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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 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.


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