)
GRAPHICS: Intel HD Graphics 520
SCREEN SIZE: 13.3 inches, 1,366x 768 pixels
CONNECTIVITY: 3xUSB 3.0, VGA, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet port, SD card reader, audio jack
BATTERY: 52 watt-hour
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5
BATTERY LIFE: 5/5
OVERALL: 4 /5
This article was first published on Feb 10, 2016.
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