Toshiba Portege Z835 Review: The Best Ultrabook

by Reads (169,119)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 6
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 2
    • Usability
    • 7
    • Design
    • 8
    • Performance
    • 5
    • Features
    • 6
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 7
    • Total Score:
    • 5.86
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


  • Pros

    • Decent backlit keyboard
    • 6 hours battery life
    • Great value
    • Plenty of ports including USB 3.0
  • Cons

    • Very slow SSD
    • No Bluetooth

Quick Take

The Toshiba Z835 is a real winner in the Ultrabook category and offers great build quality, battery life and good performance at a fair price.

This $899 Best Buy exclusive features a 13.3-inch display, 128GB solid state drive, backlit keyboard and six hours of battery life. Read our take to find out what makes this Ultrabook really impressive.

Build and Design
The Portege Z835 (also called the Z830) is an Ultrabook, a new class of notebook computers characterized by their thinness, light weight, and use of Intel Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) processors. These are essentially the Windows alternatives to the Apple MacBook Air.

The Z835 has a professional-looking design with normal straight lines and squared-off edges; Toshiba’s Portege line of notebooks has typically been business oriented so this makes sense. The Z835 will most certainly draw wandering eyes despite its utilitarian appearance due to the sheer thinness – it really is that thin at only 0.63 inches high. The chassis is constructed entirely of magnesium alloy, a lightweight yet strong material. As a result the Z835 feels like almost nothing at 2.4 pounds.

The chassis is remarkably stiff and hardly flexes; it is almost a necessity for Ultrabooks to be built as such since they are designed for constant travel. If the chassis allowed flex, the internal circuit boards could bend and increase the likeliness of failure due to stress cracks over time. The fit and finish is good; all areas of the notebook seem to have received about the same attention to detail. The corners of the chassis are a bit sharp as is the cut-out for the Ethernet port on the back of the notebook.

Upgradeability is not something Ultrabooks are designed for; there are no user-accessible panels on the bottom of the chassis. The entire bottom of the chassis needs to be removed to get at any of the internals. An additional impediment to upgradeability is the non-standard SSD; you can’t simply put a normal SSD or hard drive in this notebook as the chassis is not thick enough to accommodate them.

Ports and Features
The thinness of Ultrabooks prevents them from packing much beyond the bare essentials. Fortunately the Z835 makes what space is available count; it has full-size HDMI and VGA-out ports as well as a single USB 3.0 port. The Z835 lacks ExpressCard and DisplayPort. All picture descriptions are left to right.

Front: Stereo speakers, status lights

Back: Ethernet, cooling exhaust vent, 2x USB 2.0, HDMI, AC power, VGA out

Left: Microphone and headphone jacks, SD card reader

Right: USB 3.0 port, Kensington lock slot




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