Toshiba Z830 Windows 8 Upgrade Report

Posted on 30 October 2012 By


2012-10-29-1001After spending a good two months with Windows 8 on the developer preview Touch Ultrabook I decided I was 100% happy with Windows 8 and that there was no reason not to upgrade the Toshiba Z830, a first generation Ultrabook. The upgrade was completed fairly smoothly although extra drivers, as always, are going to mean a bit of searching and a bit of luck with the installation order.

Toshiba Z830 full review here.

I chose to upgrade the Toshiba Z830 with a DVD drive and cabled Ethernet…

I took the original SSD, backed it up and deleted all partitions using the advanced options in the install menu of version en_windows_8_x64_dvd_915440

Install was error-free and after reboot it was comforting to see the correct screen resolution, working mousepad and Internet. Unfortunately on removing the Ethernet cable the WiFi wasn’t working and the keyboard shortcut to turn it on wasn’t working.

Toshiba provide a set of Windows 8 drivers for this model, the Z830- S8301. [Link]

Installed, in this order, were, Toshiba Service Station 2.4.4, Toshiba Function Key Utility, Toshiba System Driver, TVAp (Value Added package) and Toshiba System Driver. Wireless LAN indicator.

The WiFi function key was not working after the driver and app installs but fortunately, after running Window 8 Wifi ‘Troubleshoot Problems’ it offered to turn the Wifi on.

The Synaptics touchpad driver appears to work although without slide-in gestures.

I’ve been using the Z830 as my main laptop today and doing a few tests with power drain. In a series of WiFi-on browsing tests I could not measure any improvement in efficiency both in Desktop and Modern environments.

Low-end idle drain rates matched Windows 7

Cinebench results are exactly as with Windows 7 as are disk speeds.

Stability has been 100% today. Heat and noise as before. Only the screen brightness and WiFi toggle FN-keys don’t seen to be working, despite the presence of a Toshiba Fn-Key Application.

101GB free 128GB after install.

Boot time about 12 seconds from cold to login. Resume time almost instant.

Summary so far…

The Toshiba Z830 certainly hasn’t gained or lost any performance through the upgrade although the effect of having a clean system is helping. Process number is down to 60 compared to 95 with the Toshiba build.

What you are getting is the Modern UI. Don’t think it’s irrelevant for desktop workers because in theory, it’s an efficient place to work. Apps have access to power control features that can help improve battery life. The sharing subsystem is becoming more useful as apps take advantage of it.

I’ve found myself using SkyDrive and enjoying the cloud-based synchronization of settings. On entering my Microsoft Live ID and password a lot of my settings were automatically enabled.

I don’t intend to list all Windows 8 features but here’s a list to consider. Of course I’ll update this post if they’re

1) Much faster boot and resume
2) Sharing and notifications subsystem in Metro
3) Win 8 gives you a ‘snacking’ layer of quick to use, low cost, low-power apps
4) Win 8 finally integrates sensors in a sensible way
5) Win 8 introduces a raft of low-power and always-on features including an iPad-like scheduled approach to background app updates and network access in Metro
6) Win 8 has the highest dynamic range of any OS yet. From simple low-power tweet notifications or (on some platforms) near-zero-power music payback to video editing, cad and high-end gaming.
7) Win 8 improves on some desktop features. E.g. Monitoring is improved. Even the status reports on file transfers!
8) Win 8 is the only desktop OS that will allow multi-day always-on with i86 processors.(Clover Trail in 2012, Haswell in 2013)
9) System settings and passwords cloud sync (Some are scared by this – I understand)
10) Better support for 3G and metered connections. Airplane mode helps turn radios off for power saving.
11) The first desktop OS that has an integrated finger-driven layer
12) The fun of an app store (coming…)
13) Windows FIle History archiving and Backup. Works easily enough for anyone to use it.

 

If you’ve got Windows 8 upgrade experiences to share, please let us know below.

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  1. #1 by Tsuki on October 30, 2012 - 02:08

    1. What wireless card do you have? I have an Intel 6200 Series WiFi card in my laptop, similar to the Z830, and my WiFi driver got installed automatically. I was completely surprised when that happened since I was totally not expecting something that nice.
    2. idk about normal people, but Client HyperV is a killer feature for me.
    3. Another, probably more important thing you left out. New taskbar options for multimonitor! You can have each monitor have a taskbar that only displays the windows that are open on that monitor, very useful imho.

  2. #2 by DavidC1 on October 30, 2012 - 03:34

    I’m actually glad to hear that battery life hasn’t went DOWN. For existing systems, power management on Windows 8 is not really different from 7.

  3. #3 by Jeff on October 30, 2012 - 05:40

    What happened to the supposed idle power efficiency in Windows 8 I’ve been reading about for the past year on here? I never actually believed the claims but I was still hoping.

    Also, what can you say about the experience when only using a scroll wheel mouse? I’ve only used Windows 8 for a brief period with a mouse and found a few annoying things. Scrolling with the up/down mouse wheel unintuitively scrolls the UI horizontally. Apps like the Weather app with embedded scrollable areas force the horizontal app scrolling to stop when the mouse hovers over them which results in you scrolling within that embedded area instead. Right clicking doesn’t provide a nice context menu near where you clicked but instead it appears at the bottom of the screen far away from where you clicked.

    I’m sure there are more areas of awkwardness when using a desktop or docked laptop without a touch interface. It feels that I have to move the mouse way too much all over the screen to get things done. While touch input has improved, mouse input has worsened.

  4. #4 by ozphotos on November 7, 2012 - 01:49

    Windows 8 Pro upgrade instructions very helpful. I also had to instal updated Bluetooth stack to v9.10.00T and now everything seems to be working. Also getting used to new Win 8 features.

  5. #5 by Karan on January 7, 2013 - 12:02

    I upgraded my Z830 to Win 8
    Everything Works good.
    I used the Toshiba Upgrade Assistant
    http://eu.computers.toshiba-europe.com/innovation/download_driver_details.jsp?service=EU&selCategory=2&selFamily=4&selSeries=362&selProduct=7399&selShortMod=3363&language=13&selOS=42&selType=all&yearupload=&monthupload=&dayupload=&useDate=null&mode=allMachines&search=&action=search&macId=&country=8&selectedLanguage=13&type=all&page=2&ID=85688&OSID=42&driverLanguage=42

    However one thing which does not work, is the Multi touch gestures on the track pad. For example Pinch to Zoom; Swipe from the Right for Charms menu; Swipe from the Left for the Open running apps.

    Is this because the Z830 Track Pad does not support this or do I need to get the drivers for it?

  6. #6 by noir on January 7, 2013 - 20:24

    Just try the driver from the manufacturer right here (unfortunately 111 MB):
    http://www.synaptics.com/resources/drivers

    Works perfectly fine for me (pinch + swipe)

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