Make no mistake; the Portege R830 is meant to be, and built to be a no-nonsense business machine. For spreadsheets and word processing tasks, the Portege R830 is more than capable of handling them. However, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. There may be times when you need to use the Portege R830 to handle other kinds of media, such as playing a DVD movie. So let’s see how the R830 fares against this year’s smallest notebook, the 1.17kg Sony Vaio Z.
At this point we’d like to remind you that the Sony Vaio Z sports the same processor, and integrated graphics, but employs a RAID 0 array of ultra-speedy SSDs (solid state drives). Another one of our best performing notebooks is the 2011 MacBook Air, which we picked because it has the best battery life among the business-centric notebooks we've tested this year. Some of the benchmark scores for the MacBook Air were done using Boot Camp, because the native OS X environment of the MacBook Air doesn’t support a few of our benchmark programs.
|Specifications / Notebook||Toshiba Portege R830||Sony Vaio Z 2011 (Integrated)||Apple MacBook Air|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-2620M (2.7GHz)||Intel Core i7-2620M (2.7GHz)||Intel Core i5-2557M (1.7GHz)|
|Chipset||Intel HM65||Intel HM65||Intel QS67|
|Memory||4GB DDR3||8GB DDR3||4GB DDR3|
|HDD||500GB (7200RPM)||256GB SSD (RAID 0)||256GB SSD|
|Video||Intel HD 3000||Intel HD 3000||Intel HD 3000|
The PCMark Vantage test gives us a gauge on how the machine being tested responds to various tasks that utilize what the machine packs. Before we start analyzing the scores, we’d like to remind you that the Portege R830 is strictly built for business. What it can do outside of a business environment, we’d see it as a nice little bonus. As you can see from the chart, the Portege R830 trails behind the Sony Vaio Z, as well as the Apple Macbook Air. The main factor here, is that the Portege is not running an SSD - which enhances read and write speeds exponentially - like the other two machines.
SSDs usually give notebooks inflated scores (or very good scores, depending on how you look at them), because some parts of the test like the “HDD” and “Productivity” test suites rely very heavily on the hard drive. So for a score of 7066, it is fair to say that the R830 has done admirably well for considering it comes with a traditional spinning hard disk. If you want cutting edge performance, you can always opt for a SSD packing variant, which we suspect will bring it’s overall performance to be on par or better than other SSD touting machines.
In our 3D Mark 06 benchmark tests, the Portege R830 didn’t perform too badly with other similar machines we've tested. In fact, its scores are in the same region as those machines that use SSDs. The notebook that won by a large margin was the Sony Vaio Z, but that was only when the Vaio Z was benchmarked with its Power Media Dock plugged in (this gave a score of 9399). In short, with a score of 5041, the R830 wouldn’t enable you to play the latest Diablo 3 beta with maxed out settings, but it should play the odd Facebook game, Flash content and videos with aplomb. It can also be used for very casual photo-editing work, but we can’t guarantee it would be a positive experience.
For this real life gaming test, we used the benchmark capabilities of Far Cry 2. We don’t recommend that you get the Toshiba Portege R830 for gaming purposes (it's not branded as a gaming notebook for a reason), and you can easily see why via the Far Cry 2 scores. The Portege R830 features only the integrated graphics solution (Intel HD 3000) that isn’t exactly built to run high-end games. If you really need to play PC games (we don’t want to know why) on a business machine such as the R830, the integrated graphics are powerful enough to allow you to do so with settings set at the bare minimum. And even then, it might not be a very good idea.