Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:30

Toshiba’s Portege Z20T - the ultimate business 2-in-1? Featured

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Toshiba has launched its ultimate new business 2-in-1 tablet with Core M processor, which looks good but makes you wish this could have been launched a decade ago!

If only today’s tablet PCs had launched way back in 2002 when Bill Gates first unveiled the Windows XP Tablet PC! 

We’d have avoided a decade of tablet PCs going nowhere for the general public, but instead staying as vertically integrated products for business, industry, health and education. Sadly the technology just wasn't ready at the time. Had it been, things would be very different today. 

UPDATE: 2 February 2015 - please see my new Video Interview here with Justin White, Product Marketing Manager at Toshiba Australia as we look at the new Portege Z20t in action!

As Apple has shown, the consumer market is where it’s all at, what with its record US$18 billion in profit for the fiscal Q1 2015 quarter, but even so - business is still big.

Despite Apple pushing the iPad as a business tool, especially with its partnership with IBM in the enterprise app space, Windows PCs are still mighty business machines, and Toshiba has a well deserved reputation for making top-notch, ultra-premium business computers.

Now comes Toshiba’s latest model, the Portege Z20T - or Portégé as Toshiba calls it, which has, in the expected marketing speak, ‘been designed to meet the performance and mobility needs of high-performing professionals.’

It’s touted as slim, and while nowhere near as slim as an iPad Air 2, it is clearly highly flexible, as 2-in-1s are, promising 17 hours of battery life and special optimisations for Intel’s new Core M processor.

Like every other 2-in-1 out there, Toshiba notes its 2-in-1 has ‘five different working modes – notebook, tablet, docked tablet, presentation and movie view’, which is all in the name of ‘ensuring it is able to meet a diverse range of user needs’.

There are two Li-ion batteries, one in the tablet side of things with 9 hours of battery life, and another in the keyboard base, which offers an addition 8 hours of life, for that 17 hour total.

The 12.5-inch Full HD screen is 8.8mm thin, weighing 799gm in tablet mode and 1.51kg in notebook mode, with Toshiba’s trademark ‘strong Honeycomb frame’, a feature the company says provides ‘ultra-lightweight protection’.

Naturally, Toshiba has included a number of advanced security features, including its ‘EasyGuard suite’ to keep business data safe.

There’s a TPM module within and Intel’s AMT on ‘selected models’, which lets your IT dept ‘monitor, maintain, repair, update and upgrade machines remotely.’

And it wouldn’t be a business notebook without a Kensington lock port on the keyboard, which ‘ensures that the tablet can’t be detached when docked.’

Justin White, Toshiba Australia’s Product Marketing Manager said: “The Portégé Z20t is the ultimate IT solution for professionals looking for flexibility, portability and unparalleled performance. From the advanced security and IT management features, to the simple one-handed attach mechanism to flick between notebook and tablet modes, the Portégé Z20t is the device for today’s complex business environment.”

Toshiba says its 12.5-inch Full HD display is backlit, multi-touch capable, delivers vibrant, clear detail and ‘is completed with a matt finish to reduce reflection from office lights or sunlight.’

Adding to its business cred, the keyboard is not just back-lit, but ‘spill resistant’, with an ‘improved key design [that] provides easy and comfortable typing.’

Two active digitizer pens are also included in the package, letting you write, sketch and make notes directly on documents to your heart’s content.

You also get ‘up to’ 8GB of RAM, SSD options ‘up to’ 256GB (why no 512GB or even 1TB option for business machines from what is arguably the top maker of Windows business notebooks, tablets and 2-in-1s eludes me), a micro HDMI port, micro USB port and microSD slot on the tablet - but no USB 3.0 port on the tablet side. 

With the keyboard attached, you get full-sized VGA, HDMI, Gigabit LAN and two x USB 3.0 ports, which is good to see. Single USB ports annoy me, so kudos to Toshiba for squeezing a second one in on the keyboard dock. 

You also get dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Available now through Toshiba’s authorised resellers, it will retail from $1672 to $2310 depending on your chosen configuration.

At the time of publication, the Portege Z20T is not listed on Toshiba Australia’s site, but it undoubtedly will be, soon.

iTWire will be interviewing Toshiba’s Justin White tomorrow and we will get to see the Portege Z20T in action then. We’ll post a new article then and will place a link in this article to that one - stay tuned!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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