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Toshiba Portege Z830
Toshiba's Portege Z830 is cheaper, lighter, and better equipped than Apple's 13" MacBook Air

Manufacturers are still trying to work out final details on pricing for Intel-based Ultrabooks, but the devices are on the way. For those that like the form-factor and weight on Apple's highly popular MacBook Air range, but can't be bothered with Apple’s pricing or OS X, Toshiba is serving up a fine alternative with the Portege Z830. 

Toshiba has worked some serious magic on the Portege Z830 as it manages to incorporate a 13.3" display (1366x768) and second generation Intel Core processors into a frame weighing in at under 2.5 pounds. Part of the low weight can be attributed to the Portege Z830's magnesium alloy body.

Although Toshiba won't tell us how fast the processors are in the Portege Z830, the specs are quite amazing. It will come with a 128GB SSD, backlit and spill-resistant keyboard, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, GbE port, Secure Digital reader, HDMI-out, and stereo speakers.

According to Engadget, the notebook features an 8-cell battery, can be equipped with up to 6GB of DDR3 memory, and will have an optional Core i7 processor upgrade available.

"The Portégé Z830 Series sets a new standard for thin and light systems, not just in portability, but also in affordability for such cutting-edge designs," said Carl Pinto, vice president of product development, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. "Toshiba's engineering achievements and expert craftsmanship have resulted in a brilliant and fully thought-through innovation that exceeds expectations, perfect for both mobile business professionals and consumers." 

And keeping with Intel's mandate, the 0.63"-thin Portege Z830 will start at under $1,000 (we're guessing $999) when it launches later this year. That would make the lighter, better-spec'd Toshiba Ultrabook $300 cheaper than the entry-level 13" MacBook Air.





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tony swash
By Smilin on 9/1/2011 12:07:16 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry man but I gotta go all Tony Swash here for a sec..

It's all well and good that Toshiba and others are making really nice hardware that arguably beats the MBA. Glad to see it.

I have to withhold full props though. It's old news. Jobs pulled a MBA out of a manilla envelope f'n years ago. I was impressed then. Not so much now.

But all that said... It's a good looking machine.




RE: tony swash
By maven81 on 9/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: tony swash
By Smilin on 9/1/2011 2:26:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That manilla envelope stunt was sheer stupidity


It's called marketing and it was brilliant. You still remember exactly what I meant don't you?

Also while the Air was indeed designed with asthetics in mind do at least recognize the size as a feature in itself. It couldn't get much more portable. Adding a couple pounds to move from a 10hr battery life to 20 seems silly.


RE: tony swash
By maven81 on 9/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: tony swash
By Smilin on 9/1/2011 3:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You realize though that you can fit lots of laptops into a manila envelope. They would bulge outwards but technically it would still be a laptop in an envelope.


And you would look like a retard tugging it out of an envelope during a demo. Jobs did it because he could.

quote:
The question is who cares? you need a bag to carry a laptop.
. No. You need a bag to carry a heavy laptop or a bag to carry a power supply for one that doesn't have a 10hr battery life. I'm not a MBA owner but I sure as crap wouldn't bother with a bag if I had one.


RE: tony swash
By AssBall on 9/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: tony swash
By vortex222 on 9/2/2011 2:38:14 AM , Rating: 2
you need a bag to carry a mouse with a second button, USB to Ethernet Port, CDRom Drive, SDCard reader, and while we are at it... headphones because it has such lousy sound. all such accessories means a USB hub as well.

so you might as well carry a bag and bring your charger with you.


RE: tony swash
By Smilin on 9/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: tony swash
By Smilin on 9/2/2011 1:42:38 PM , Rating: 1
That was uncalled for. My stupidshit quota got reached by other means before you posted. Sorry.


RE: tony swash
By tng on 9/2/2011 3:28:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
An ultraportable user is wireless, not some circa-1999 ethernet user.
Are you really saying that the ultra-cool person is never going to end up where there is no wireless network access?
quote:
SDCard reader...yeah not sure how they get by without one of those...ohwait I don't own one so yes I do.
They are handy to have.... after all don't any of you have cameras, phones, or the like that has a SD card?
quote:
no need to carry an extra mouse.
I don't like using the mouse pad, I like the wireless mouse better.


RE: tony swash
By Smilin on 9/2/2011 4:11:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you really saying that the ultra-cool person is never going to end up where there is no wireless network access?


Not often enough to lug a backpack around, no. At home where your adapter is already sitting perhaps, or in a hotel where your bags are already at. WiFi is everywhere.

quote:
They are handy to have.... after all don't any of you have cameras, phones, or the like that has a SD card?
All those same devices have a USB connector. My phone syncs photos via 3G/Wifi. Full disclosure: I actually do have an SDcard reader in one of my laptops but I've never plugged anything into it.

quote:
I don't like using the mouse pad, I like the wireless mouse better.

I f'n hate the pad on laptops and the stupid one button (pseudo multibutton) mouse on the Macs. Had you pulled that into your list of complaints then we would have agreed. Nonetheless it's not necessary to have a mouse and the Apple multi-touchpad is well suited to that OS


RE: tony swash
By tng on 9/2/2011 8:16:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
WiFi is everywhere.
No, not really, maybe in all the places you visit. For me, no, or at least not a wi-fi access that I can log on to. It is becoming common, but I would still perfer to have the option of having a choice, just in case.
quote:
All those same devices have a USB connector.
Yes, but at the same time, I don't like to carry the USB to Mini-USB with me at all times and it is easy to just pull the card and transfer files without having to go through the hassle of finding and hooking up the cable, or having to deal with some third party software that is the only access to the device via USB.

Also on the one button mouse, can't agree with you more. Also in full disclosure, I have a friend that got a new MBA for his birthday and yes it really is a cool device, but I would still take the equivalent MS device.


RE: tony swash
By Dorkyman on 9/5/2011 10:37:53 AM , Rating: 1
I don't know about the rest of you out there, but I am always really impressed by someone using coarse language and invective. It shows that the guy is really smart and that his comments need to be taken seriously.


RE: tony swash
By Smilin on 9/5/2011 7:20:03 PM , Rating: 2
And we should bother to read your post when you haven't read ours?

The apology was three days ago.


RE: tony swash
By bah12 on 9/2/2011 9:49:24 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hnOCUkbix0

Keep in mind the X300 was avialable at roughly the same time as your holy grail MBA. However I do agree it was marketing genius.


Oh hell no
By Apone on 9/1/2011 12:16:41 PM , Rating: 1
@ corduroygt

- Oh Puh-lease, only recently has Apple decided to make the MB-Air's guts up to date. Before the refresh, it was still using the dinosaur that is the Intel Core 2 Duo. Quit making it sound like Apple is on the frontier of technology. I remember when they were using Radeon 9600 (2003 architecture) video cards in their desktop computers 3-4 years ago. And I find it insulting they're advertising the MB-Air as having high resolution when high-resolution is really 1680 x 1080 or 1920 x 1080.

- And what do you need a backlit keyboard for? Competent keyboard users type by touch, not sight. Also, those numbers on the top row of the keyboard aren't just there for decoration...




RE: Oh hell no
By KPOM1 on 9/1/2011 12:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
It still came out several months before these Ultrabooks. Apple was waiting for Intel's integrated graphics to catch up before switching from the Core 2 Duo, which was paired with a nice NVIDIA IGP.

Anyway, let's see what the final specs are. Sure, the Toshiba may start at $999, but what processor will it use? Let's compare prices between the 13" Air and the version of this Toshiba that uses the 1.7GHz Core i5 or better before we declare that this thing has the Air beat by $300. The 13" Air also has a higher resolution than the Toshiba.


RE: Oh hell no
By corduroygt on 9/1/2011 12:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
So what? MB Air's weren't competitive back then, but they are now. Regardless of your personal views, the thin and light buying public put an importance on having a good touchpad, a backlit keyboard, and a good quality screen.


RE: Oh hell no
By Apone on 9/2/2011 1:07:34 AM , Rating: 1
What do you mean so what? You just said it takes more than fancy specs to (apparently) dethrone the end-all & be-all of ultraportable computers (MB-Air) and now you're saying the public just puts an importance on having a good touchpad, backlit keyboard and good quality screen? So then, what else does it take? Should Toshiba slap an Apple-ish logo on the cover to get noticed?

Mac users are so blinded by perceived value that you ignore the big picture. For example, what is up with $200 for an 8GB RAM configuration on a Macbook Pro? Nevermind that DDR3 RAM is dirt-cheap right now ($40-$50 for 8GB on Newegg). Also, why the standard slow 5400rpm hard drives? 5400rpm speed drives are from 2005 and Apple is gonna' ask for $100 more for an industry-standard 7200rpm speed HDD upgrade? And yet you're gonna' pitch Apple's apparent penchant for cutting-edge hardware? Really?


RE: Oh hell no
By ltcommanderdata on 9/1/2011 1:03:00 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Quit making it sound like Apple is on the frontier of technology

Obviously, Apple didn't invent the ultraportable category, but it's incorrect to say Apple isn't at the forefront of this area. Intel has already said that their recent move to shift the TDP of standard processors from 35W to 15W and the Ultrabook program to promote this platform was in part a response to Apple's ultimatum.

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/08/10/intel-sets-...
quote:
Welch said Apple informed Intel that it better drastically slash its power consumption or would likely lose Apple’s business. “It was a real wake-up call to us,” he said.

Intel is saying that Apple told them that either Intel devote the resources to lowering the power consumption of CPUs or Apple will look somewhere else. Intel has clearly agreed and now the Ultrabook program is being pushed onto other OEMs to ensure a broader market for these low power processors since it's obviously not economically viable to design and produce these low power processors only for Apple.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20093867-64/inte...
quote:
Welch: We don't have any set opinion on materials or design elements. Different materials pose different challenges. Machined aluminum is great but it isn't cheap. People are looking at fiberglass, carbon fiber, and metal reinforced plastics.

http://www.digitimes.com/NewsShow/NewsSearch.asp?D...
quote:
As the cost of purchasing a CNC lathe is rather expensive, it has created a high threshold for competitors to join. Currently, Taiwan-based Catcher Technology and Foxconn Technology both have more than 10,000 CNC lathes for metal chassis production.

Since the two players are already the suppliers of Apple, ultrabook players will need to compete for the remaining capacity from the two firms, leaving players unable to fully ship enough devices.

An important feature of such thing designs is the structural rigidity. Apple's machined aluminum unibody design is obviously one way to provide that, but it requires expensive, low volume lathes which Apple has long been buying as much capacity as possible leaving less room for the Ultrabook manufactures who are trying to move into this space. As Intel notes machined aluminum as Apple does is more expensive, which contributes to the $300 price difference. As Engadget describes below, Toshiba currently uses a magnesium skin and needs work on the honeycomb understructure to improve rigidity before shipping.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/01/toshibas-porteg...
quote:
Unfortunately, the pre-production model we played with lacked the company's honeycomb ribbed internals, so we can't make assumptions on rigidity or how sturdy it'll be. The company did assure us that it was aware of the Ultrabook's squishy nature, and that production units would be much more rigid. Regardless, we were smitten with the Z830's thickness (or lack thereof) and its comely magnesium skin, which compares favorably to the existing thin and light champion, the MacBook Air.


quote:
And I find it insulting they're advertising the MB-Air as having high resolution when high-resolution is really 1680 x 1080 or 1920 x 1080.

Well it's true that the 13.3" MacBook Air's 1440x900 resolution isn't high in absolute terms, it is high in the context of 13.3" screens. I don't remember hearing of a 13.3" screen with higher resolution than 1440x900. It is higher resolution than this Toshiba for instance.


RE: Oh hell no
By DanNeely on 9/1/2011 1:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
Sony sells a Vaio model with a 13.1 1920x1080 screen for people who want massive DPI in a tiny package. OTOH the Sony tax makes Apple laptops look like bargins.

http://www.antonline.com/p_VPCZ216GX-L-GP_918438.h...


RE: Oh hell no
By ltcommanderdata on 9/1/2011 1:22:19 PM , Rating: 2
Hmm, that's impressive. I wonder how much higher the component cost of that 13.1" 1920x1080 screen is compared to 1440x900 or the common 1366x768.


RE: Oh hell no
By Solandri on 9/1/2011 3:27:50 PM , Rating: 2
The default screen on the (now discontinued) Sony is 1600x900, so even that beats out the Air. As for the Sony tax, yes it's there, but Sony products get much steeper sales and discounts than Macs. I got my Sony Z (1600x900, 128 GB SSD, 3 lbs) on sale for $900. There was also an old laptop trade-in program going on then, which gave me a $300 rebate on top of that. While Sony was making that particular model Z, they refreshed it every 4-6 months, meaning you could get the "old" model at a steep discount pretty frequently. You'll never see Apple doing that.

That said, 1440x900 is a good resolution. Much more useful than 1366x768 IMHO. It's 16:10 rather than 16:9 for one. And 768 vertical pixels just doesn't cut it. Many apps seem to be designed to assume 768 vertical pixels (probably from the old 1024x768 standard). Unfortunately, when you add Windows' task bar at the bottom, 768 vertical pixels ends up being insufficient. 1440x900 and 1600x900 work really well.


Really, a knock-out blow?
By name99 on 9/1/2011 3:26:43 PM , Rating: 4
Brandon, do you even know what a "knock-out blow" is?

What's your mental model here? That this Portege is so damn compelling that mac users are going to stop buying MacBook Airs, and so Apple is going to give up in disgust and stop making them? Now ask yourself: does any part of that sentence make sense?

What may happen here? Some fence sitters, people who've considered buying a MacBook Air to run Windows, will buy this rather than the Air. That's what, .1% of Mac buyers. For everyone else, their choice is driven primarily by the OS, and unless this Portege either runs OSX, or runs some magic new OS we've never heard of, the beauty of its hardware is very relevant to competing against Dell and Lenovo, and absolutely IRRELEVANT to competing against Apple.




RE: Really, a knock-out blow?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/1/2011 4:19:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some fence sitters, people who've considered buying a MacBook Air to run Windows, will buy this rather than the Air. That's what, .1% of Mac buyers.


Source please? I know made up numbers are fun and all, but come on. Apple's PC market share went from 5% to 14% in 2008 after Boot Camp was released. Coincidence not. That's a HUGE swing! You're telling me only .1% of people buy Macs to run Windows? I call BS sir.

Now you can have your elitist snazzy notebook, spend less, and run the OS you wanted in the first place. Your argument has failed. If OSX is the big draw, explain to me how Mac sales more than doubled when the potential to run Windows came into the mix.


RE: Really, a knock-out blow?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/1/2011 5:02:46 PM , Rating: 1
The 5% to 14% is in the US Only. Internationally Apple still resides in the 3% bracket. The correlation being that Americans have a larger quantity of people that buy based on trends regardless of reality. The international community doesn't seem to have adopted that level of RDF at this point in time.


RE: Really, a knock-out blow?
By robinthakur on 9/2/2011 9:15:25 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously? Have you been to the UK recently? I rarely see anything other than iPhone4's on my commute to work, and this morning I counted 5 iPad2's on my tube carriage alone.


RE: Really, a knock-out blow?
By semo on 9/2/2011 9:36:56 AM , Rating: 2
The UK really is mad about i stuff right now. I know people that bash Apple, yet have an iphone. I used to work for a college that bought tons of Apple stuff for "educational purposes" and even switched mobile operators so that some staff can get an iphone (back when it was more exclusive). Banks and newspapers have iphone apps only (no android)...

Back on topic and this Toshiba has no chance of knocking anyone out (maybe Sony's overpriced thing and lights).


RE: Really, a knock-out blow?
By chemist1 on 9/2/2011 10:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
Well, without additional information, we don't know if the increase in Apple's 2008 PC market share was caused by the 2007 official release of Boot Camp (with Leopard; prior to that it was a beta), or instead due to some other change that was contemporaenous with the Boot Camp release. Nevertheless, the notion that Boot Camp had a something do with it, as you suggest, is plausible, so let's assume that for the sake of discussion.

Here, then, my answer to your question, "If OSX is the big draw, explain to me how Mac sales more than doubled when the potential to run Windows came into the mix." It requires just one additional premise, which I hope you find reasonable -- that most of the increased market share came from Windows users switching over to Mac. The fact that Boot Camp would enable them to still run Windows provides two key benefits that are not in any way inconsistent with the motivation for the switch being a desire to switch to OSX: First, they may have had some legacy programs they paid for that were Windows-only. Bootcamp enabled them to still be able to use those programs when they wanted. Second, and more importantly, switching over to a new system is probably a bit scary for many users (e.g., what if you find you don't like it?). Thus Boot Camp provided a key safety net: if they didn't like OSX, they could revert to Windows; without Boot Camp, they would be stuck. And it may have been this piece of reassurance that enabled them to make the leap from one OS to another. Therefore, even if the availability of Boot Camp drove much of the increase in Mac computer sales, this is not in any way inconsistent with the increase being due to people who wanted to switch to OSX.

Further, it's unlikely that someone would switch to a Mac computer for a reason other than a desire to run OSX. Yes, Mac hardware is quite nice--consider, for the laptops, the combination of screen quality, keyboard feel, battery life, form factor, case rigidity, and mulit-gesture touchpad. Nevertheless (assuming such could be found elsewhere), you pay a more for a Mac than for equivalent PC hardware. And it doesn't make sense to do so unless you can get the one thing that a PC doesn't offer: OSX. So the fundamental reason people buy Mac computers is for the OS.


ROFL
By spikespiegal on 9/1/2011 2:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
Welch said Apple informed Intel that it better drastically slash its power consumption or would likely lose Apple’s business. “It was a real wake-up call to us,” he said

That's....almost hysterical. Apple dictating power requirements to Intel? That's like Dolly Parton saying she lectured her DollyWood staff on gay-rights sensitivity after the T-shirt scandal.

Where's Apple going to go? Motorola? How about back to IBM so we can laugh about how the G5 is "4x faster than Intel platforms" - S Jobs.

You call it thin, or 'Air' or whatever. We call it a laptop blade.




RE: ROFL
By Tony Swash on 9/1/2011 3:43:34 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
That's....almost hysterical. Apple dictating power requirements to Intel? That's like Dolly Parton saying she lectured her DollyWood staff on gay-rights sensitivity after the T-shirt scandal.

Where's Apple going to go? Motorola? How about back to IBM so we can laugh about how the G5 is "4x faster than Intel platforms" - S Jobs.


The threat was real and had an effect - that's according to Intel itself. See towards the end of this interview with Greg Welch, director of Intel’s Ultrabook group

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/08/10/intel-sets-...

If Apple dumped Intel they would go ARM, they design their own chips and the development of next generation A6 chip is already well advanced. Apple have an OS (both the desktop/laptop MacOSX and the iOS variants) that can pretty much run on anything and they are a very big customer willing to pay big bucks up front to secure their supply pipeline. If anyone can threaten Intel it's Apple.

I note that the Portege Z830 (christ who names these things) is not actually shipping and there is no final price. No Air killer yet.


RE: ROFL
By Solandri on 9/1/2011 4:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure Apple pushed it (they're one of the few notebook manufacturers who've really championed long battery life), but I'd question just how big an effect it had in the big picture. CPUs are pretty much tapped out in terms of performance. Most people don't need faster CPUs, so there's very little market growth in that direction.

So rather than devote engineering resources to making CPUs faster, the obvious thing to do now is to maintain their speed while reducing power consumption. That's pretty much how AMD has managed to stay in business the last few years despite Intel's unassailable performance edge. So while I'm sure Apple's pressure pushed Intel to work harder, the lower-power CPUs we're seeing now would have come pretty quickly anyway. Intel already went through it with low-end netbooks and released Atom to stave off the tide. It (and integrated graphics) is the current battleline in the CPU wars.

quote:
the Portege Z830 (christ who names these things)

Funny you should say that. I was helping my cousin buy a Macbook, and it was endlessly frustrating how they don't come with model numbers. He'd find one at a good price, email it to me, I'd research, and tell him it's two generations old. I suppose it works well for Apple, having unsuspecting customers buy up their old stock at near-new prices. But it adds unnecessary hurdles to anyone trying to figure out exactly what it is you're buying. While the Portege's name may be awkward, getting its specs and finding a review for it will be as trivial as typing "portege z830" into google.


I hate the "portégé" name
By euler007 on 9/1/2011 3:17:45 PM , Rating: 3
I just cannot stand that word. I guess they're going with "french-sounding", but every time I look at it looks like a typo of "protégé", which actually means something in french (and is a widely used borrowed word in english).




lawsuits
By Willhouse on 9/1/2011 4:51:38 PM , Rating: 2
So when can we expect a lawsuit from Apple claiming patent infringement, since I'm sure they have a patent on thin notebooks.




No Fusion version?
By obiwankenobi on 9/1/2011 7:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone on this site knows that AMD's fusion have superior graphics compared to any Intel offerings and fusion APU's also have great battery life.




Sorry...
By corduroygt on 9/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: Sorry...
By quiksilvr on 9/1/2011 11:32:59 AM , Rating: 5
*cracks knuckles and crinks neck*
Okay here we go:
1) It's actually magnesium alloy covering this.
2) You're comparing 1366x768 with 1440x900 on a 13" screen. Trust me, no one will notice. You can make it 1280x720 and still wouldn't notice on a screen that small unless you are doing serious photo editing, at which point you would use a second monitor and not a paltry 13" screen.
3) Source please as to where you saw this as a non-multitouch touchpad.
4) It has a backlit keyboard as well.


RE: Sorry...
By quiksilvr on 9/1/2011 11:36:25 AM , Rating: 3
Phones are 16:9. Monitors are 16:9. Televisions are 16:9. And now most laptops and all-in-ones are (even the smaller Macbook Air and iMac). It's going to happen. It has to happen. We can't keep wasting materials for different ratios on this crap anymore when almost every single display (even the Apple Cinema Displays) are following suit.


RE: Sorry...
By Argon18 on 9/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: Sorry...
By Smilin on 9/1/2011 12:12:33 PM , Rating: 2
Shenanigans.

16x9, 16x10, 16x9 here. Widescreen rocks.

Outlook and Lync fit side by side on a screen. Network traces are a hassle on 4:3. Plus on widescreen you can Windows+< and Windows+> with two docs and you're good to go. On 4:3 you would have to enlist one of your alternate monitors.

Besides if you need vertical height so bad 16x9 is FAR better than 4:3.


RE: Sorry...
By geddarkstorm on 9/1/2011 12:18:13 PM , Rating: 2
Only if you believe you -have- to write a document in full screen mode. The beauty of wider screens is you can comfortably have multiple things going on at once, without the need for a second screen, since you have so much horizontal real estate.

So, I must disagree: 16:9 gives an increase in productivity for us who do a lot of multitasking. But that's my experience.


RE: Sorry...
By Reclaimer77 on 9/1/2011 4:29:03 PM , Rating: 1
Most every 16x9 that I've ever owned can be rotated vertically anyway if you need that much vertical pixels for something. So he's just being doubly stupid about this. Of course I've never actually used this feature because like you said, width is far more important in daily use.


RE: Sorry...
By Smilin on 9/2/2011 4:13:49 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Sorry...
By retrospooty on 9/1/2011 3:41:28 PM , Rating: 1
"The three 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 LCD screens on my desk beg to differ. 16:9 is cumbersome to use for doing real work"

I dont think anyone is disagreeing with you here, but the point is that LCD manufacturers arent making anything but 16:9 anymore other than small qualtities and they are charging premiums for it. The LCD industry has moved to 16:9 - I think it sucks rocks, but it is what has happened.


RE: Sorry...
By Reclaimer77 on 9/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: Sorry...
By corduroygt on 9/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: Sorry...
By quiksilvr on 9/1/2011 11:53:34 AM , Rating: 2
Screen QUALITY matters a lot. Resolution at these sizes don't.
1) You haven't used this laptop and have no idea what the color and quality of the screen is.
2) You spouted plastic being the skin when its clearly magnesium alloy.
3) You haven't used this touchpad yet to make any assumptions on its quality.

And as for PC equivalents:

11" equivalents in terms of hardware, the Lenovo Ideapad U160 and Asus UL20 do a handy job. And if you want a CPU equivalent, the Acer TimelineX does a handy job.

There are dozens of 13" superiors to the Macbook Air so all I'll say is go to Newegg and Amazon and see for yourself.


RE: Sorry...
By corduroygt on 9/1/2011 12:39:25 PM , Rating: 1
Check notebook forums which screen is the most popular option in the Sony Vaio SA (The only 13.3" laptop besides the more expensive Vaio Z and the MB Air that has more than 768p resolution). People get the higher 1600x900 resolution by far. 768p is woefully inadequate to do any real work. I have a 900p screen in my larger laptop and it's barely enough.

I have owned both the timeline X series and the UL30VT in the past. Their touchpads and chassis are garbage compared to the MB Air.


RE: Sorry...
By sviola on 9/1/2011 1:19:55 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
People get the higher 1600x900 resolution by far. 768p is woefully inadequate to do any real work.


Doing real work in a 13.3" laptop is terrible, no matter the screen resolution. It is good as a time-limited substitute on the road.


RE: Sorry...
By The0ne on 9/1/2011 3:15:56 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. But then again doing work on a heavy 17" laptop isn't all too fun either unless you're like me who loves using it a weight for a day walk or good hike :D


RE: Sorry...
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 9/1/2011 11:34:02 AM , Rating: 2
It has a backlit keyboard. That being said...

Three USB port, one of them being USB 3.0 (I still can't believe Apple is draggin' on this one)
GbE port in this lightweight body (Apple makes you buy a USB dongle)
Spill-resistant keyboard
Up to 6GB of memory vs 4GB max on the Air

But we can play the specs game all day long. $300 is still a lot of money.


RE: Sorry...
By corduroygt on 9/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: Sorry...
By DING on 9/1/2011 12:12:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'd be willing to pay $300 to get a better screen than the 16:9 1366x768 GARBAGE they put into 13.3" laptops.


You are using marketing terms. Exactly what makes the screen on the toshiba laptop garbage? What makes the screen on the macbook better?

The max resolution is only a single part of what makes a screen good. You have the underlying panel tech, the brightness, and colour accuracy.

You can talk about screens all you want but the reality is that if you absolutely NEED to have a good screen for photo editing purposes, then you'd be working on a desktop and not a macbook air.


RE: Sorry...
By corduroygt on 9/1/2011 12:45:00 PM , Rating: 1
Here, objective proof that it's far better than anything else in the 13" and smaller range:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4528/the-2011-macboo...


RE: Sorry...
By DING on 9/1/2011 1:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Here, objective proof that it's far better than anything else in the 13" and smaller range: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4528/the-2011-macboo...


I agree that the MBA screen is good but you said that the toshiba screen is garbage. The only reason why I replied is because you made such a blanket statement about screen quality and max resolution.

Now, you've obviously looked into LCD screen quality a bit more but you haven't even seen any reviews on the toshiba screen yet to warrant any judgement call on the toshiba screen.

Even if a direct comparison has determined that the MBA screen quality is better than the one on the toshiba laptop, your judgement call before was made strictly based on emotion rather than fact.

This is what I am addressing. I am not addressing whether the MBA or the Toshiba screen is better.


RE: Sorry...
By bigboxes on 9/1/2011 5:03:50 PM , Rating: 2
But... but... it just... costs more. It must be better. Please, Holy Steve above, make the blind see, the wicked clean and the lost Windows users see the light! Can I get an AMEN?


RE: Sorry...
By siberus on 9/2/2011 12:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
Imen brother!!


RE: Sorry...
By Argon18 on 9/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: Sorry...
By JDUC on 9/1/2011 12:04:08 PM , Rating: 1
Like you said, give credit where credit is due - Thunderbolt is all Intel. Apple is ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing high speed laptop connections.


RE: Sorry...
By Shadowself on 9/1/2011 9:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
Then really give credit where credit is due. Don't leave something out to make a point. Thunderbolt is (was) not *all* Intel.

Even Intel admits that Apple had a hand in the design of LightPeak/Thunderbolt. That's the main reason why the initial, public demonstrations of LightPeak were done with Macs. That's one of the reasons why Apple was able to ship units with it installed many months ahead of any competitor.

Noone outside of the development teams knows who had what percentage hand in it (50/50? 90/10? or ??), but both sides freely admit it was a joint project.


RE: Sorry...
By wiz220 on 9/1/2011 12:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While all the other manufacturers are adopting a turd interconnect called USB3


Well, if you say it, it must be true right? USB 3 has 5gb/s throughput, it's full duplex, provides a great deal more power than USB 2.0, and it's faster than firewire 800 even when providing power. True, it's not as fast as thunderbolt, but as another person commented, that's an Intel product so I have no doubt it will be on PC's pretty soon as well.


RE: Sorry...
By Argon18 on 9/1/2011 2:01:21 PM , Rating: 1
5 Gb/s for USB3 = LMAO. Have you even bothered to look at any of the real world benchmarks? Just like USB2 before it, USB3 is a turd, it barely achieves a small fraction of its theoretical maximum.

USB2 was 480 Mbit/s. 480 Mbits / 8 = 60 MB/s. Yet it barely manages 30 MB/s. *half* of the limit. Firewire 800 on the other hand gets real world 75 MB/s out of a theoretical 80 MB/s. Far better utilization.

The problem is two fold:

The USB protocol sucks, it was designed for keyboards and mice. It isn't designed for large bulk data transfer, and the benchmarks make this fact painfully obvious.

Secondly, USB uses PIO mode. It does not use DMA mode. PIO mode requires a processor interrupt, and is generally sucky and slow. Firewire, PATA, SATA, eSATA, SCSI, SAS, and yes Thunderbolt all use DMA mode. That's why they're so fast. DMA beats PIO mode every time, period.


RE: Sorry...
By DING on 9/1/2011 2:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
USB2 was 480 Mbit/s. 480 Mbits / 8 = 60 MB/s. Yet it barely manages 30 MB/s. *half* of the limit. Firewire 800 on the other hand gets real world 75 MB/s out of a theoretical 80 MB/s. Far better utilization.


OMG

The file transfer speed is not limited by USB2.0 or USB3.0 bandwidth but by the HARDDRIVE RPM! If you attach a SSD SATA3 to a 2.5" HDD SATA3-compatible enclosure I am sure you will hit the top speed easilly on a USB2.0 connection easilly or get up to 250MB/s on a USB3.0 easilly

right now there are no storage mediums that can take advantage of the full 5Gb/s connection save for RAIDed SSD NAS


RE: Sorry...
By Argon18 on 9/1/2011 7:19:00 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong. You really don't understand how computers work. Please find a new hobby, golf perhaps?

The fastest SSD in the world will still only give 30 MB/s on a USB 2.0 connection. Try it. You might actually learn something.

And USB 3.0, theoretical limit of 5 Gb/s which equals 649 MB/s. Two or three SSD's in RAID1 can easily push that much, you don't need a "RAIDED SSD NAS" as you erroneously claim. But too bad you will never see that kind of speed on USB 3.0, as the crap USB protocol and PIO mode won't let you reach even a third of that.


RE: Sorry...
By Onimuto on 9/2/2011 12:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
Really just really , on my 2 terabyte back up drive in usb2.0 i am getting 40-45 megs
And if i use the e-sata the speed doubles.
O yea these speeds coming from the internal 5,400 rpm 750gig that came with the note book
Transfering to a usb 2.0 / e-sata falcon green drive 2tb
Hp dv7t-5000
I-7 2630
Ati 6570
8 gigs ram
These are numbers pulled out my ass eithier
After download a few mini series that have last over 10 years or better
150gig transfers speed observations and a 423 gig transfer observation
Why dont you get a new hobby.


RE: Sorry...
By Onimuto on 9/2/2011 12:37:07 PM , Rating: 2
Really just really , on my 2 terabyte back up drive in usb2.0 i am getting 40-45 megs
And if i use the e-sata the speed doubles.
O yea these speeds coming from the internal 5,400 rpm 750gig that came with the note book
Transfering to a usb 2.0 / e-sata falcon green drive 2tb
Hp dv7t-5000
I-7 2630
Ati 6570
8 gigs ram
These numbers are not pulled out my ass eithier
After download a few mini series that have last over 10 years or better
150gig transfers speed observations and a 423 gig transfer observation
Why dont you get a new hobby.


RE: Sorry...
By MrPete123 on 9/1/2011 3:19:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's why they're so fast. DMA beats PIO mode every time, period.


Probably true, however this is why Thunderbolt is so insecure as well. Unlike USB, any device that plugs into a Thunderbolt port gets full read/write access to the system's memory. A device with buggy firmware could compromise the stability of the system...or heaven forbid a malicious person with a device could steal or plant data by merely plugging into an external Thunderbolt port.

Another problem with Thunderbolt is the price... it's MUCH more expensive for OEMs to put a Thunderbolt controller than USB 3.0. There are certainly good reasons for not supporting Thunderbolt, and it will likely remain a niche port unless Microsoft decides to bless it.


RE: Sorry...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/1/2011 5:12:11 PM , Rating: 2
As soon as Intel puts Thunderbolt support into the southbridge it'll get massive adoption. Intel is one of the few companies in a position to create a new standard and push it without much effort. They effectively dominate the processor, integrated video, chipset, and controllers on over 80% of the PC market. If they want to put thunderbird on every system for pennies they can do it and nobody can stop them. Their reference boards and chipsets are the standard for every other OEM to stick in their budget systems. Only the high end hardware makers like ASUS or ABIT tend to tweak and fiddle with the motherboards and chipsets to get the best of the best in one package. Everyone else buys in bulk the Intel reference design and ships to the masses.


RE: Sorry...
By Argon18 on 9/1/2011 7:23:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, Thunderbolt is exactly as "insecure" as eSATA, SATA, PATA, SCSI, and SAS. No more and no less.


RE: Sorry...
By rage33 on 9/1/2011 12:11:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And next time I refresh my gear, it'll all be Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is way way better than USB 3.0. While all the other manufacturers are adopting a turd interconnect called USB3, Apple is adopting something faster and better - Thunderbolt.


Ok, so lightpeak is faster than USB 3. It sure is a lot more expensive too! You'll spend $50 per cable on your device--hope you won't need a spare or have multiple devices. This is another way for apple to control who gets to make accessories and price gouge. Though, their loyal following will buy whatever they throw out.


RE: Sorry...
By DING on 9/1/2011 12:15:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You'll spend $50 per cable on your device


<sarcasm>If you want the best quality signal you need the $500 Monster cable</sarcasm>


RE: Sorry...
By Dr of crap on 9/1/2011 12:32:44 PM , Rating: 1
HA, HA, HA

Where can I get that cable for $500?
I just have to much cash so I NEED to spend it needlessly, you know on things like with the eaten apple on it!


RE: Sorry...
By Shadowself on 9/1/2011 9:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, no matter who you get a Thunderbolt cable from in the next few months it will be about $50. That's because it is a smart cable with chips at each end.

This cable cost is not excessive for cables for comparable speed connections. Please note that Thunderbolt has TWO 10 Gbps full duplex links in the same connection/cable for an aggregate throughput of 20 Gbps full duplex. Cables supporting comparable bandwidths under other protocols are in the same ballpark for price.

If (as I've said elsewhere here) Intel puts Thunderbolt in their chipsets and Thunderbolt becomes ubiquitous then the price of the cables will drop radically. You'll probably never be able to by 99 cent Thunderbolt cables, but for 20 Gbps full duplex even a $5 cable is a bargain.

If Intel never puts Thunderbolt into any of its chipsets Apple will have another QuickRing on its hands.


RE: Sorry...
By KPOM1 on 9/1/2011 12:28:32 PM , Rating: 2
Again, let's wait to see what the specs are on the $999 model. Lenovo's U300s has the 1.6GHz i5 2467 chip (the same as the 11" Air), 4GB RAM, and 128GB SSD and comes in at $1199. I'm guessing that the Toshiba spec-ed out above will carry a similar price. The $999 might use a Core i3 or have a 64GB SSD.

Let's face it. The biggest driver of the price of these is the SSD. SSD storage is about $1.50 per GB at the OEM level, so figure $200 for a 128GB SSD and $400 for 256GB. Everyone is also paying the same $250-$317 to Intel for the Sandy Bridge i5s and i7s, and crafting aluminum or carbon fiber unibody cases isn't cheap, either. The only way right now to get these reliably under $1000 is to cut corners somewhere (smaller SSDs, less RAM, Core i3s, less sturdy cases). The manufacturers are going to tout the specs of their top end machines while emphasizing the prices of their lower-end machines.


RE: Sorry...
By Shadowself on 9/1/2011 9:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
Apple believes they are leapfrogging USB 3.0 with Thunderbolt. It is a *MAJOR* gamble on their part, but one that might pay off IF (extremely huge if) Intel integrates Thunderbolt into their standard line of chipsets. Certainly Apple thinks the risk is worth it.

Only time will tell.


toshiba
By Argon18 on 9/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: toshiba
By kleinma on 9/1/2011 12:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah too bad it will be "crippled" with the OS that runs most computers in the world, and runs more applications than any other OS out there. Crippled for sure...


RE: toshiba
By Argon18 on 9/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: toshiba
By Pirks on 9/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: toshiba
By cjohnson2136 on 9/1/2011 2:40:56 PM , Rating: 2
Mad much... lol


RE: toshiba
By themaster08 on 9/1/2011 3:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you, Pirks for making my day. That was hilarious!


RE: toshiba
By Smilin on 9/1/2011 3:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
OMFG dude that cracked me up.


RE: toshiba
By bigboxes on 9/1/2011 5:13:52 PM , Rating: 2
Alright, that made me laugh Pirks. *still laughing*


RE: toshiba
By Argon18 on 9/1/2011 7:21:18 PM , Rating: 2
Mircosoft fanboi's make me lol with their anger. Go play with your .EXE and .DLL and autoexec.bat tinkertoys, Windows boy.


RE: toshiba
By themaster08 on 9/2/2011 2:22:35 AM , Rating: 2
Pot, meet Kettle.


RE: toshiba
By Smilin on 9/2/2011 4:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
You switched to Apple in the 90s didn't you?


RE: toshiba
By Argon18 on 9/1/2011 7:38:30 PM , Rating: 2
Did you take a break from sucking Bill Gates Powerpoint to write that? Don't forget to play with his .DLL's. He likes it when you play with the DLL's. lol.


RE: toshiba
By Pirks on 9/2/2011 9:25:30 AM , Rating: 2
Keep riding your pet penguin's ass and eating Richard Stallman's feet, don't get distracted by me.


RE: toshiba
By cjohnson2136 on 9/1/2011 2:39:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Windows either cost $5000 or they just plain suck and don't work well.


I don't know where you are getting your software from but I have never paid more then 50 dollars for software and none of my software is crappy. It always runs great and does what I need it to when I need it to.


RE: toshiba
By DING on 9/1/2011 2:50:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't know where you are getting your software from but I have never paid more then 50 dollars for software and none of my software is crappy. It always runs great and does what I need it to when I need it to.


He's talking about Windows Server 2008 as he is comparing server OSes. The cost of $5000 is correct.


RE: toshiba
By borismkv on 9/1/2011 5:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah...5000 bucks for Windows 2008 Datacenter...for 4 processors (Not cores, processors) may cost 5000 bucks. But that's beside the point. The argument that there are more servers using *nix is highly dependant on which method you use for determining. There are more *nix servers running in the publicly accessible space, but many more Windows servers are shipped with the OS installed than *nix. Windows outsells every brand of commercial *nix OS available by a long shot.

Besides, most of the *nix software available is pure garbage. I'll take Exchange over Squirel Mail any day. Same goes for the other FOSS server systems as well.

The biggest reason that *nix is actually *losing* commercial market share and isn't going anywhere in the consumer space is largely due to people like the *nix geeks are ignorant, arrogant douchebags who look downt their noses at everyone and like to pretend that Windows and OSX haven't changed at all since the 90s. Hell, more than half of the server uptime top 50 today are Windows 2003 servers. As a matter of fact, the FDIC won't allow Banks to use FOSS software because it's impossible to find quality support for it. You want support for a FOSS application? Find a forum and post something, hoping someone will be will to condescend long enough to give a straight answer. But don't expect to not be treated like a complete moron, cause it ain't gonna happen.


RE: toshiba
By Pirks on 9/2/2011 1:10:05 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
*nix geeks are ignorant, arrogant douchebags who look downt their noses at everyone and like to pretend that Windows and OSX haven't changed at all since the 90s
Yeah, Argon18 is the perfect example of such a fucked up Unix masturbating douchebag, even Tony Swash looks super duper smart compared to this fucking idiot.


RE: toshiba
By Smilin on 9/1/2011 3:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
Hyperbole much?


RE: toshiba
By lukarak on 9/2/2011 1:18:54 AM , Rating: 2
Well, if one can run both OSX and Windows, and one can only run Windows, it's pretty crippling. Especially for someone who has turned their entire ecosystem to Mac OS + Win and linux VM. Like me :D Which doesn't mean that i own a desktop mac.


RE: toshiba
By JDUC on 9/1/2011 12:07:32 PM , Rating: 2
What are you talking about? What hardware isn't compatible with Linux?


RE: toshiba
By MrTeal on 9/1/2011 12:10:02 PM , Rating: 5
Translation:
quote:
I just finished my first year of computer science, and my profs opened my eyes man. Only sheeple use Windows, the open source revolution is upon us and you'd better get on board or get left behind.


RE: toshiba
By kmmatney on 9/2/2011 2:52:25 AM , Rating: 2
Ha! HA! You must use Micro$oft Winblows! Microshaft Windoze sux!


RE: toshiba
By Argon18 on 9/2/2011 10:16:55 AM , Rating: 2
I finished my comp sci degree in 1977. When did you finish yours, son? I was a server admin before Microsoft even existed. I had a Linux server installed and running in 1994. Were you even born then? I almost feel sorry for you guys, trapped inside the Microsoft ecosystem, unable to escape. You've bought into all their marketing materials, and fallen for their scam, hook line and sinker. And you'll continue to shovel money at Microsoft and eat up each new OS turd they release, deluded into believing that it's "better". Like little lemmings all marching to the same tune. How sad.


RE: toshiba
By Pirks on 9/2/11, Rating: 0
I'll pass...
By JackBurton on 9/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: I'll pass...
By shane.carroll on 9/1/2011 2:41:11 PM , Rating: 1
Congratulations.

Me though, I'll stick to whatever meets my needs for a reasonable retail price, and from a company that allows me to have my OWN opinion.


"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher













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