Take the Satellite Z830 and whack new bits in — that's Toshiba's Satellite Z930. The processor gets a bump to third generation Core, we get 6GB instead of 4GB RAM, otherwise, everything else is pretty much the same.
- USB 3.0: 1
- USB 2.0: 2
- Optical: none
- Video: HDMI, VGA
- Ethernet: gigabit
- Wireless: 2.4GHz 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0
That means a 128GB SSD, 2.4GHz 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 remain for the internal specs. Toshiba's strength as an ultrabook, though, comes from its ports: full sized Ethernet and HDMI, a VGA port, separate headphone and microphone jacks, an SD card reader, a single USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports.
At AU$1299, this will suit most people, although, if you want a bit more, AU$1899 will get you a Core i7 3667U and 256GB SSD.
It's quite light and, despite the screen bending a bit when pressure is applied, quite resilient. In fact, the only real annoyance in the entire package is the screen itself — a 1366x768 affair that's glossier than a nail varnish convention.
The backlit keyboard is excellent, as is the Synaptics touchpad: this is definitely a laptop that the hardened road warrior would appreciate.
Handbrake encoding (in seconds)
- 347Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 (Core i5 3210M, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
- 383Acer Aspire S7 (11.6-inch, Core i7 3517U, 4GB RAM, 2x 128GB SSD RAID 0)
- 386Dell XPS 12 (Core i7 3517U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
- 397Acer Aspire S7 (13.3-inch, Core i7 3517U, 4GB RAM, 2x 64GB SSD RAID 0)
- 418Toshiba Satellite Z930 (Core i5 3317U, 6GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
- 484Asus Taichi (Core i5 3317U, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
The Satellite did pick up a bit of fan whine when working hard, but nothing unreasonable. It otherwise performed about where it should, given the hardware involved.
Battery life (time)
- 5h, 24mApple MacBook Pro Retina 13 (Core i5 3210M, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
- 4h, 9mToshiba Satellite Z930 (Core i5 3317U, 6GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
- 3h, 21mDell XPS 12 (Core i7 3517U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
- 2h, 55mAcer Aspire S7 (13.3-inch, Core i7 3517U, 4GB RAM, 2x 64GB SSD RAID 0)
- 2h, 21mAsus Taichi (Core i5 3317U, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
- 2h, 16mAcer Aspire S7 (11.6-inch, Core i7 3517U, 4GB RAM, 2x 128GB SSD RAID 0)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Once again proving that Windows 8 touch-based laptops aren't the best with battery life, the Windows 7-powered Satellite Z930 travels quite well.
Just like the Z830, the Z930 is a great laptop for portability and flexibility. We'd love it if it had a better quality screen, like Samsung's Series 9, but for port complement, it can't be beat.