It’s been a little under two years since we first saw Toshiba tackle the hybrid laptop in a professional sort of way.
Back in the middle of 2013, Toshiba released the Z10t, a machine that boasted a hybrid form-factor comprising of an 11.6 inch tablet section and a keyboard dock, making for a laptop that could be both regular notebook and tablet.
When it came out, we liked what we saw, but the keyboard was too shallow and no battery was in the dock, making it a usable machine for on the go, but one lacking in much needed life.
For the Z20t, Toshiba has taken the Portege back to the drawing board, redoing the way it connects, what goes inside, and even how the keyboard dock works.
Let’s start with the design, and gone is the textured bronze brown of the old model, replaced with a charcoal grey and a look of brushed metal, made with magnesium. By itself, the screen is solid and yet fairly light at a little over 700 grams, while the machine with the dock doubles the weight and brings it to a little over 1.5 kilograms.
While neither are thoroughly hefty, Toshiba has managed to still keep the machine from feeling solid and well built, great for keeping it in the luggage and using it in all manner of places.
Next up is the screen, and Toshiba’s choice here isn’t as high a resolution display as what you might find in Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, but it’s still a solid choice altogether.
Here in this 12 inch screen, you’ll find a resolution of Full HD, more than enough for a 12 inch, though not quite as strong as the competition, and down in pixels per inch compared to what Toshiba has previously offered in its Kirabook concept.
Where Toshiba makes up for this resolution difference is in the treatment to the screen, because there is no glare and no reflection in this panel making it viewable in practically any environment without diverting your attention to anything happening around you.
Traditionally, touchscreens tend to have that reflective surface, and while it’s easy on the fingers, smooth and slick, it also means the lighting behind you will show reflection too easily, while working out in sunlight is drowned out from those reflections.
But not the Toshiba Z20t’s screen, a display which offers up an anti-reflective treatment and is very viewable outdoors, making it a really great machine to take out in public when you need to work outside the office.
The screen resolution is decent enough for Windows 8 native apps, too, and the updates to Windows 8’s high DPI support means even the older style of apps are clear on this screen, which will be great news for every Windows user since Windows has more of these available than the “metro” style.