Back to Article

  • jigglywiggly - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Why are all ultrabook makers idiots?
    Really all you have to do to make them sell like hotcakes is:
    1600x900 screen for 13.3 in model
    Super good contrast and good brightness
    Offer matte and glossy

    Seriously, if they had this then they'd be great.
  • tzhu07 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Also, get rid of the fucking stickers to the left of the trackpad. Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    The stickers are out of control these days. Please bring the AOL desktop icon back instead. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    While I don't like the stickers either....Toshiba most likely gets discounts for adding those stickers. I'm Certain INTEL marketing department would have a problem if the stickers were not displayed. Intel is ALL about marketing its brand and does a very good job of it.

    Any low-tech consumer is dazzled by these stickers and assume the system is a good purchase. General consumers are mostly dumb and buy primarily on visual information instead of factual research. How else could Apple charge the prices it does for its computers and its crazy upgrade prices. If consumers checked how much 8 gigs of memory cost on NewEgg (40.00) ...they'd tell Apple to go screw themselves and then purchase the memory to install themselves.

    General consumers are typically lazy....they are PROGRAMMED to want things NOW and screw the cost or lack of real features. I don't think Toshiba is marketing to AnandTech users. I believe they are marketing to Apple fashionistias, Because their price point is less than Apple and they are most likely targeting those buyers who want something like an Apple airbook, but for less and with windows OS. Most of those users only check email and FaceBook.

    Regarding stickers......Simple solution is to remove the stickers after your purchase.
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    "Regarding stickers......Simple solution is to remove the stickers after your purchase."

    Easier said than done. I tried removing one sticker from my Toshiba Portege r700, but it was practically burned on. No amount of scratching with my fingernails gets it off, water doesn't help, it's like a hard plastic film that just won't come off. A heatgun is probably required, and I don't have one.
  • tzhu07 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    True. Any time I have to Google how to remove something, I know that the original intention was for it not to be removed. Reply
  • Ushio01 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Use WD40 just a little bit sprayed on a paper towl and gently rubbed over the stickers removes them easily. Reply
  • GotThumbs - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    They don't make it easy, but it's not impossible if it really bothers you.

    I know the GOOP adhesive remover is really good for getting the adhesive off once you remove the sticker. I've heard that cooking oil as well as well. I'd think twice before using anything that containes a chemical, but you can try WD-40 (suggested by Ushio01) at your own risk.

    You may want to try using a straight razor blade on the edge of the sticker to start the lifting process. Fingernails are just not thin enough. Patience is the key to accomplishing the removal without scaring your product.

    Best wishes.
  • KineticHummus - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    I have the toshiba portege r835, the stickers came off NO problem. and ive heard its the same chassis too Reply
  • nubie - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    Goo-gone is available at the "dollar tree" store locally. The hardware store has much larger bottles for under $4.

    There is also a felt tip pen version, which would probably be perfect for the laptop stickers.

    I didn't know about this product for years, but it will soften sticky things like magic.
  • r3loaded - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Amen to that. I also find it difficult to understand why it's so hard for them to put an IPS screen on them either. Practically every tablet that wants to be taken seriously has such a screen, yet it's a rarity outside of Lenovo/HP's top-end models. They shouldn't moan about cost either - it's a premium product, it deserves premium components and hence should have a premium price (which I and many others are ready to pay for).

    Tablets have 1280x800 IPS screens in a 10-inch form factor. We shouldn't have to put up with 1366x768 TN in a premium 13-inch ultra portable in 2011/2012.
  • solipsism - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    IPS costs more money and users more power. On a 7" or 10" display that isn't too bad, especially when you powering it off ARM, but consider a proper notebook with a 13", 15," or 17" IPS panel. Thing gets a lot tricker.

    This will eventually change just as HiDPI resolutions on notebooks will eventually change, but that time just isn't hear yet. You can look at Apple's limited product line for examples: iPHone and iPad are iPS, iMacs and Cinema Displays are IPS, notebooks are all TN.
  • Penti - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    15" HP's with IPS-panels uses panels specced to 15W for example. You can't really use something that aren't manufactured. Reply
  • Narrlok - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    ASUS UX31 Zenbook

    1600*900 on 13.3"
    - check

    Super good contrast and good brightness
    - super high brightness like the MBA according to Anand's review of the UX21, contrast suffers though

    Offer matte and glossy
    - nope, no other alternatives either currently :( Sony does offer Vaios with a matte 13.1" screen with a 1600*900 resolution
  • medi01 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    16:9 and 16:10 screens suck badly. Bring good old 4:3 back and I'm sold. Reply
  • tzhu07 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Are you 65 years old or something? Reply
  • HMTK - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    No, he probably wants to do other things than watch movies. Like... work. Reply
  • JoeMcJoe - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link


    16:9 display ratios even on desktop monitors aren't the best for working on.
  • tzhu07 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Oh really? I think my 2560 X 1440 desktop monitor suits me just fine for poductivity work. But then again, once you get up to the 2560 spec, 1440 or 1600 is plenty. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    My 1920x1200 IPS at work is also very nice for work. And with enough vertical space you can actually start to use the horizontal space by not running everything full screen.

  • inighthawki - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Depends on the kind of work. I do a lot of programming, and as a result, tiling two coding windows side by side in visual studio works wonderfully on a widescreen display, but not so much on a full screen display. Reply
  • uhuznaa - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    I would really like to see some statistics how old people are who buy such things and how their eyesight is. 1600x900 on 13.3" with no way to adjust the OS to it means that everything you want to read and click on the screen becomes that small that working with it for many hours a day becomes a strain. Yeah, you can cram more content and toolbars and icons onto the screen, but this comes with a price.

    I know more than enough "normal" users who think that such many pixels are even too much to be comfortable on 19" desktop displays and run them with non-native resolutions just to get comfortable UI sizes. Especially since they just have no need for 1600 horizontal pixels since they run everything full-screen anyway.
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    "1600x900 on 13.3" with no way to adjust the OS to it means that everything you want to read and click on the screen becomes that small"

    Win7 click start>control panel>display and set it from 100 to 125 or even 150% if you are really blind.
  • SoundsGood - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    >> Win7 click start>control panel>display and set it from 100 to 125 or even 150% if you are really blind.

    That's fine if you *only* use the laptop's screen. But not so great for those of us that often use an external monitor. It means always switching back and forth between 125 DPI and 100 DPI... which is NOT fun.
  • Filiprino - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    It's a non-issue. Sony has the Vaio Z with 1080p on it's 13 inch screen. That's a real problem.
    But 1600x900 on 13 inches it's not a problem. I've got a 15,6 inch laptop with full hd screen and it's really nice. Not only because you can have more things being displayed, but also for things that were traditionally huge now they aren't.

    And of course, more resolution benefits productivity.
  • peterfares - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Sony's screen is wonderful. I used the Vaio Z with a 1080p screen at the Microsoft store. The DPI was set to 150% so everything appeared the normal size for a 13" computer, but everything was SO CLEAR. It was awesome. I really want one, but they're very expensive! Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    For me 1366x768 is borderline uncomfortable on 11.6". So I guess I wouldn't want more than 1400x900 at 13.3".

  • peterfares - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    You can increase the DPI setting which makes everything bigger but sharper than a standard resolution display. Reply
  • peterfares - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Windows 7 has great scaling capabilities. The whole OS has higher resolution graphics for when you increase the DPI setting. Third party support is not quite there yet, but things just get blown up to make them bigger. Not that annoying when the DPI is high enough. Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    I'm going to go further than this: They need to offer it in 16:10, not 16:9 as you suggest is OK.

    How about 1680x1050, laptop makers :3

    Look at the retarded huge bezel below and above the screen. This is getting out of hand. 16:9 is a terrible ratio for computing, but because the screens are getting spat out cheaply, this is what we get.
  • retrospooty - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    "How about 1680x1050, laptop makers :3"

    Yup, my old 15 inch Lenovo T500 w/ 1680x1050 was perfect.

    Sadly, the highest sellers now are these cheap 1366x768 ones, so they keep pushing it. Laptop makers wont stop unless sales drive it. Right now they are selling to the dull masses and it's not about to change.

    At least the ASUS Ultrabook has a 1600x900 option. Pretty good for a 13 incher.
  • gorash - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    It's an ultrabook, they'd have to make it at a certain price point (under $1000). Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, November 17, 2011 - link

    "Why are all ultrabook makers idiots?"
    The answer is simple --- but PC heads don't want to hear it.
    As long as buyers AND sellers insist on selling by specs, they are in a commodity market. A market where the device sold is the one that hits the lowest price. These devices are sold by
    - has USB3 --- check
    - has ethernet port --- check
    - can (in theory) expand to more than 4GiB of RAM --- check.

    There's nowhere on that checklist for --- feel of the construction, quality of the keyboard, quality of the screen, delight of the user experience. No place for anything that is not a yes/no answer.
    As long as the PC world buys devices by checkbox criteria, vendors will sell devices by checkbox criteria --- it's as simple as that. If you want out of that world, I'm sorry, but your choice, today is simple --- you buy Apple and you accept the choices Apple makes. You may find your checkbox ethos upset --- what do you mean, no USB3 and no VGA port? You may whine that the price is "too high" for all the checkbox items you are getting --- ignoring the cost and the value of the non-checkbox items you are getting.
    But really, that's the breaks. You cannot expect differently from any other vendor, because that's not the way the economics works. And pretty much none of them have the credibility to insist that: "no, trust us, sure our new product costs 30% more than the competition, when compared by specs, but it really is worth the extra money". Sony certainly can't make such an argument credibly these days. The only possibility I can think of is that maybe Lenovo could.
    But, look at the comments in previous Anand reviews. If Lenovo introduced a really well made ultrabook, selling at Apple prices, I guarantee you MOST of the reviews would be along the lines of: "this is bullshit --- I can get exactly the same features from Toshiba for $300 cheaper. Lenovo screws over the public once again".
  • Visual - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Now all I want is for someone to take this thing, give it a better quality display with adequate resolution, nice multitouch layer with active digitizer, make it convertible to tablet mode, with a few programmable buttons on the bezel, and I would be willing to pay double this price.
    Are all those things actually costing the manufacturer more than that? Or why else is noone doing that?

    Add in a better GPU option without massively increasing weight (battery drain won't matter if it can switch back to the IGP, but the cooling should be adequate) and I'd be the happiest person in the world.
  • solnyshok - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Screen flex is so extreme, that me Toshiba have developed 2 cracks (one on left, one right side) in the inner plastic frame around the lcd panel. From the forums, I know that many owners have faced this problem, even those that handle device very carefully.

    Important consequence of this is, that despite low weight, Toshiba has almost killed portability of this device - I am afraid to just put it into my backpack or leave it in a luggage. The only way to handle it is to have a well protected bag and keep it on yourself at all times.

    Lastly, did you check this Toshiba, or any other ultrabooks, if they use throttling to prevent overheating? My R630 came with i450m (2.4GHz, turbo to 2.6), but only after couple of months I learned with the help of ThrottleStop, that whole thing is throttled to 50% of performane at all times. Removed it for AC profile, thing is twice faster now and still doesn't overheat.
  • e-kirill - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    SSD here is crap also Reply
  • Filiprino - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    I won't buy a shitty 768p screen. Reply
  • solnyshok - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    and the screen is awful on R630 (guess it is the same). C'mon Toshiba, I will not be buying another one of the R series with such awful screen and flimsy shell. Reply
  • ibtar - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    There must be some kind of running joke between OEMs about how cheap they can go on these garbage TN panels they throw in these "ultra" books and other laptops until consumers actually start to care (they won't).

    Just give me an IPS panel. I don't care if it's glossy or matte, just give me something that has decent contrast and doesn't gamma shift all over the damn place. Is that so much to ask?
  • jackpro - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    The screen resolution needs to be higher. I am sick of scrolling web pages. Please get a clue. Thats why tablets are growing market share, web pages are easier to read duh! Are we not in the web age??? Reply
  • Meegulthwarp - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    1st page, 3rd paragraph. Is Turbo Boosy the drunk abusive cousin of Turbo Boost? Cuz I rather quite like the name. Reply
  • ciparis - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    +1 Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    That's what I get for editing in the engine. Though I'm not sure how I hit the "y" instead of "t" given I have a split keyboard. Probably being bad and typing with one hand or something. Reply
  • Neptunian - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    192:1 contrast ratio and 40% of AdobeRGB ? Even my 12 year old eizo has better display quality.

    Also I don't get their obsession with the hideous sticker spammed all over the keyboard. Why is it only Apple that gets it?
  • gorash - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    They probably get paid some money to put stickers on there. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Apple doesn't do co-branding, ever. If you buy a Mac, it's all about Apple and you don't need to know whether it has an Intel or Motorola CPU, an ATI or NVIDIA GPU, or any other details. You also shouldn't know whether the SSD is a decent quality Samsung a much slower and lower quality Toshiba. And for all of that, you get to pay a price premium.

    At least Apple knows how to select a good quality LCD and build everything well, but again, that's part of the price premium. The interesting thing is that Intel defines a price to qualify as an ultrabook, and everyone cuts corners to get there and thus kills the screen quality. And in this instance, build quality as well.
  • Kougar - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    I am definitely sure "Turbo Boosy" exacerbates the issue!

    Not a bad ultrabook (if one can get past that cheap display), but I like the battery life on the Zenbook UX31 better. I'd can't stress enough that I'm willing to have a heavier machine if it meant more battery capacity... one criteria most ultrabooks aren't meeting. Regular laptops which have the room, or in some cases the battery capacity just fail to meet any of the criteria an ultrabook excels in.

    Notebook vendors are still swinging and missing that niche market...
  • frozentundra123456 - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Honestly, I would prefer the dm1z at half the price. Saw it in best buy a long time ago, but it appears to have disappeared off the shelves.

    And it seems there is a dearth of netbook size devices using the E350, which seems an ideal chip for a small portable. At least in retail stores around here, what I see is Atom netbooks and E350 15.6 in laptops. Seems a mismatch for both. Why would anyone want atom over the E350 in a netbook, and if I am going to get a 15.6 in "full size" laptop, I either want Llano for the graphics and decent CPU performance, or an Intel i3 or i5 for better CPU performance.
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Go for the Thinkpad X121e instead. With TPFanControl it's nicely quiet and the only negative point is the horrible touchpad (can't really click with it). Otherwise it's almost perfect for such a small machine (can't expect a good screen at that price point).

  • 86waterpumper - Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - link

    Since some think that 1600 is too large a resolution for 13 inch, and alot seem to agree that what most of them have now is pretty lame, why can't more of these ultrabooks have the same screen as the mackbook air, which has a 1440 x 900 resolution? Reply
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:

    Good to see they had the sense to stick with proper trackpad buttons. :D
  • Henk Poley - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    Shouldn't that read silver, instead of sliver? The typo is made several times. Reply
  • dszc - Friday, November 18, 2011 - link

    For me, the ultrabook concept is a bulls-eye!
    EXACTLY what I need.

    I need to get real work done when I travel. And I must travel more than I want to.
    The Zenbook looks almost perfect. But it has that stupid Asus "keyboard" and an inadequate glossy panel TN display. Give me a real display and keyboard and I'll glady pay an extra $100-200.

    This new Toshiba Z835 completely misses the mark and the concept. It is just a glorified netbook. Nothing "ULTRA" about it. Same problem with the Macbook Air. At least Asus with their Zenbook is on the right track.

    I'm a photographer and am always processing RAW files in Lightroom and Photoshop. That takes horsepower. The i7 and SSD in the Zenbook have it. The laptop needs to be small enough to easily add to carry-on when flying, and it needs to fit on a airline fold-down tray. Probably 13". It needs enough battery life to last cross-country. And maybe a spare battery for trans-Atlantic.
    With the Zenbook, whenver I have 5-10 minutes I could just pop it out and finish another picture (project/spreadsheet/fill-in-the-blank). With my current Asus G51 beast, with its ~10lb+ travel weight, by the time I find an electrical outlet, get it plugged in and booted up, my 10 minutes is gone and I have done no work.

    For storage, a small 2.5" external USB3 makes the most sense. All my data and files stay on there and I can just plug that into my desktop or anyone else's computer when not traveling.

    This ultrabook concept is perfect for me. Until it came along, I had no hope. Now, all of a sudden, The Zenbook and Lenovo's high-powered entry are very close!
  • Sunburn74 - Sunday, November 20, 2011 - link

    Anand is a real screen junkie. It makes his articles incredibly hard to interprete. Whilst he writes off laptops that haveTN panels with 1366x788 resolutions and are glossy, I personally have used said laptops and don't care or eve notice the screen. I dont work outdoors. I don't spend all my time looking at my windows icons. I don't game on my laptop. I watch the occasional movie on it and do so in crowded environments where I am always distracted by the time, the people, when the bus/train will come, etc. I am a completely normal person with completely normal usage patterns and to me the ultrabooks are highly appealing.

    I have never cared about the screen as long as its reasonably functional. I very feel people who buy macs also really don't care either (the imac is IPS, the mac air is TN and no one cares).
  • Sternreisender - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - link

    I picked the Z835 up at BB at the end of November. My last laptop died a few weeks before and I had just come into the required monies so I was chomping at the bit. My requirements were SSD, backlit keyboard, ultrabook.

    I could have waited for the Folio13 but honestly, I've been happy. Main usage is web browsing/movie watching. I wanted portability. It feels fragile, sure, but I'm willing to accept that. Been very happy with battery life.

    I understand there are many sacrifices others don't want to make, but just wanted to throw that out there. :)
  • shorty lickens - Friday, June 22, 2012 - link

    Its 699 at Best Buy this week, which makes it an easier pill to swallow. Of course I bet a lot of folks are waiting for the next generation which has better stats and a more reasonable price. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now