Toshiba Portege Z20t review

The battery life king

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Our Verdict

This two-in-one laptop for work offers incredible battery life and extra oomph through its handy keyboard base, but will cost you dearly.


  • Long battery life
  • Smudge-proof chassis
  • Vibrant FHD screen


  • Poor performance
  • Awful keyboard
  • Awkward keyboard attachment

The Toshiba Portege z20t ($1,399, £1,289, AU$1,815) is a business-grade hybrid laptop that is compact, lightweight and moderately stylish.

Competing in the same class as the business-focused Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 and the HP Elite x2 1011, the Portege is capable as both a laptop and as a tablet, with enough power and battery life to get you through the average work day.

However, like most business hybrids, especially those of the thin and light variety, the Portege doesn't feature the high-end performance of a mobile workstation, nor is it as sexy as a consumer 2-in-1. What you're getting here is a compromise that delivers on its hybrid-for-work promise, but not much else.

Portege z20t


Built with a neat-looking graphite black metallic shell that won't fingerprint or smudge, the Portege is middle-of-the-pack in terms of heft and thickness. The Portege weighs 3.3 pounds (1.5kg) when attached to its power keyboard, and 1.6 pounds (0.73 kg) as a tablet.

For reference, the HP Elite x2 weighs 3.63 pounds (1.65kg) when attached to its power keyboard, and 1.71 pounds (0.71kg) without a keyboard, while the Venue 11 Pro weighs 1.76 pounds (0.72kg) with its keyboard and 1.6 pounds (0.68kg) without it. To be fair, neither of those keyboards will add 7 hours of battery life like the Portege's power keyboard will, so the keyboard more than makes up for its heft. It's also slightly slimmer than the Elite x2, by a measly 0.02 inches, so there's one more minor, minor victory.

The Z20t features a 12.5-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS touchscreen that compares nicely to the full HD-resolution display (FHD) 1,920 x 1080 on the 11.6 inch Elite x2, and the Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000's FHD screen. However, the Z20t's screen does feature a bit more pizazz than the Elite x2, which was one of the weaker FHD screens I've ever tested.

The tablet is built with a flat base that is comfortable to handle when not attached to the keyboard dock. However, the seven latches that hold the tablet to the dock are a bit much. Popping the tablet off of the dock is as simple as flipping a button and pulling, but putting the tablet back on requires careful alignment. You won't be able to mindlessly slap the tablet back onto the dock, especially considering how flimsy the plastic latches and receivers are on both ends of the device; if you do, you might very well end up with a little piece of plastic shrapnel flying off onto your desk.

Unlike the Elite x2, you can connect the tablet to the keyboard in the reverse display mode seen on Lenovo Yoga devices, and you can flip and bend the tablet all the way back into tablet mode while it's still attached to the power keyboard. So, if you're in desperate need of this device in tablet mode, but you're short on juice, you can pop it onto the keyboard and get to work without an issue.

Unfortunately, when the device sits on the dock in display mode, you won't be able to press too hard on the screen, as the tablet doesn't lock into place while sitting on the dock. This is a bit of a hindrance, especially for anyone who is giving a presentation and needs to use the touchscreen to flip from slide to slide.

In laptop mode, the mounting is perfect; it's sturdy enough to handle hard presses, and loose enough to adjust without having to yank and shove.

Portege z20t

One thing you'll likely hate about the Portege is the key layout on the power keyboard. I'm not sure if a group of middle-schoolers is the target demographic for this device, but the keys are so small you're going to wind up spending more time searching for the right button than you should, especially for a device that's designed for productivity. Ditto for the trackpad, which is only about and inch and a half tall.