If all goes according to Intel’s plan, the world is about to be lush with Ultrabooks boasting remarkable performance specs comparable to those of the MacBook Air – but at a much lower cost. Until then, however, there are a couple of choices for those who would like to get as close as they can to a MacBook, without dishing out the dollars. One of those choices is the Toshiba Portege R830. The Portege is an elite model – it is a business-class, super portable machine sporting a sleekness that parallels its power and functionality.

The R830 is 13.3”, just like its forerunner the Series 9, but with a processor that is leaps more lavish – a 2.7GHz Core i7-2620M (compared to a 1.4GHz Core i5-2537M). The machine also sports a DVD burner, USB 3.0 and External Serial Advanced Technology (eSATA), which provides scorching-fast data-transfer speed for external storage devices. What’s more, the R830 doesn’t cost a dollar more than the Series 9, and despite its hefty bling, still only measures a bit more than an inch at its thickest.

The added GHz to the R830’s CPU has resulted in processing performance results that supersede that of even Quake III (42% better) and Main Concept (112% better!). Furthermore, in tests against last year’s HP 2540p, another ultra-portable notebook, the R830 proved superior. An SSD adds an impressive boost to the machine as well, as the sold-state drive’s strength aids in compensating for the device’s huge 128GB storage capacity.

There’s hardly a lighter, more powerful laptop on the market today than Toshiba’s Portege R830 – and until Intel releases its gaggle of MacBook doppelgangers, it’s certainly the closest you can get to one without the ridiculous cost.

No matter what your pleasure, though – Ultra- or MacBook, you’ll want to sift through CPS warranties for the very best warranty for your device.