In the last couple of weeks, ultrabooks — Intel’s new category of ultrathin and ultralight laptops — have been arriving one by one, each aiming to derail the MacBook Air’s lead with a mix of competitive pricing and new features. But none of them have been successful; each has had its own set of compromises which just haven’t been worth the savings. To recap: the Acer Aspire S3 had a slower hard drive / SSD combo and atrocious keyboard, the Asus Zenbook UX31 had unforgivable trackpad issues, and the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s’ price didn’t undercut the Air enough to excuse its missing SD card slot and lower resolution display.

The Toshiba Portege Z835 is the fourth ultrabook to hit the market this fall, and it offers the most intriguing price / performance mix yet: it's just $900, but includes a number of attributes the others don’t, including a backlit keyboard, more ports (full size Ethernet, VGA, and HDMI jacks), and a lighter chassis. Could the Z835 be the no-compromise ultrabook that finally beats the Air on pricing and features? Is the fourth time the charm? Read on for my full review.