Toshiba Satellite Z930 ultrabook review

Reviews James Hunt Feb 11, 2013

James says this Toshiba ultrabook is all work and no play

Ah, yes. The Toshiba Satellite. The stalwart of the laptop world. Always popular with companies looking to buy workstation notebooks in bulk, probably because they're so cheap. So what's this brand doing in the ostensibly high-end Ultrabook market?

The answer is 'the same as it's always doing'. The Toshiba Satellite z930 is an Ultrabook aimed squarely at professionials looking for a cheap workstation to drag around the country with them. It's pleasingly cheap, at £800, but not under-powered. It's the lightest unit we've looked at, weighing only 1.1kg, and it has 6GB of RAM, which isn't to be sniffed at.

Graphics and audio are both very workmanlike. The screen is again, no better than average. 1366x768 resolution with a matte finish means it's good for the glare of office lighting but not for representing colour and dark very well. Intel HD 4000 Graphics are average, while the Realtek audio is bog standard in the worst possible way, but you'd reasonably expect all this of a system which isn't really designed for entertainment and multimedia.

At least its functionality is good. You get HDMI and VGA-out (essential for hooking up to smartboards or data projectors), as well as an Ethernet port, and are three USB ports, one of which is USB 3.0. The 128GB SSD is a little small by any standard, but presumably accounts for the fact that you won't be storing a lot of video on the system, and it helps keep the price down, we suppose.

Also, for a change, you get a system with a battery life that pummels the opposition, measuring a decent eight hours of normal operational use. Toshiba clearly designed this to be a PC that you can use at work, and that's how it's turned out. There's nothing here that particularly innovates from the company's normal approach but, as the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And if it is broke, a Toshiba Satellite makes for a cheap replacement while you wait for your insurance company to pay out.

Details:

• CPU: Core i5 3317U
• SSD Size: 128GB
• Screen Size: 13.3"
• Weight: 1.1kg
• Thickness: 20mm
• Price: £799

Scores:

Power: 6/10
Value: 8/10
Overall: 7/10