Review Toshiba Portege R830-110 Notebook

Sebastian Jentsch (translated by B Schulisch), 06/09/2011

Low cost expert. Light, long battery life, and well put together. With the low end version of the Portégé R830 from Toshiba premium business is now affordable. The question is whether the claims of an ideal picture quality are also true?

Toshiba Portégé R830-110: Work device without extra features?
Toshiba Portégé R830-110: Work device without extra features?

The Portégé subnotebooks with a 13.3 inch form factor (previously 12.1 inch, e.g. R500) make up the premium segment for handy business notebooks from Toshiba. Light weight, a thin case, and good battery life are combined with business features such as a docking port, a UMTS module, and a fingerprint reader.

Since Toshiba has recognized that not every demanding private user or business person wants to spend 2000 Euros for a subnotebook, the Portégé R830 is currently available in three price classes and feature variants. The R830-10V is the fastest of the three with a Core i7-2620M (2x 2.70GHz), and a 256 GB SSD (from 1980 Euros). The R830-112 with a Core i5-2520M 2x 2.50GHz, and a HDD, is the intermediate model (from 1600 Euros). And last but not least the tested R830-110 has a Core i3-2310M (2x 2.30GHz), and a HDD (from 1130 Euros). In comparison to the two others our tested device is the most affordable Portégé R830.

How well does the affordable R830 fair for mobile use? Can Toshiba's claims for an "HD display with ideal picture quality" be proved accurate? All the answers can be found in the following review.

Case

View of the Portégé R830-110
View of the Portégé R830-110
The pattern structure reinforces the thin material
The pattern structure reinforces the thin material
Plastic cover of the hinge is loosely attached
Plastic cover of the hinge is loosely attached

The tested subnotebook weighs 1.47 kilograms, and is held together by a magnesium case, which is reinforced with an integrated pattern structure (inside) above and below. Thanks to the thin material weight has been saved without compromising the stability. At least thats the theory.

In practice we found the hand resting area and the bottom to give way in some places. Under the DVD drive the case can be dented a bit excessively. The surface of the lid makes a robust impression. Nevertheless we were able to dent this in the middle. Effects on the front of the display panel aren't caused easily by this though.

Summary: The stability of the thin magnesium plastic case is very good taking into consideration the light weight. Especially the base unit cannot be bent with both hands. One thing that is not so impressive are the silver hinge coverings. These are loosely clicked on, and can break off. Underneath these are thin but firm hinges, which are firmly attached to the case.

The magnesium surfaces are lightly brushed and varnished, which gives the impression of a polished aluminum finish on the lid and hand resting area. All the surfaces are grippy. Fingerprints stay behind, but are not easily noticeably due to the matte complexion.

Connectivity

Docking Port for Toshiba Port Replicator PA3838E-1PRP (about 200 Euros)
Docking Port for Toshiba Port Replicator PA3838E-1PRP (about 200 Euros)

The optical drive is still required by some buyers, even if the manual data exchange can take place via memory sticks or across the network these days. The DVD multi-burner takes away room for potential interfaces, especially since the back doesn't have any ports. Nevertheless, there is still enough space for eSATA, HDMI, and three USB ports, of which the furthest right supports USB 3.0.

The Docking Port on the bottom connects to the Port Replicator PA3838E-1PRP, which provides an additional six USB ports (of which 2 x USB 3.0), and a serial connection for the R830, for approximately 200 Euros (RRP). The Port Replicator is intended as a stress free way to connect peripheral office devices.

Front: No interfaces
Front: No interfaces
Left: Power input, vent, VGA, eSATA/USB combination, USB 2.0, HDMI
Left: Power input, vent, VGA, eSATA/USB combination, USB 2.0, HDMI
Rear: No interfaces
Rear: No interfaces
Right: Optical drive, microphone, headphones, USB 3.0, LAN (RJ-45), Kensington Security Slot (hinge)
Right: Optical drive, microphone, headphones, USB 3.0, LAN (RJ-45), Kensington Security Slot (hinge)

Communication

There are ample communication options. Along with Gigabit Ethernet (Intel 82579V Gigabit) and WLAN (Atheros AR9002WB-1NG), there is also a broadband modem on board. The latter of these is a Ericsson F5521gw Mobile Broadband Network Adapter. The SIM card slot is located in the battery compartment. With the integrated Bluetooth 3.0 + HS module (combined with Atheros WLAN), it is possible to communicate with small devices, such as for example a PDA. The predecessor R700 only had Bluetooth 2.0.

The VGA webcam unfortunately only has a resolution of 640x480 pixels. This can be used for video conferencing or for the Toshiba Face Recognition. The picture quality, especially with dim lighting, is not overwhelming but still good enough for less demanding purposes.

Security

A fingerprint reader and Kensington Lock are obviously available. Under the hood there are also further features: Execute Disable Bit (XD-Bit), BIOS with Computrace support, Intel Anti-Theft, hard drive protection with 3D sensor, and a partially waterproof keyboard.

Accessories

Recovery media for Windows 7 Professional (64-bit) have to be burned using Recovery Media Creator. Included with the delivery is a hidden hard drive partition. In addition to this the delivery also includes a small handbook and a short user guide. Regarding the pre-installed software, this includes diverse Toshiba tools (e.g. cooling system diagnosis tool, HWSetup, HDD protection, etc.) as well as programs such as Nero Multimedia Suite 10 Essential, and Nero BackItUp & Burn Autobackup Essentials.

Warranty

The length of the warranty is 24 months (on location collection in Germany and Austria upon registration of the device via the Toshiba Notebook Hotline).

Nero BackItUp
Nero BackItUp
Recovery Media Creator
Recovery Media Creator
USB Sleep & Charge Tool
USB Sleep & Charge Tool
Sleep & Charge Settings
Sleep & Charge Settings
Cooling system diagnosis tool
Cooling system diagnosis tool

Input Devices

Keyboard

Toshiba has given the Portégé R830 free standing keys with a firm end stop. The surface is unusually smooth, but nevertheless pleasant to use (no greasy fingers). The keys are easy to use accurately thanks to the big distance between them. One downside is unfortunately the short key travel, and a pressure point which is not clear enough. This has a negative effect on the feedback when typing. Business keyboards on the HP Elitebooks, or the Lenovo ThinkPads, are better in this respect.

The layout can be described as a success in our opinion, with the arrow keys separated, and the picture keys as well as the Delete and Home/End keys located all the way on the right side.

Touchpad

The multi-touchpad (Synaptics V7.4) is very big, matte, and has horizontal and vertical scrollbars (not marked visually). The shiny buttons unfortunately have a short travel and a loud click. The fingerprint sensor between the buttons allows logging in with the swipe of a finger. Accidental operation is impossible, since no action is performed without the appropriate application.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Arrow keys
Arrow keys
Multi-touchpad
Multi-touchpad

Display

The matte 13.3 inch display panel (type not legible) isn't able to stand out from the competition. Its qualities are more or less in line with those of an affordable consumer display, with the exception of the non-reflective surface. One such as this is actually misplaced in a premium subnotebook.

The HD panel has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. This is the standard for the 13 inch form factor (consumer), and has also become proliferated in the business area (e.g. ThinkPad L520) due to the production cost. This is due to the fact that the same panel sizes can be used for consumer as well as business notebooks.

The low contrast of 142:1 makes colors less strong, and contours become less pronounced. This is acceptable for office use, but a bit of a disappointment for professional image editing. The small color space of the R830's display doesn't surprise in light of these facts. sRGB is missed by a long stretch (picture in the middle). Business notebooks such as the Dell Latitude E6520 (FHD, 15.6 inch), or the consumer slimline Samsung 900X (13.3 inch), prove that matte panels can also cover a large color space.

R830-110 vs. AdobeRGB (t)
R830-110 vs. AdobeRGB (t)
R830-110 vs. sRGB (t)
R830-110 vs. sRGB (t)
R830-110 vs. Latitude E6520 FHD (t)
R830-110 vs. Latitude E6520 FHD (t)
R830-110 vs. Samsung 900X (t)
R830-110 vs. Samsung 900X (t)
168
cd/m²
171
cd/m²
173
cd/m²
177
cd/m²
196
cd/m²
182
cd/m²
183
cd/m²
186
cd/m²
189
cd/m²
Information
Gossen Mavo-Monitor
Maximum: 196 cd/m²
Average: 180.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 196 cd/m²
Black: 1.38 cd/m²
Contrast: 142:1
Distribution of brightness

What the R830 display panel would really need is a good brightness level. On average we measured a mere 180 cd/m². The maximum measured by the Mavo Monitor is an illumination of 196 cd/m² in the middle. Taking into consideration the sunny summer and potential use outdoors, a luminance in excess of 250 cd/m² would have been preferable. This way the display stays dim most of the time despite the matte surface.

The photographs show the display panel with sunlight. When looking from the front with indirect sunlight, the luminance is sufficient (middle picture), from the sides the display becomes much dimmer though (left). Under direct sunlight the display is too dark for working comfortably (right). Outdoor users will have to find a spot in the shade in these circumstances.

Outdoors - left, sun indirect
Outdoors - left, sun indirect
Outdoors - left, different angle
Outdoors - left, different angle
Outdoors - right, sun direct
Outdoors - right, sun direct

The horizontal viewing angles are only stable up to about 45 degrees. Should the eyes move above or below (vertically), then writing is legible up to about 35 degrees. Colors are already inverted from about 10 degrees though. To demonstrate this we have provided the following video.

Viewing angles Toshiba Portege R830-110
Viewing angles Toshiba Portege R830-110

Performance

Toshiba's 13.3 inch R830 is equipped with an Intel Core i3-2310M (2 x 2.1 GHz). The dual-core CPU doesn't have Turbo Boost, but does support Hyper-Threading (processes 4 threads). The CPU's power consumption lies at 35 Watts according to TDP. Of this the two cores require 25 Watts. 10 Watts are used by the integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics solution, and the internal DDR3 memory controller.

As usual there are 4096 MB of DDR3 RAM on board, whereby only one of the two sockets is in use (1 x 4096 MB RAM). The hard drive is a Hitachi (HTS723232A7A364) with a rotational speed of 7200 rpm and a capacity of 320 GB.

Systeminfo CPUZ CPU
Systeminfo CPUZ Cache
Systeminfo CPUZ Mainboard
Systeminfo CPUZ RAM
Systeminfo CPUZ RAM SPD
Systeminfo GPUZ Intel HD 3000
PC Latency Checker Idle keine Verzögerungen
DPC Latency Checker WLAN Off/On knappe Verzögerungen
System information Toshiba Portege R830-110

The Sandy Bridge i3 processor manages to score almost as many points in the single-core Cinebench R10 Single 32-bit benchmark (2704) as significantly faster clocked predecessors such as the i3-380M (2x2.5GHz, ~2.800 points) with a 2.1 GHz clock speed. The bigger brother i5-2520M (2.3GHz) CPU manages a faster 3800 points (64-bit) thanks to Turbo Boost.

When it comes to daily use, multi-threading is more relevant than single-core processing though (Cinebench R10 Multi 64-bit). The i3-2310M manages 7237 points in this discipline, which is almost as much as a i3-380M (~7800). In this case the option of a Core i5 version of the R830 can be a definite advantage with respect to speed: The i5-2520M manages about 10500 points thanks to Turbo Boost 2.0.

4.6
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
6.5
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
5.9
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
4.6
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6.1
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.9
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
2704
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
6065
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
3773
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
3337 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
7237 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
3943 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
7.21 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.96 Points
Help
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage5186 points
Help

The i3-2310M is slower than the i5-2520M (more expensive R830 variant), which is to be expected. How does this effect the performance of the whole system? The PCMark Vantage benchmark gives the answer to this question. The test determined a score of 5186 points. This is more or less the same as older systems with a Core i3-380M (e.g. Samsung RV511: 5432).

Compared to the model variants with a Core i5-2520M (5870 to 7300) or a i7-2620M (7800 e.g. ThinkPad T420), our tested device falls behind. These values apply to HDD devices. In cases where a SSD is involved, our i3+HDD combination doesn't stand a chance: 14150 points (XMG A501, i7-2620M, SSD). It can be expected that more expensive SSD variants of the R830 will miss this performance level by a small margin due to the lack of a GPU, but nevertheless provide a considerable performance.

The 3DMark2006 benchmark, which measures the gaming suitability, scores 3053 points. The 2010 Intel HD generation (also CPU integrated) only managed 1500 points on average (depending on CPU +/- 200 points). Gaming is possible within a limited capacity with the Intel HD 3000. The dedicated entry level GPU Radeon HD 6470M is only 3% faster (3DMark2006), whereby the drivers are better adapted to games. Less demanding games, such as Fifa 11, or older games (Left4Dead), run smoothly with high detail settings. See the articles Intel HD Graphics 3000 Graphics solution, and the detailed page for the HD Graphics 3000 for details.

3D Mark
3DMark 055497 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
3053 points
Help
Hitachi Travelstar Z7K320 HTS723232A7A364
Transfer Rate Minimum: 39.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 102.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 79.4 MB/s
Access Time: 17.8 ms
Burst Rate: 117.3 MB/s
CPU Usage: 1 %

The 320 GByte hard drive manufactured by Hitachi is relatively fast, even though it is a rotating HDD (7200 rpm). It reads at 79 MByte/s in sequential read (HD Tune). The CrystalDiskMark benchmark measured 89 MByte/s in our test (different test routine than HD Tune). The HDD Score from PCMark Vantage resulted in 3859 points (sub-score). This is significantly less than SSDs can score in our other test devices (14000 up to 20000 points, e.g. XMG A501). So that nothing goes wrong during mobile use, a 3D sensor is attached. This parks the read and write heads as a result of concussions.

Hitachi HTS723232A7A364 320GB 7200rpm
Hitachi HTS723232A7A364 320GB 7200rpm
HD-Tune: 79 MB/s reading
HD-Tune: 79 MB/s reading
CDM: 89 MB/s reading/writing
CDM: 89 MB/s reading/writing

Emissions

System Noise

Without load, such as when surfing the web or working with outlook, the system noise varies between 31 and 34 dB(A). Due to the small heat pipe only having a limited absorption capability on the CPU, the cooling fan already turns up following short bursts of load (e.g. after 15 seconds WPrime CPU test).

Under a constant maximum load for the processor and the integrated HD 3000, the cooling fan turns up to a maximum of 47 dB(A). If the load is limited to the CPU (Prime95), the noise level stays at 44 dB(A). At least the cooling proves itself to be very adaptive, since the noise level drops to 33.4 dB(A) after only 15 seconds of the load ceasing.

Altogether the behavior of the cooling system is reasonable, and the underlying noise level of the fast HDD is almost not noticeable (31.5 dB(A), without disturbing vibrations). The maximum level does make us thoughtful though, since this case should also be able to cool a Core i7-2620M (dual-core, Turbo 3.4 GHz + Turbo 2.0). This is possible in practice nevertheless, since the i7 and i3 have an identical TDP of 35 Watts. The cooling system diagnosis tool at least gives the i3 system a 'good' rating (test with 19 minutes of load).

Air inlet for the cooling
Air inlet for the cooling
Air outlet from cooling
Air outlet from cooling
Cooling system diagnosis tool
Cooling system diagnosis tool

Noise Level

Idle 31.1 / 31.1 / 31.4 dB(A)
HDD 31.5 dB(A)
DVD 36.1 / dB(A)
Load 46.6 / 47.2 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)
Stress test: Temperature measurements HWinfo are approximations
Stress test: Temperature measurements HWinfo are approximations

Temperature

When it comes to the heating of the case there are some serious shortcomings. In an idle state and during office use, a scenario which is the most applicable to the Protege, some areas merely become lukewarm (about 30 degrees). The bottom reaches a maximum of 34 degrees in some places.

The maximum temperatures during the stress test are considerably higher with 43 (top) and 44 degrees Celsius. This is not surprising considering the small and light case. The hand resting area stays lukewarm at all times though, and we measured a maximum of 32 degrees. Core Temp measured a processor temperature of 90 degrees (clock speed @2.095 MHz) following the several hour stress test.

Max. Load
 42.8 °C39.3 °C35.8 °C 
 34.8 °C36.6 °C31.7 °C 
 30.6 °C32.2 °C31.2 °C 
 
38.6 °C43.8 °C43.2 °C
36 °C39.2 °C34 °C
33 °C33.6 °C30.8 °C
Maximum: 42.8 °C
Average: 35 °C
 Maximum: 43.8 °C
Average: 36.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  46.7 °C | Room Temperature 21.4 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

Two speakers are located on the left and right sides above the keyboard. The audio is concentrated in the high frequencies, with little bass, and sounds thin. Due to this the use of external speakers or high quality headphones is advised for listening to music. The test using the 3.5 mm headphone socket didn't show any audio artifacts such as noise.

Battery Life

The battery life of six hours makes up for the bad audio quality of the speakers. These times are appropriate for a subnotebook. What is impressive is that the battery does not have a very high capacity (66 Wh, unsurprisingly). The WLAN test (surfing the web) ends after 5:58 hours, a DVD movie runs for 5:19 hours. The brightness of the TFT was set to 100 cd/m² (medium setting) during the WLAN and DVD tests.

Disadvantage: The charging time for the battery lasted a very long time with 4:38 hours. Optimizing the battery life is possible with the HWSetup tool. With this the dynamic CPU clocking can be set to 'always low' (multi-processing, webcam, SATA-mode, etc.). We tested the delivery state, in which all the devices are activated and the settings are adjusted for performance.

WLAN surfing 358min.
WLAN surfing 358min.
DVD movie 319min.
DVD movie 319min.
Idle 618min.
Idle 618min.
Load 110min.
Load 110min.
Toshiba HWSetup
Toshiba HWSetup
Battery runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 18min
WiFi Surfing
5h 58min
DVD
5h 19min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 50min

The power consumption of the whole system shows a big gap between an idle state and a high load (CPU+IGP). This is typical for an Intel Core processor from 2010 and 2011. The idle power consumption of the Portégé lies at 7.7 Watts (power saving, lowest brightness), and 12 Watts (max. performance, max. brightness). The stress scenario shows the opposite case. A 3DMark2006 benchmark (IGP Intel HD 3000) requires 53 Watts. During the stress test the Core i3 is added to this, and we measured 55 Watts. The small 65 Watt AC adapter (247 grams) is suitably dimensioned.

Power consumption

Off / Standby 0.2 / 0.7 Watt
Idle 7.7 / 9.9 / 12.1 Watt
Load 53.5 / 54.8 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 960

Verdict

The most affordable version of the Portégé R830 series (R830-110) can keep up with the current more qualitative business subnotebooks in many respects. This is no surprise, since the chassis has already been used by Toshiba successfully with the Portégé R700. The more expensive R830 variants (Core i7, i5, SSD) may be based on better performing components, but they don't improve the core features of the subnotebook.

Those that invest 1130 Euros in a Portégé, receive an impressively light subnotebook with a battery life of between five and six hours. The performance with an Intel Core i3 processor from the newest generation, and a rotating hard drive, may lag behind that of an i7/i5 and SSD, but is nevertheless sufficient for office use while on a train or in an airport waiting area.

Owners don't need to make any compromises when it comes to connectivity, since this is sufficient for the small form factor with a docking port, eSATA, and USB 3.0. The Toshiba website also lists Wireless Display as a feature. Our tested device contained an Atheros WLAN card though, with which this is not possible. A DVD drive doesn't have to be foregone either, just like an integrated UMTS module (standard in all R830 versions).

The list of disadvantages is relatively small, although this highlights important elements such as the display and the input devices. The display doesn't satisfy high standards as far as the color space, contrast, or viewing angles are concerned. In addition to this comes the relatively low brightness of 196 cd/m². Due to this the display is dim and difficult to read from under direct sunlight. The keyboard provides a generous layout and a firm supporting surface. Fast typing is possible with this, although a short key travel (also touchpad buttons), and a narrow pressure point, have a negative impact on the feedback. Nevertheless the keyboard is significantly better than those on consumer notebooks.

The manufacturing quality has some weak spots in a few details (hinge covers, bending). Considering the light weight (thin material) the stability shortcomings can be accepted though. A Portege R830 (1468 grams, magnesium) is unfortunately not comparable to a Vostro 3350 (2190 grams, aluminum), or an Apple Macbook Pro 13 (2004 grams, aluminum unibody) as far as stability is concerned. These 13.3 inch devices are elephants in comparison to the Portégé. The 13" MacBook Air comes comparatively close to these thanks to its aluminum unibody case.

As long as the dim display doesn't disturb, and no workstation tasks are performed with the R830-110, then the 13.3 inch device is a viable alternative for all those on the search for a subnotebook with a long battery life, integrated UMTS modem, docking port, and the performance of a mid-range notebook.

Toshiba Portege R830-110: 13.3-inch business elite with weak TFT-display
Toshiba Portege R830-110: 13.3-inch business elite with weak TFT-display
In Review: Toshiba Portege R830-110
In Review: Toshiba Portege R830-110

Specifications

Toshiba Portege R830-110

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM65
:: Memory
4096 MB, 1x4096MB, 1 socket free
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
13.3 inch 19:9, 1366x768 pixel, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Hitachi Travelstar Z7K320 HTS723232A7A364, 320 GB 7200 rpm
:: Soundcard
Realtek ALC269 @ Intel Cougar Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 eSata, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: Line out, microphone, Card Reader: SD, miniSD, microSD (adapter), SDHC 32GB, SDXC 64GB, MMC, 1 Fingerprint Reader, USB Sleep-and-Charge
:: Networking
Intel 82579V Gigabit Network Connection (10/1000MBit), Atheros AR9002WB-1NG Wireless Network Adapter (b g n ), 3.0+HS Bluetooth, High-Speed UMTS / 3G (HSDPA 7.2 Mbit/s / HSUPA 2 Mbit/s)
:: Optical drive
MATSHITA DVD-RAM UJ8A2AS
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 18.3 x 316 x 227
:: Weight
1.468 kg Power Supply: 0.247 kg
:: Battery
66 Wh Lithium-Ion, 10.8V 5800mAh PABAS249
:: Price
1199 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: VGA, Nero Multimedia Suite 10 Essential, Nero BackItUp & Burn Autobackup Essentials, many Toshiba Tools, 24 Months Warranty, Intel Wireless Display support for two monitors

 

Why bulky plugs are still in use is a mystery.
Why bulky plugs are still in use is a mystery.
Thanks to the flat Euro plug the power cable is relatively wieldy.
Thanks to the flat Euro plug the power cable is relatively wieldy.
The RAM is a standard module (1x4096 MB, 1 socket free).
The RAM is a standard module (1x4096 MB, 1 socket free).
The accessories don't include a recovery disc for Windows 7 Business 64-bit.
The accessories don't include a recovery disc for Windows 7 Business 64-bit.
Toshiba Portege R830-110: Magnesium chassis with patterned surface support.
Toshiba Portege R830-110: Magnesium chassis with patterned surface support.
Toshiba Portege R830-110: Version with 7200 rpm HDD
Toshiba Portege R830-110: Version with 7200 rpm HDD
Professional users need a trusty companion for all occasions.
Professional users need a trusty companion for all occasions.
Toshiba's business series Portégé provides a 1.47 kilogram weighing 13.3 inch form factor subnotebook with the R830.
Toshiba's business series Portégé provides a 1.47 kilogram weighing 13.3 inch form factor subnotebook with the R830.
For an affordable 1130 Euros (Core i3 version, R830-110),
For an affordable 1130 Euros (Core i3 version, R830-110),
there is a slim subnotebook on the desktop,
there is a slim subnotebook on the desktop,
which should also be suitable for outdoor use with its matte display.
which should also be suitable for outdoor use with its matte display.
The light weight is possible thanks to thin, and partially bendable surfaces.
The light weight is possible thanks to thin, and partially bendable surfaces.
The magnesium alloy is reinforced by a pattern on the inside.
The magnesium alloy is reinforced by a pattern on the inside.
Especially the base unit can impress with its stiffness (can be dented in some places).
Especially the base unit can impress with its stiffness (can be dented in some places).
The shiny mouse buttons aren't disturbing, although their short travel is.
The shiny mouse buttons aren't disturbing, although their short travel is.
Due to the rounding of the lid, this closes flush with the base unit.
Due to the rounding of the lid, this closes flush with the base unit.
The hinges are a bit springy and let the lid wobble.
The hinges are a bit springy and let the lid wobble.
The silver covers are bendable and can easily be removed.
The silver covers are bendable and can easily be removed.
On the bottom there are two openings (RAM, HDD).
On the bottom there are two openings (RAM, HDD).
The interfaces are not too limited (eSATA, HDMI, USB 2.0),
The interfaces are not too limited (eSATA, HDMI, USB 2.0),
but won't satisfy mobile users (card reader).
but won't satisfy mobile users (card reader).
The USB 3.0 port is an update to the otherwise identically built R700 from 2010.
The USB 3.0 port is an update to the otherwise identically built R700 from 2010.
The Webcam helps with video chats, but only has a VGA (640x480) resolution.
The Webcam helps with video chats, but only has a VGA (640x480) resolution.
The handy AC adapter provides 65 Watts, and weighs 247 grams (without cable).
The handy AC adapter provides 65 Watts, and weighs 247 grams (without cable).

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Links

Compare Prices

Pro

+Good application performance
+Good battery life
+Light weight
+Slim case
+(Stable), matte magnesium case
+Optical drive
+HDMI, eSATA, Docking Port
+Precise multi-touchpad
+Good but not perfect input devices
+Sensible hardware tools
 

Contra

-System noise under load
-Short travel of the keys and touchpad buttons
-Weak TFT backlight
-Low contrast of the display
-Narrow viewing angles

Shortcut

What we like

Handy with matte surfaces, and a sufficiently stable base unit.

What we'd like to see

The pressure point of the keys could be a bit crisper, and the travel could be more clear. Loose hinge covers definitely aren't necessary.

What surprises us

Very good battery life with a low power consumption.

The competition

Business: Dell Vostro V130: Very stable and quiet, short battery life; Dell Vostro 3350: Lowest temperatures; Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13: No Docking Port

Consumer: Samsung 900X3A: Extra thin with a very good outdoor display; Apple Macbook Pro 13 inch 2011-02 MC700D/A: Very good TFT; Apple MacBook Air 13: Even lighter Asus P31F-RO108X: UMTS, very affordable; Asus U36JC-RX081V: High quality aluminum chassis; Lenovo IdeaPad U260: Design consumer; Acer Aspire 3830TG: weak display, gaming graphics

Ratings

Toshiba Portege R830-110
05/29/2011 v2
Sebastian Jentsch

Chassis
90%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
90%
Connectivity
83%
Weight
92%
Battery
90%
Display
70%
Games Performance
62%
Application Performance
88%
Temperature
84%
Noise
79%
Add Points
87%
Average
84%
86%
Subnotebook *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Toshiba Portege R830-110 Notebook
Author: Sebastian Jentsch, 2011-06- 9 (Update: 2013-06- 6)