Toshiba satellite z830-10u review

The Toshiba Satellite Z830-10U doesn't come in cheap, at £999, but there are several features this ultrabook provides that better what's on offer elsewhere.

Unfortunately, though, the Toshiba Satellite Z830-10U appears to be somewhat bi-polar. It has some truly excellent points, but at the same time a couple of minor flaws can't help but get on our nerves.

If you bought the Toshiba Satellite Z830-10U, or even the slightly lower spec Z830-10T, we don't think you'd be disappointed. All that you need from an ultra-portable laptop can be found here.

We liked

The portability of this laptop is beyond question. With a feather-light weight of 1.1kg, we could carry this ultrabook around in our bag all day and forget we had it at all.

The excellent keyboard is not only back-lit, it's also supported by a touchpad that is responsive and nicely textured. We were also happy to see two distinct click buttons rather than having them built into the touchpad like other ultrabooks.

Connectivity is undoubtedly the highlight, though, since this is the only ultrabook that offers three USB ports and an Ethernet connection. If you're likely to be plugging in a lot of peripherals or using a LAN connection, this is the machine you'll want.

We disliked

We were a bit worried about the Toshiba Satellite Z830-10U's screen, which is undeniably flimsy. You can effectively bend the screen with your hands, although we wouldn't recommend it.

The amount of software that comes pre-installed on the Satellite Z830-10U is both annoying and intrusive. Expect to sift through plenty of pop-up messages on starting up before you can get through to the programs and disable them

When compared to the sleekness of the Apple MacBook Air or Asus Zenbook UX31, the Toshiba Satellite Z830-10U does come across as a little boxy. We loved how light it was, but is it too much to ask for a few curves?

Final verdict

The Satellite Pro Z830-10U is one of the best ultrabooks we've yet seen, and certain features, such as connectivity and touchpad usability, outshine all its rivals. However, there are still niggling issues such as build quality and excessive bloatware that mar the whole experience.

This is certainly a great piece of kit from Toshiba, but it feels like an extra step onwards from the Portege rather than the completely different computing experience the Asus Zenbook provides. Extra pressure from evolving tablets such as the Asus Transformer Prime also gives us something to consider.

We would rank the Toshiba Satellite Z830-10U as a great purchase, and higher than ultrabook competitors such as the Acer Aspire S3 and Lenovo Ideapad U400. But, ultimately, the ultrabook crown still belongs to the Asus Zenbook UX31.