Application and Futuremark Performance

To be perfectly honest, while benchmarking the Toshiba Portege Z835, I felt pretty underwhelmed. While the SSD makes day to day use feel snappy enough, this is the first time in a while that I've watched an Intel processor just slog through CPU-limited tests. The 1.4GHz nominal clock of the processor wouldn't seem so bad if it could turbo, but as a Core i3 you're basically stuck there, and no amount of Hyper-Threading really mitigates that. So while you'll see the Z835 perform reasonably well in the PCMarks, once we get to the more CPU-limited tasks you'll see it falter.

PCMark 7 - PCMarks

PCMark 7 - Lightweight

PCMark 7 - Productivity

PCMark 7 - Entertainment

PCMark 7 - Creativity

PCMark 7 - Computation

PCMark 7 - Storage

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

The SSD in the Z830 helps it tremendously, but the other ultrabook in our lineup, ASUS's Zenbook UX21, just spanks it relentlessly due to the faster processor. ASUS's Zenbook also benefits from a 6Gbps interface on the SSD and the hardware to use it; even though the Zenbooks use different SSDs, both of them are easily two to three times faster than the one included in the Z830. While it's a notable improvement over a mechanical drive, there's no denying the Z830's SSD is pokey compared to the competition.

You'll notice that the Z830 seems to do well in PCMark Vantage, though, but that's not the whole story. SSDs have a tendency to grossly inflate these scores, so it's telling that the massive inflation from the Z830's SSD only brings its PCMark Vantage score in line with normal notebooks.

Cinebench R10 - Single-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R10 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

Cinebench R11.5 - Multi-Threaded Benchmark

x264 HD Benchmark - First Pass

x264 HD Benchmark - Second Pass

While the Portege Z830's i3 runs wild on the netbook CPUs (proving there's still a substantial gap in performance there), it gets absolutely murdered by everything else. Even the fairly anemic Husky cores in the Llano A8 run roughshod over the 1.4GHz i3. The loss of turbo severely curtails the i3.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark06

If you weren't clear on all the gaming you're not supposed to do on the Portege Z830, 3DMark should seal the deal. While Intel is generous enough to include the superior HD 3000 graphics in the i3-2367M, it's still inadequate for gaming at anything above minimum detail: processor power is just barely there, and the HD 3000 remains a ways behind even low-end dedicated options as a result.

The Toshiba Portege Z835 is No Sliver Queen Battery Life, Heat, and Noise
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  • SoundsGood - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    >> why can't more of these ultrabooks have the same screen as the mackbook air, which has a 1440 x 900 resolution?

    I totally agree. That would be a great option.
    Reply
  • peterfares - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    People who say the resolution is too large don't realize that Windows has the ability to scale. Just adjust the DPI to make everything bigger. When you increase the resolution and the DPI, things remain the same physical size but are made up of more pixels making them very clear. I used Sony's 1080p 13" Vaio Z at the Microsoft store with 150% scaling, and it looked amazing! Reply
  • solipsism - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    "I could be completely blind and out of my depth here, but I just don't see the market an ultrabook serves"

    A recent report put the MBAs, only in 11" and 13" sizes, at 28% of all Mac notebook shipments. This is a category the average consumer cares about. Unfortunately for the non-Apple OEMS there customers expect a sweet spot about $300 less than the least expensive MBA. That's the problem when you spend years racing to the bottom, not one trusts when your products even if they are quality.

    It was years ago that Apple had more than 90% of the $1000 and up market so these companies need to make less expensive machines or rebrand themselves to show they are a premium company. They can start by removing crap like Intel Inside, MS Windows, Dell and HP stickers off their machines.
    Reply
  • Torrijos - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    While this review is dandy, it would be nice to run the benchmarks on the MacBook Air running Windows, to have a baseline.

    Also, while more ports are always cool I kind of disagree with the disinterest towards Thunderbolt technology. Living with a laptop as a main computer, connecting the multitude of cables at home to dock it to external displays and storage unit gets old pretty quickly so the vision of a single cable connecting a TB display (with keyboard and mouse on the USBs) and a fast mass storage unit chained seems like a dream (but I'll be still waiting for USB3 on the display before I make a jump).
    It's a usage model that no other brand offers right now.
    Reply
  • peterfares - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Have you heard of docks? They aren't yet available on Ultrabook models I don't believe, but they're even better than Thunderbolt. You just place your computer on the dock, you don't even have to line up and insert the thunderbolt and power cords. Reply
  • Jamezrp - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    4th paragraph from the bottom, end of the second sentence. Not a big deal...I laughed because it sounds like a cheesy, corny cute name to give Intel's Turbo Boost. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Just a typo from the editor; actually, Dustin called it "turbo core" so I tried to fix it and apparently hit the wrong key for the "t". Not sure which is worse, though. :p Reply
  • fpink3 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    D Sklavos says: "I don't think the keyboard is a lost cause, but it definitely needs to be revised. Layout is fine, just fix the overall size and quality. The chassis has room for both."

    "Just fix the ..quality"? Who is D Sklavos talking to? Let me know how the keyboard will perform if I bought the product.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Great review as always, but I was wondering if you could make comparison photos of products where size is a big feature. Stick a coke cola can or a DVD case next to it and then photograph. It would make it easier to judge the size. :-) Reply
  • EthanW - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Is it just me, or does this look scarily similar to the Portege R200?

    As seen here:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_wroyUqnJyD0/SieO92SMA6I/...

    Good to see they had the sense to stick with proper trackpad buttons. :D
    Reply

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