The Toshiba Portege Z830 is the latest product to enter the very fine Portege line-up. In terms of specs, it’s somewhat similar to another top battery life performer, the Portege R830, also from Toshiba. So to help you choose between the two machines, we decided to pit two siblings, the Z830, and the R830 against each other to see whose performance you prefer. Also for comparison’s sake, we added another Ultrabook into the mix, the ASUS Zenbook UX31.
Processor-wise, the Toshiba Portege R830 runs on a regular mobile Core i7 CPU, while the Ultrabooks are running on ultra-low-voltage ones (also Core i7) that help conserve power, by of course lowering power consumption. It’s also important to note that the Ultrabooks are running solid-state-drives (SSD), so don’t wet yourself when you see some incredible hard disk scores. The Toshiba Portege Z830 also has an advantageous 6GB of RAM over the 4GB found on the other two machines.
|Specifications/Notebook||Toshiba Portege Z830||ASUS Zenbook UX31||Toshiba Portege R830|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-2677M (1.8GHz)||
Intel Core i7 2677M (1.8GHz)
|Intel Core i7-2620M Processor (2.7GHz)|
|Intel QS67||Intel HM65|
|Memory||6GB DDR3||4GB DDR3||4GB DDR3|
|HDD||128GB SSD||256GB SSD||500GB HDD (7200RPM)|
|Video||Intel HD 3000||Intel HD 3000||Intel HD 3000|
To test the machine’s all-round prowess, we have the trusty PC Mark Vantage from Futuremark to give the machine a good run through. The software tests almost every subsystem from storage, to Wi-Fi and processing capabilities in various common functions. The Toshiba Portege Z830 didn’t do too badly here, with its scores in a tie with the ASUS Zenbook UX31. As you can see from the inflated HDD scores, it’s definitely due to the SSDs that both Ultrabooks sport, hence their overall scores would be very much boosted as well.
So all this means is that if you want your machine to perform to the maximum of its abilities, an expensive SSD would definitely be the component to look at. Good thing that most Ultrabooks sport with them out of the box. In fact they contribute to more than just performance scores. Start-up, resume and shutdown times are a snap, thanks to SSD drives.
We wouldn’t encourage any graphics intensive gaming with any Ultrabook, until perhaps when they come with Ivy Bridge processors and/or discrete graphics processing capability. Having said that, the score of the Toshiba Portege Z830 seems to rank reasonably to expectations for integrated graphics along with the Asus Zenbook UX31. The Portege R830 is running on a more powerful, Core i7 (2.7GHz) processor and 3DMark06 scales with the overall processing power to show higher benchmark numbers.
There isn’t a better way to gauge a machine’s gaming capabilities than testing it with a real game. In this case, we used Far Cry 2 to see how the Z830’s integrated graphics, the -- Intel HD 3000 -- fares when handling the rendering workload. And as you can guess, the results aren’t that different from each other, and any differences here are negligible since all of the machines are running Intel HD 3000 graphics.
While the results echo our previous remark that we wouldn't recommend Ultrabooks for gaming, you can see that it can cope with gaming needs from a basic level. Internet and Flash based games are a whole different measure and don't rely on the graphics crunching horsepower - so you can still enjoy casual games like those on Facebook and many others.
Just know what you're buying in to and set your expectations right and you wouldn't mind the Z830's very basic gaming qualities.