Appealing to the business travelers of the world, here is the Toshiba Tecra Z40, a very thin and light laptop that is still designed to be tough enough for life on the go. This 14 inch Ultrabook is not just great looking with its durable magnesium-alloy finish, but Toshiba also says that the laptop’s internal honeycomb design helps to keep it portable and cool at the same time. With a price tag of $799 to $1,299, the Z40 is sporting a fourth generation i5 processor and a long lasting battery. The big question here is though… Is it right for you? Let’s find out!
The new updated Tecra Z40 has a magnesium-alloy finish over the body that gives it a really durable feel and doesn’t show finger prints. Even some laptops with matte finishes pick up finger prints, so this is a big deal. The keyboard deck and underside both share a nice textured finish, while the area surrounding the 14 inch screen is made of a black plastic with a matte finish.
Toshiba’s Accupoint pointing stick is located right under the G and H keys, a biometric fingerprint reader sits right below the touchpad and the bottom of the notebook is also a docking connector.
The weight of the laptop is just 3.24 lbs., the Tecra Z40 than both the Lenovo ThinkPad T431s that comes in at 3.4 lbs. and the 4-lb Dell Latitude 6430u. The Toshiba measures 13.3 x 9.3 x 0.8 and is a little bit taller than the Lenovo (13.03 x 8.89 x 0.8 inches) but about the same size as the Dell (13.31 x 9.04 x 0.82 inches ).
Overall, it is designed very nicely. It is very light, you could carry it around in one hand with no problems and the magnesium-alloy body provides an understated, yet attractive look.
While it’s not completely rugged, the Tecra Z40 is built to last a very long time. The durable magnesium-alloy chassis is sturdy enough to absorb 10G of shock while operating and 60G when it’s turned off. The notebook also has a honeycomb inner design that provides even more durability and reinforcement.
The Tecra Z40 also comes with Toshiba’s HALT-certified EasyGuard technology, this makes components like the hard drive and display more durable. HALT, or highly accelerated lifestyle test, is a stress test method used during the engineering process designed to pinpoint defects before the device hits the production stage.
Toshiba designed the Tecra Z40 to withstand extreme external conditions. The laptop can operate in temperatures between 5 degrees and 35 degrees Celsius (41 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit). When turned off, the Tecra Z40 can survive temperatures between minus 20 and 65 degrees C (minus 4 to 149 degrees F).
The Toshiba Tecra Z40’s 14-inch 1366 x 768-pixel matte display provides pretty clear images, but it’s relatively dim and doesn’t produce the best colors. Also, this resolution is low for the price . You can actually customize this notebook online, so I recommend upgrading to the 1600 x 900-pixel display for just an extra $30 .
It doesn’t seem that movies and videos look as lively on the Z40 as on the Dell Latitude 6430u when comparing the two side by side. Bright vivid colors can sometimes appear washed out on the Tecra Z40, but the level of detail was similar on both machines .
The Tecra Z40’s panel isn’t that bright, registering just 169 lux on a light meter. The Dell Latitude’s display shined brighter, at 295 lux. The Lenovo ThinkPad T431s was in between these two notebooks, at 202 lux, but it does have a much sharper 1600 x 900 -pixel resolution.
You probably wont get too much “thump” from the bottom mounted speakers. The speakers seem to sound kind of thin and shallow, especially in louder segments of music. The Latitude 6430u has much clearer audio with more clarity . Not surprisingly, the Tecra Z40 mustered only 79 decibels during the LAPTOP Audio Test, which is below the 84-dB category average .
That being said, if you’re listening to music on laptop speakers then you probably don’t care what music sounds like in the first place. So, MOVING ON.
The Toshiba Tecra Z40’s 1.9-GHz Intel Core i5-4300U Haswell chip with 8GB of RAM offers smooth and fast performance. It takes a little longer than usual to boot up, but for every day use it was extremely quick. The notebook seems to be able to run multiple programs at a time without even lagging.
For the price, the Toshiba Tecra Z40 is a sturdy laptop that is lighter that the competition. It also has a solid 9 hours of battery life. The fingerprint reader is neat too and also easy to use. The display leaves a little bit to be desired, and the keys are a little bit smaller than the competing laptops. Over all though I don’t think you can go wrong with it from a business and travel standpoint. I mean, you can watch a movie on your TV at home or listen to music with headphones, but this computer is made for good performance and reliability. But if you’re looking for an entertainment system, this laptop might not be right for you.