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Toshiba Portege Z930 review

Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score


User Score


  • Lightest 13-inch laptop ever
  • Fully featured
  • Powerful
  • Good battery life


  • Not the most attractive
  • Minor upgrade to last model
  • Expensive
  • Average screen and keyboard

Review Price £980.00

Key Features: 13.3in 1366 x 768 matt TN screen; 1.15kg using magnesium-alloy ; Core i5-i7, 4-8GB RAM, 128GB SSD; Backlit keyboard, TPM, Fingerprint scanner; Optional 3G

Manufacturer: Toshiba

Business-ready Ultrabooks aren’t exactly plentiful even now the standard has matured. In fact, as far as we’re aware only the Dell XPS 13, HP Folio 13 and of course Lenovo’s ThinkPad Ultrabooks even offer TPM.

However, when we looked at the Toshiba Satellite Z830, which is the virtually identical consumer version of the Portege Z830, we weren’t completely convinced – due mainly to the poor screen and average keyboard.

Toshiba Portege Z930 1

The new Z930 is Toshiba’s successor, and at a mere 1.09kg according to our scales, takes the title of lightest 13-inch laptop from the 1.15kg Samsung Series 9 900X3B. Despite that, it still packs goodies like generous connectivity; a backlit keyboard; up to a Core i7, 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD; optional 3G; fingerprint scanner; and Windows 7 Professional – making it one of the most powerful, versatile Ultrabooks on the market.

Toshiba Portege Z930

Incidentally, it’s worth noting that the business-oriented Portege Z930 and the consumer Satellite Z930 are virtually identical, with only a few small touches such as the fingerprint scanner and TPM distinguishing them. As such, this can be taken as a Toshiba Satellite Z930 review too.


The more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite having lost some weight and gained some new innards, the Toshiba Portege Z930 looks like the Toshiba Satellite Z830’s identical twin – and that’s not a particularly good thing. While we wouldn’t go so far as to call the Z930 ugly, along with its predecessor it’s certainly one of the less attractive Ultrabooks we’ve seen. It could really have done with an injection of the Toshiba Satellite U840W’s more consumer-oriented styling.

Still, all thoughts of how it looks tend to go out the window once you’ve held this laptop; it really is that light. Toshiba’s achievement here is incredibly impressive, but there’s also a downside. As before, to keep weight down the Portege Z930’s entire chassis is constructed using magnesium alloy, which leaves it feeling deceptively flimsy in the hand. In fact, people often confuse magnesium panels for cheap plastic.


Like its looks, connectivity on the Toshiba Portege Z930 is identical to the Z830, which again is both good and bad. It’s good because this means it’s superior to that of most Ultrabooks, thanks to a rare Gigabit Ethernet port, plus full-size HDMI and VGA, the latter still having potential on a business machine.

It’s bad because most of these ports are located around the rear. The left houses headphone and microphone inputs along with the SDXC card slot, the right gives you a single USB 3.0 port, with twin USB 2.0 ports, the aforementioned video connections and Ethernet taking the rear. This means you will need to be careful when lifting the laptop while a memory stick is plugged in the back, but at least – unlike the Acer Aspire Timeline U M3 581TG – this Ultrabook offers at least one side USB port.


Toshiba seems to make a habit of average keyboards on its ultraportables. Yet again the Portege Z930’s backlit chiclet affair found here is identical to that of its predecessor, meaning feedback is shallow and lacking positive confirmation. Though it's certainly usable, it joins the Z830 as being one of our least favourite Ultrabooks for typing, which is a real pity.

Toshiba Portege Z930 6

The small touchpad is different to the Ultrabook norm, not only because of its size but because it sports physical buttons. However, the pad is responsive while its buttons are nice and crisp. A fingerprint scanner for those who hate remembering passwords is nestled between them, which might make you miss the occasional right-click but is still a welcome feature.

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Abdullah Shaimoon

January 30, 2013, 6:58 am

for 13.3 Ultrabook 1366 x 768 is very poor., even my 11.6 Acer 722 has the same resolution. so whats the point of having an Ultrabook. It should be 1600 x 1200 or 1280 x 900

Feather Capman

February 26, 2013, 10:20 pm

I agree. The displays are pretty bad on many of these.

Robert Fildes

March 14, 2013, 11:56 pm

Good to use. But the display stopped working within a few months despite being used responsibly. toshiba denied responsibility. Don't buy.

Adhi Pradana

March 19, 2013, 3:06 pm

good luck for toshiba, cause this product is nice.

G. Luigi Rota

June 23, 2013, 1:10 pm

My first impressions have been love at first sight: the look, the
feel, the weight, the speed... Amazing, really! The SSD is great and
makes the laptop wake up lightning fast.

Now for the cons...
After one week of having the unit the display driver acted up twice
while watching videos. I find this is unacceptable for a machine of this
pedigree. It also seems to get very hot at times, and mind you I live
in an environment where the room temperature is in the 60-70F temp range
- wonder how it works in a hotter environment?!

After 3
months the display keeps acting up, the machine has become sluggish,
the 100MB SSD drive (NOT 128 as advertised) fills up in a heartbeat and
now the keyboard has been acting up as well, with the spacebar not
responding as it should. I have had 3 (excellent) Toshiba laptops prior
to this, and I can say that this is by far the greatest deception I have
had, especially considering how much it cost.

I have contacted customer service and they have asked me to send the laptop back. Recall???


July 22, 2013, 3:04 pm

Despite being a long term Toshiba user, I have to agree with other comments about reliability. Solid state drive gave up the ghost (Toshiba repaired under warranty), then the screen failed despite no obvious misuse or accident. Toshiba denied warranty on the screen. It also has the noisiest fan I've ever heard on a laptop. Yes, it's light and looks great, but reliability is a problem and eagerness to deny liability lets the product down.

Filipe Valente

November 19, 2013, 5:36 pm

Also had issues with the screen. It just failed without any obvious misuse. Although only having 2 months Toshiba denied warranty and asked for 300 EUR to replace the screen.
That was my very first and last Toshiba.


May 13, 2014, 9:33 am

Does Toshiba Potege has touch screen feature ??

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