Toshiba Satellite Z930

An upgrade on last year's Z830, the Satellite Z930 is an excellent portable and flexible laptop.


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CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


Take the Satellite Z830 and whack new bits in — that's Toshiba's Satellite Z930. The processor gets a bump to third generation Core, we get 6GB instead of 4GB RAM, otherwise, everything else is pretty much the same.

Connectivity

  • USB 3.0: 1
  • USB 2.0: 2
  • Optical: none
  • Video: HDMI, VGA
  • Ethernet: gigabit
  • Wireless: 2.4GHz 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0

That means a 128GB SSD, 2.4GHz 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 remain for the internal specs. Toshiba's strength as an ultrabook, though, comes from its ports: full sized Ethernet and HDMI, a VGA port, separate headphone and microphone jacks, an SD card reader, a single USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports.

At AU$1299, this will suit most people, although, if you want a bit more, AU$1899 will get you a Core i7 3667U and 256GB SSD.

It's quite light and, despite the screen bending a bit when pressure is applied, quite resilient. In fact, the only real annoyance in the entire package is the screen itself — a 1366x768 affair that's glossier than a nail varnish convention.

The backlit keyboard is excellent, as is the Synaptics touchpad: this is definitely a laptop that the hardened road warrior would appreciate.

Application performance

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia

Handbrake encoding (in seconds)

  • 347
    Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 (Core i5 3210M, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
  • 383
    Acer Aspire S7 (11.6-inch, Core i7 3517U, 4GB RAM, 2x 128GB SSD RAID 0)
  • 386
    Dell XPS 12 (Core i7 3517U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
  • 397
    Acer Aspire S7 (13.3-inch, Core i7 3517U, 4GB RAM, 2x 64GB SSD RAID 0)
  • 418
    Toshiba Satellite Z930 (Core i5 3317U, 6GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
  • 484
    Asus Taichi (Core i5 3317U, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)


The Satellite did pick up a bit of fan whine when working hard, but nothing unreasonable. It otherwise performed about where it should, given the hardware involved.

Battery life

Battery life (time)

  • 5h, 24m
    Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 (Core i5 3210M, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
  • 4h, 9m
    Toshiba Satellite Z930 (Core i5 3317U, 6GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
  • 3h, 21m
    Dell XPS 12 (Core i7 3517U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
  • 2h, 55m
    Acer Aspire S7 (13.3-inch, Core i7 3517U, 4GB RAM, 2x 64GB SSD RAID 0)
  • 2h, 21m
    Asus Taichi (Core i5 3317U, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
  • 2h, 16m
    Acer Aspire S7 (11.6-inch, Core i7 3517U, 4GB RAM, 2x 128GB SSD RAID 0)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)


Once again proving that Windows 8 touch-based laptops aren't the best with battery life, the Windows 7-powered Satellite Z930 travels quite well.

Conclusion

Just like the Z830, the Z930 is a great laptop for portability and flexibility. We'd love it if it had a better quality screen, like Samsung's Series 9, but for port complement, it can't be beat.



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KatieC1 Facebook
9
Rating
 

"amazing computer, light, fast, i5, everything i need"

KatieC1 posted a review   
New Zealand

The Good:fast, great battery, turns on instantly - nothing slow about this baby

The Bad:the physical design, the screen could be another inch or so bigger with the big boarder around it (looks ugly)

I LOVE IT :) coming from a Sony Viao shes lovely and fast. I have had her for at least 4 months now. Just expensive but worth it :)

jr2villa
1
Rating
 

"Haunted by BSOD"

jr2villa posted a review   

The Good:When it works it is fast

The Bad:Unreliable

Mine has been sent back to Toshiba twice for service. Last time they replaced the Motherboard. Toshiba never again!




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User Reviews / Comments  Toshiba Satellite Z930

  • KatieC1

    KatieC1

    Rating9

    "I LOVE IT :) coming from a Sony Viao shes lovely and fast. I have had her for at least 4 months now. Just expensive but worth it :)"

  • jr2villa

    jr2villa

    Rating1

    "Mine has been sent back to Toshiba twice for service. Last time they replaced the Motherboard. Toshiba never again!"

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