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Connectivity is also surprisngly good with headphone and microphone
jacks, and an SD card reader on the left edge, USB3.0 on the right, and a
plethora of ports on the back. There's gigabit Ethernet, two more USB
2.0 ports, HDMI and VGA. Even considering its unapologetically straight
edges it's an impressive feat to fit this much into a laptop that's
technically so slim and light
The only real let down then is the screen. Not that it's particularly poor but it just didn't appear to be anyting special. The matte finish is welcome for its reflection reducing abilities, backlighting seemed reasonably even and viewing angles were good but it wasn't that bright, colours lacked a bit of punch and it had a resolution of only 1,366 x 768, where higher resolutions are becoming more common on premium models of this size.
There's a fair choice of processors on offer so commenting on performance is a bit moot but from our short time with this machine it seemed nippy enough, and based on previous ultrabooks we've seen there's no reason to suspect this won't be a perfectly servicable machine for everyday computing. Any comprehensive comments on such matters will have to wait until our full review, though.
All told, though, we're deeply impressed by the Toshiba Portege Z830. It really is remarkably thin and light, and attractive too. But it's the fact that Toshiba has achieved this without compromising on almost any front. It may not quite be class leading in any one area - particularly the screen - but for usability, connectivity, performance and battery life combined there are few competitors that can hold a candle to it. All that remains to be seen now is whether Toshiba can get the pricing right here in the UK.