Now this is a tablet that can replace your laptop. With its detachable keyboard, Toshiba's new Portege Z20t Ultrabook can fill the needs of business customers looking for a lightweight tablet as well as the full productivity of a notebook in one device. Available in January for $899 ($1,399 with keyboard), this 2-in-1 promises up to 17 hours of battery life when docked, which would put both the Surface Pro 3 and MacBook Air to shame.
Even when it was connected to its keyboard, the 3.3-pound Portege Z20t felt very light in my hands. The tablet itself weighs just 1.6 pounds and is 8.8mm thick; Toshiba was able to achieve these dimensions by using Intel's new Core M processor, which, while not as powerful as Core i5 CPUs, allows for fanless designs. The Z20t's 12.5-inch IPS display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080p, and combined with a matte anti-glare finish, was easily viewable from a variety of angles.
Also packed inside is a 128GB SSD (expandable to 256GB or 512GB), 8GB of RAM, 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0. Along the one edge of the tablet is a micro HDMI, microUSB and a microSD card slot. Tucked into one corner of the tablet is an "emergency stylus," a smart add-on if you ever happen to lose the Z20t's full-size stylus. The back of the tablet also has a 5-MP camera.
While the tablet is a fine product on its own, it only reaches its full potential with the optional keyboard dock. This $500 accessory has full-size VGA and HDMI ports as well as Ethernet and two USB 3.0 ports. Additionally, the keyboard is spillproof and backlit and has a pointing stick.
You can connect the tablet to the keyboard as you would a traditional clamshell notebook, or flip it around, so that the screen is facing outward. As if that weren't enough, the keyboard dock has its own battery, which will extend the life of the Z20t from an estimated 9.1 hours up to 17.5 hours. By comparison, the MacBook Air lasted more than 12 hours and the Surface Pro 3 just 7.5 hours.
At $1,399 with the keyboard, the Toshiba Portege Z20t doesn't come cheap. A Core i5-powered Surface Pro 3 with a sharper display and Keyboard Cover costs $1,128 or $271 less. However, the Toshiba will provide a more comfortable typing experience and last a lot longer on a charge. Stay tuned for our full review.