Toshiba Portégé Z30 / R30- Review
Toshiba Portégé Z30
Toshiba Portégé is a series of ultralight laptops that started being manufactured by Toshiba since 1994 with the most recent the Portege R30-A and Portege Z30 -A which came out in 2015. These are high-end Ultra-books manufactured particularly to target business professionals. The R30 does not have a very impressive design but stand out among others for its quality. It’s slightly thicker and heavier than others and has a black exterior and a strip of aluminum below the touchpad. The chassis is lightweight yet strong made of magnesium alloy. The Portégé Z30 on the contrary is quite sleek, lightweight, compact and durable. It has been built sturdy to withstand abuse. Made of polycarbonate it looks very nice. It feels a bit cold when touched. Being made entirely of plastic, the cover bends a little bit, but that is not something to worry about. The screen is 13.3-inch. It practically looks smooth with the same finish all around.
The inner magnesium frame makes the Portégé Z30 secure for light to medium abuses. Both the Portégé R30 and the Portégé Z30 have almost similar hardware. The Portégé Z30 does provide multiple storage options but not the most recent storage technology. Toshiba almost has placed in the market two laptops for professionals that are capable to respond to most of their daily task needs. Beside catering for the professionals, these laptops are also fantastic for entertainment particularly those who like gaming and watching videos.
When it come to the display, the Portégé Z30 has a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 with a pixel density of 166 PPI. At a distance of more than 53cm, the panel is become like a retina and covers 96% of sRGB which implies that almost all web-based colors can be reproduced. The R30 has a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 which is a lot lower than the Portégé Z30. Despite its superior performance capabilities, it almost provides worst image quality. It is almost covered with anti-glare. The 13.3 display screen can be considered as an entry level panel. Colors seem dull and lifeless and the viewing angle can also seem a problem. What is almost positive is that it has brightness more than average with 200 nits.
The Portégé Z30 includes a VGA port, an HDMI, a USB port 3.0 and a 3.5 headphone jack. The card reader slot, a slim slot for 3G connectivity and another 3.0 USB port can be found on the right side. The keyboard provides very good feedback and do not seem to be stiff. A TrackPoint can be found in the center that feels very rough and the touchpad buttons at the top, just below the space bar make a small click sound. The touchpad also is quite responsive and can support multi-finger gestures. Under the touchpad is a status red light and a fingerprint scanner for personal data protection.
The R30 beside the common connectivity features also has an optical drive. The keyboard is one of its better attribute, a very good feedback, the layout it excellent. It looks like Toshiba used wisely the space of the chassis it comes with backlighting. The touchpad is slightly off centered and has quite a smooth surface. Other items included is a webcam, a 5-in-1 card reader that supports up to 2GB od SD and connection on the internet is made through Wi-Fi 802.11a/c it also incorporates Bluetooth 4.0
Two speakers can be found inside the chassis projecting through holes just above the keyboard. The sound would need enhancement. It would do well for watching some videos but would not necessarily be heard clear enough in a medium size room.
The R30 has a socketed Intel “Haswell” CPU which runs at full voltage, that includes a 37W dual and 47 quad-core processor. The core i5-4210 is extremely fast. Beside the fantastic CPU, it has 16 GB of RAM and many different storage options mSATA solid state drive (SSD), and a 2.5, 9.5 mm bay drive. The Z30 also includes a “Haswell” CPU, and Intel Core i7-451OU and 8 GB of RAM including 512GB (SSD) mSATA. In comparison of the two, the R30 has much more performance capacity. The operating system for both is window 7 pros, but they can easily be upgrade to the latest versions of Microsoft windows.
Being built for the business professionals, one of the most important thing is battery capacity. The Z30 incorporates a 52Whr. It almost is quite a small battery for a business class notebook lasting only 5 hours and 30 minutes. The R30 has even a more mediocre battery that can last only 4 hours, 40 minutes.
Pros & Cons
The Portégé Z30 is overall a great laptop for a professional. The design is great and it is built with quality in mind. The IPS panel is particularly fantastic for professional photo editing and design. Included also are many different ports for connectivity and 3G module. The keyboard and touchpad are very responsive with the keys well-spaced helping to reduce adjacent errors. It also has an excellent cooling system and most of all various storage options. Even if these are fantastic specs to have, what is true is that the hardware for products of its category can be considered a bit outdated, for instance storage with mSATA SSD while the most recent in technology invention is the M.2 SATA hence in comparison the Portégé Z30 has a lower speed than many of the new generation in the market. The “Haswell” generation Intel Core processor are quite good and very performing, which is the reason why Toshiba find it hard to replace. They operate a very low frequency and support TurboBoost, Hyper Threading, which is additional visual core for every physical one. Another thing is that the fan is a bit too noisy, the TrackPoint awkward and of course the battery life not impressive.
The R30 seems to be too strongly built for a laptop intended for business professionals who often carried their laptop around and the design is not fantastic and can even be considered as boring. A plus is the inclusion of an optical drive and a docking station support. The pointing stick is fantastic, but the keyboard although responsive could be improved. For a laptop of this quality, the display is quite bad.
* The design is great and it is built with quality in mind.
* The IPS panel is particularly fantastic for professional photo editing and design.
* The keyboard and touchpad are very responsive.
* An excellent cooling system.
* The design is not fantastic and can even be considered as boring.
* For a laptop of this quality, the display is quite bad.