Toshiba is giving its Portege Z30, Tecra Z40 and Tecra Z50 business notebooks a serious refresh, with all new looks, processors and high-definition displays that the company hopes will help make the laptops the most desirable in the industry. Beyond their size and display resolution, the laptops offer extremely similar specifications right down to their storage drives. We went hands-on with the notebooks to see what Toshiba's updates have done to improve them.
The first thing you'll notice about the new Portege and Tecras is their slimmer design styles. Toshiba uses what it calls its Tough Body chassis. Made of magnesium alloy, the laptops use a honeycomb-style internal structure to help ensure the notebooks' bodies are strong, yet lightweight. The smallest of the bunch, the 13-inch Portege Z30 measures just 0.7 inches thick and weighs 2.6 pounds.
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The 14-inch Tecra Z40 measures 0.8 inches thick and weighs 3.2 pounds, while the Tecra Z50 measures the same 0.8 inches and weighs 3.9 pounds. Despite being the largest of the three laptops, the Tecra Z50 was still impressively lightweight, something that any business traveler can appreciate.
In terms of displays, the Portege Z30 comes equipped with 1366 x 768 screens, while the Tecra Z40 and Z50 can be equipped with 1366 x 768 or 1600 x 900 screens. Images looked crisp and vibrant on both the 1366 x 768 and 1600 x 900 displays.
Inside the new Toshiba laptops can be had with Intel's Core i5 or Core i7 Haswell processors. Storage drives for the Portege Z30 include your choice of a 128GB or 256GB SSD. The Tecra Z40 and Z50 can be had with up to a 750GB hard disk drive and up to a 512GB SSD. All three notebooks can be packed with up to 16GB of RAM.
The Tecra Z40 and Z50 can also be equipped with Nvidia's Geforce 730M graphics chip. Performance on each of the notebooks was relatively fast, though we'll have to wait until we can run some benchmarks on them before we make any definitive judgements.
Any good business notebook worth purchasing has a wide array of I/O ports. Fortunately, these Toshibas have just that. Each laptop comes with three USB 3.0 ports, a VGA port , a full-size HDMI port, SD card reader and a gigabit ethernet jack.