Toshiba Portege Z830 Ultrabook pictures and hands-on

Okay, first a confession. The Toshiba bods wouldn't let us play on the newly announced Toshiba Portege Z830 Ultrabook.

Heck they wouldn't even let us go past the Windows log-in screen.

But they did let us touch it. And we went "ooh" and "aah" as we held, what Toshiba is claiming, a machine that sets new standards for thin and light. And it isn't lying.

It weighs in at just 1.12kg and is only 15.9mm thick - so it's a MacBook Air rival and some. It is a 13.3-inch machine and packs the latest 2nd generation Intel Core "Processors for Ultrabooks" (that's a phrase you'd better get used to).

What that actually means at this point is unclear. Toshiba's tech guys told us that the chip is Sandy Bridge rather than Ivy Bridge - but that was about it in terms of information they were prepared to offer up.

It also has a 128GB SSD and has a very instant-on sounding "Hi-Speed Start Technology". It's a Windows-flavoured MacBook Air basically - but that's a good thing.

The backlit keys look ultra-swish and the thinness of it when looked at makes it look ultra-sharp. We'd put ultra on some more adjectives, but we think you get the gist.

One thing that does bother us though is why Toshiba has slapped the Portege label on the swish new machine - a label usually reserved for its more mobile business offerings. Sure, the Z830's slimness will appeal to anyone needing a road laptop, but it seems kind of strange to hem it into that category from the off.

But, we like it. A lot. We'd like a proper play, to see how it performs - but that will have to wait for another day.

We're told by our Toshiba contacts that it's coming to the UK in Q4 2011. No word on prices as of yet, but we're hearing around $1,000 Stateside.



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