Toshiba’s refreshed Portege and Tecra laptops emphasize portability with less compromise

Toshiba's Portege R30 (left) and Portege Z30 (right).

Toshiba's Portege R30 (left) and Portege Z30 (right).

Check out our review of the Toshiba Tecra Z40 laptop.

Though its better known for flagship laptops like the high-res Kirabook, Toshiba has a line of business machines that can be fairly practical for consumers, too. And they all just got better. On Monday, the company released five new business notebooks in its Portege and Tecra lines, ranging from Ultrabooks to full-on workstations.

Starting at the thinnest end of the spectrum, Toshiba’s 13.3-inch Toshiba Portege Z30 measures 0.7 inches thick and 2.6 pounds, making it on the lighter side even for an Ultrabook. Unlike some consumer models that cut ports to save room, the Z30 still comes with an Ethernet port, three USB 3.0 ports, and a relative rarity – full-side HDMI and VGA ports. It will sell for $1,279 and up.

A shade thicker at “about an inch thick,” the R30 weighs in at 3.3 pounds, but you’ll get an optical drive for the extra bulk and weight, along with a full-speed Intel Core M processor, rather than the clocked-down Ultrabook variant.

The Tecra Z40 and Z50 offer larger screens – 14.4 inches and 15.6 inches, respectively – but stay fairly compact at 0.8 inches thick. You can also spec them out with 1600 x 900 screens rather than the rather pedestrian 1366 x 768 that comes standard, and add discrete Nvidia GeForce GT730M graphics. Both will sell for $1,229.

For users who really need power, the Tecra W50 offers Intel Core i7 processors, Nvidia Quadro discrete graphics with up to 2GB of dedicated memory, and a 15.6-inch 1080p display, along with a commensurate starting price of $1,999.

All the new models have updated styles using Toshiba’s “Tough Body” design, which uses a honeycomb structure forged from magnesium alloy for rigidity. They also sport Intel’s fourth-gen “Haswell” processors, which represent a legitimate boost in battery life.

The Z30, Z40 and W50 will go on sale October 18, while the Z50 and R30 will arrive in November.

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