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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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RE: Sorry...
By Argon18 on 9/1/2011 11:53:23 AM , Rating: 0
Apple isn't "draggin'" on USB 3.0. Professional media creators, who are Apple's primary market (aside from hipsters of course) don't give two craps about USB 3.0. USB sucks. All my external hard drives, disc burners, scanners, audio mixers, etc. are all Firewire. While all the peecee users have been languishing with dead slow USB 2.0, barely scraping 30 MB/s from their external drives, I've been enjoying 75+ MB/s from Firewire 800 on my laptop for six years now.

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.

Now don't get me wrong, I dislike the douchebag hipster image that goes hand-in-hand with the shiny fruit logo too, but you have to give credit where credit is due, and Apple is ahead of the curve when it comes to high speed laptop connections, they always have been.


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.


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