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Hands on: Toshiba Portege Z30 review

Z-series laptop is joined by the Tecra Z40 and Z50

What is a hands on review?
Toshiba Portege Z30
Toshiba Portege Z30


  • Haswell
  • Connectivity
  • Lightweight
  • Keyboard
  • Dock sharing


  • Display

The term "business laptop" used to evoke images of bulky, drab slabs of plastic, something that Toshiba is staying clear of with its consumer-inspired Z-range of enterprise notebooks.

The 13.3-inch Portege Z30 is joined by new 14-inch Z40 and 15-inch Z50 models in Toshiba's Tecra range. All of the laptops share compatible internals meaning IT departments can chop and change when installing disk images and using Toshiba's docking stations.

And don't worry if your business isn't prepared to leap headlong into the til-based world of Windows 8.1 as Toshiba will give you the option to pick them up with Windows 7 pre-installed instead.

Toshiba Portege Z30

Design and display

First up is the 13-inch Portege Z30, which succeeds Toshiba's flagship Z930 and is offered in two flavours.

The standard Z30 comes with a 1366 x 768 pixel-resolution matte display that looks fairly washed out compared to the comparatively lively 1920 x 1080 pixel-resolution panel found on the touchscreen Z30t.

Toshiba Portege Z30

(Left) Z30 (Right) Z30t

All of the models look the part thanks to being constructed of a gunmental grey magnesium alloy that gets its sturdiness from what Toshiba calls a Tough Body chassis.

Not that you'll be able to tell without a high-powered microscope (and everybody has one of those lying about), but the laptops use a honeycomb-style lattice to make the material tough, yet lightweight.

Even the 15-inch Z50 can be held at the corner in one hand without giving any noticeable flex in the chassis (the largest model was particularly impressive for its weightlessness).

Their lids offer sturdy resistance when opened and closed in one hand but stop short of feeling stiff, and the chrome finish on the shoulder hinges adds a nice touch.


The Z30 gives you plenty of choice depending on what level of internal horsepower you require. All of them come with Intel's fourth generation Haswell processor, starting at i3 and ranging up to an i7 chip, which Toshiba says should help battery life last around 12 hours.

You'll have to put up with shared graphics with this model, which gets a Intel HD 4400 GPU that should prove adequate for everyday tasks. It's available with a SSD drive up to 512GB and up to 8GB DDR3L RAM.

Toshiba Portege Z30


Toshiba tells us that it aims to provide business users will the necessary connectivity options to help you out in any given situation, and the Z30 doesn't disappoint.

It offers three USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and two video outputs in the form of HDMI and RBG. You can also opt for a SmartCard reader and 4G SIM slot for hooking up to the internet on the move.

Also present are the usual stereo speakers with DTS Studio Surround, a full HD stereo microphone, Toshiba's EasyGuard security software and a Trusted Platform Module.

Toshiba Portege Z30

Keyboard and trackpad

The Z30's spill-resistant keyboard packs a bright trackpad that gives off an electric blue glow in the dark, which both looks impressive and should serve well for typing out documents into the early hours.

The keys gave a surprising amount of travel, feeling comfortable to type on but not overly springy. In the middle of the keyboard is an "accupoint" trackpoint that can be used as in conjunction with the roomy trackpad.

Toshiba Portege Z30

The laptops will be available to pick up during the fourth quarter of 2013, with pricing yet to be announced. We'll let you know when we do.

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.