Home Icon

Thin, light, and filled with awesome: Toshiba’s Satellite Z830 Ultrabook reviewed

By Leigh D. Stark | 5:41 pm 21/03/2012

Every major computing brand seems to be jumping on the Ultrabook bandwagon, and next in line is Toshiba, producing a machine that manages to get almost everything right.


While other manufacturers are building multiple configurations of their Ultrabooks, Toshiba has a different approach in the Z830: one spec that serves the purpose.

For its internals, Toshiba has decided on the second-generation Intel Core i5 processor clocked in at 1.6GHz matched with 4GB RAM.

A solid-state drive will add to the performance, although storage isn’t quite in abundance in this model, with a 128GB model picked with only 74GB available to you after the computer sets itself up, thanks in part to Microsoft Office and Windows Home 64-bit.

Like many Ultrabooks, this one features a 13.3 inch screen with 1366×768 resolution, as well as a webcam above the screen. Video is handled by Intel’s own HD3000 graphics, while audio is handled by stereo speakers and a microphone built into the computer.

Connectivity options are plentiful here, with WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA, HDMI, VGA, SD card slot, and a built in 1Gbps LAN port – something other Ultrabooks often bundle in via an external connector.

Three USB ports are also included here, one of which takes advantage of the high-speed USB 3.0 format.


As far as build quality is concerned, Toshiba has done a standout job in the Satellite Z830.

You’ll see it in the brushed aluminium top, the more subdued gun-metal bottom, and a thickness and weight that makes it barely noticeable. In fact, the Z830 is one of those machines that will delight you in how thin and light it is, with it’s 1.12kg weight hardly felt.

The screen frame is also very flexible, something Toshiba says adds to the durability, with a display that apparently won’t crack under pressure. Some might say that it’s a little too flexible, but provided you don’t put too much pressure on the screen, you won’t notice it.

Toshiba generally makes good keyboards in their laptops, and we weren’t disappointed here either. The keys are soft, make a light tapping sound, and you find that you don’t lose any letters as you type, something that ultra-thin notebooks like this are prone to seeing.

The trackpad is also excellent, the plastic surface and click buttons being very easy to use. Multitouch gestures aren’t as solid here, with pinch-to-zoom gestures being the only ones that worked for us. Two finger scrolling seemed to be missing for us here, though, with no easy way of scrolling in documents or webpages.

Toshiba’s inclusion of backlit keys is a welcome one, though we would have preferred if the backlighting had varying brightness levels. Here on the Z830, you’ll find settings of on, off, and timed for 15 seconds.

For this Z830, Toshiba has gone with the Intel Core i5 processor, a chip that certainly offers enough speed, complete with a 22 second start time from off and a 2-3 second return from standby.

Pages: 1 2

Price (RRP)


Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Well designed; Backlit keys; USB 3.0; Lots of connection options;

Product Cons

Mouse gestures aren't fully supported; Screen could be better;




Value for money



Latest reviews

  • Review: HP Envy 15

    Thin and light isn't on the checklist for everyone, so if you need big and speedy, HP hopes to fit the bill with something to make all of your…
  • Ultra only in size: Sony's Xperia C5 Ultra reviewed

    Budget phablets tend to attract attention, and Sony's C5 Ultra is certainly doing that, boasting a lovely 6 inch screen and 4G for just over $500. So what's wrong…
  • Review: Incipio ClamCase Pro for iPad Air 2

    The iPad Air 2 is already a great tablet, but what if you want to join that "post-PC" world and ditch the laptop altogether? Incipio's ClamCase Pro could be…
  • Review: D-Link Taipan AC3200 modem router

    Need a ton of performance for WiFi at home? No worries, because D-Link has something that might fit the bill, and it's so big, you might even have problems…
  • AppMonday: QuizUp

    The useless knowledge we all have could fill a room, and possibly an encyclopaedia, but now you can flex your trivial knowledge muscle with a game that only takes…
  • Review: Bose SoundTouch 10

    The next area to get attention in the sound world isn’t big headphones, though we love those too. No, it’s multi-room, and while Sonos may well dominate, Bose is…
  • Review: Nespresso by KitchenAid

    The instant espresso market we refer to as “inspresso” is hot at the moment, but most of the machines tend to offer a plastic look that might be premium,…
  • A day of ordinary: Motorola's flagship X Style reviewed

    This year, Motorola has not one, but two smartphones it wants to call flagship, offering a choice between solid battery life in the X Play or solid specs and…
  • AppMonday: Fenix (Android)

    A more modern take on what Twitter can be, Fenix is one of those very Android-inspired apps that feels like aims to make things simple.
  • Review: Plantronics BackBeat Sense wireless headphones

    You shouldn’t have to spend a fortune to have decent sound and not need cables, but this is becoming a thing where it’s obvious that you do. Or is…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Will you be installing an ad blocker on your smartphone?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More