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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: 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.

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.

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