Dynabook Portégé X30W-J-10C review: Everything in moderation

There’s little that stands out about this ultralight enterprise 2-in-1

IT Pro Verdict


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    Decent display

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    Stonking battery life


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    Fairly thick

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    Frustrating touchpad

Over the last couple of years, Dynabook has produced a string of devices that are laudably solid, but never truly outstanding. Last year’s Portégé X30L-G, for example, was well-built and reliable, but it was let down by its lacklustre design and a lack of Thunderbolt 3 support. These issues were also disappointing considering its lofty price.

The direction in which Sharp has taken Dynabook following the brand’s departure from Toshiba, however, is nonetheless promising, with the X30L-G among a handful of reliable machines laser-focused on serving enterprise customers. More recent models, however, have been hit and miss, with the Portégé X50-G-10V proving underwhelming by contrast.

With compact dimensions and a better-looking chassis than many of its predecessors, the Portégé X30W-J-10C might be a 2-in-1 that breaks the mould for Dynabook. Looking beyond its gimmicky rear camera lens, this convertible features top-spec hardware and comes equipped with a Stylus too as it strives to justify its price tag.

Dynabook Portégé X30W-10C review: Design

With the sub-1kg Portégé X30W-10C, Dynabook has maintained a now established trend of producing ultra-lightweight devices to maximise portability. While the manufacturer has put it through self-certified MIL-STD-810G testing and promises robust durability, the casing can feel plasticky. The way the 2-in-1’s display blends seamlessly into the lid, combined with its slightly lowered keyboard, it does look a class above its predecessors, however. The standard aesthetic is generally blocky and obtuse, so we’re pleased with this minor departure from the norm.

The Dynabook Portege X30W-J-10C

(Image credit: Keumars Afifi-Sabet/IT Pro)

Otherwise, the Portégé X30W-10C retains Dynabook’s sophisticated Onyx Blue coating, but ditches the metallic accents to render a more understated aesthetic. While the keyboard is spacious and well-positioned, we do take issue with the decision to embed the fingerprint scanner in the touchpad, which reduces its usable space. The overall design is more attractive than previous Dynabooks, but there are much better options if style is what you’re in the market for. Dell’s enterprise hybrids, for example, tend to be much flashier, typified by the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1.

The only downside, as far as its build is concerned, is a depth of 18mm. This is thicker than most other current-generation 13in devices, but does allow for more connectivity options, namely HDMI. That said, 2019’s HP Elite Dragonfly also featured an HDMI port and measured a depth of just 16.1mm.

Dynabook Portégé X30W-J-10C review: Display

The Dynabook’s 13.3in 1080p display is as well-designed as its exterior and boasts a better screen-to-body ratio than previous Dynabook machines. It’s also strong on the substance, proving to be brighter than most, and solid in terms of its vibrancy and colour accuracy.

The matte panel blends seamlessly into the casing of the lid, although the enlarged lower bezel does, unfortunately, stand out. Drilling beneath the surface, its punchy 425 cd/m2 maximum brightness makes it shine better than average, with the Lenovo Yoga C940, for example, registering 369 cd/m2. This makes the Portégé X30W-J-10C bright enough to use outdoors or in overly-lit conditions.

Colour accuracy is generally spot on too, with a solid 93.8% coverage of the sRGB colour gamut, combined with fairly balanced hues across the board. The quality of its colours is compounded with a Delta E reading of 1.17, with anything under 1.5 considered an excellent score. When you also consider its black level of 0.28 cd/m2 and contrast ratio of 1506.2:1, this 2-in-1 is a great choice for general day-to-day use.

Dynabook Portégé X30W-J-10C review: Keyboard and touchpad

The Dynabook Portege X30W-J-10C touchpad

(Image credit: Keumars Afifi-Sabet/IT Pro)

The raised-tile keyboard fitted in the Portégé X30W-J-10C is decent enough, even though it doesn’t deliver the most satisfying experience. Its chiclet-style keys are certainly wide enough for typists to appreciate, and keystrokes do exude some force feedback, although each button press feels dampened. Typing at full pelt isn’t likely to cause any problems, but there are more effective keyboards out there. In terms of key positioning, there are no complaints, especially with the fact users are treated with a full-sized Enter key.

The touchpad, on the other hand, is fiddly to use for a couple of reasons, but especially due to the awkward inclusion of the fingerprint scanner in its top-left corner. Brushing over this ‘dead zone’ can often be frustrating if you’re accustomed to gliding across the full expanse of a touchpad. The surface is pleasantly smooth, but can be a little tough to click in certain positions. Finally, if you tap the pad ever-so-slightly to perform a left-click you can feel a level of looseness in the build that starts to grate over time.

Dynabook Portégé X30W-J-10C review: Specs and Performance

This 2-in-1 is powered by the quad-core Intel Core i7-1165G7 mobile CPU, built on the Tiger Lake architecture, with a base frequency of 1.1GHz and a maximum turbo of 4.7GHz. Dynabook has complemented this with 16GB LPDDR4X RAM as well as a 512GB SSD.

While these specs are, on paper, highly promising, an overall benchmarking score of 85 is only just above average. This is about in line with the 83 registered by the Asus ZenBook Flip S UX371 which, incidentally, is fitted with the same CPU. For a 2-in-1 boasting more power, you’d better off be looking at the Lenovo Yoga C940, which registered 102 overall.

The Dynabook Portege X30W-J-10C hinge

(Image credit: Keumars Afifi-Sabet/IT Pro)

Diving into these results in a little more detail, we can see the Dynabook’s single-threaded image encoding performance and video encoding tests produced encouraging scores of 163 and 111 respectively. Unfortunately, the overall result was weighed down by a pitiful multitasking score of just 42.

Compare this with the Lenovo, which was more consistent across the board with scores of 141 and 91 for image and video encoding respectively, and 97 for multi-threaded performance. Dynbaook’s 2-in-1 also struggles to cope with several tasks at once without kicking its very noisy fans into full throttle.

Dynabook Portégé X30W-J-10C review: Battery life

While performance is a mixed bag, there’s no questioning this 2-in-1s stonking battery, which ran for 12hrs 54mins in our looped video playback testing. Its fast-charging feature, too, is great, recovering up to 40% of battery life in less than 30mins.

To put this into context, any result above roughly 12hrs is exceptionally good, with most high-end notebooks and 2-in-1s falling somewhere between 10hrs and 11hrs. The aforementioned Lenovo Yoga C940, for example, lasted 11hrs 13mins while the Asus ZenBook Flip S lasted 11hrs 3mins.

Dynabook Portégé X30W-J-10C review: Ports and Features

Given the business-centric nature of Dynabook machines, connectivity isn’t an area we’d expect them to be lacking in. In that vein, the Portégé X30W-J-10C features an array of ports including USB-A, two USB-C ports, HDMI and a microSD card reader. This is alongside the everpresent 3.5mm headphone jack. Crucially, the two USB-C ports include support for the Thunderbolt 4 standard, while HDMI connectivity includes support for 4K outputs. This versatile 2-in-1 even includes two built-in microphones which Dynabook claims are capable of picking up audio from up to four metres away.

The Dynabook Portege X30W-J-10C rear camera

(Image credit: Keumars Afifi-Sabet/IT Pro)

Biometric security is also supported through Windows Hello, with the aforementioned fingerprint scanner fitted into the trackpad, and a webcam fitted above the top of the display that supports facial recognition. This is in addition to a shutter to block the video feed in the interests of privacy. The Portégé X30W-J-10C also comes with a ‘rear camera’ fitted just above the keyboard, which is best used when flipping the device into tablet mode.

The 2-in-1 was also delivered with a Dynabook Universal Stylus Pen. The pen offers a variety of nibs, as well as two side buttons to support right-click and the eraser. Unfortunately, there’s no room to house the pen on the machine as it is. You’ll instead need to use the removable holder provided to stick the pen onto the lid manually.

Dynabook Portégé X30W-J-10C review: Verdict

Compared to the rest of the Dynabook portfolio, the Portégé X30W-J-10C is one of its better-looking devices, and among the most compact. When compared with other machines, like the HP Elite Dragonfly, however, its chunkiness is a disappointment. Unfortunately, while there are no major faults to report, there’s very little that stands out beyond its fantastic battery life. The fact it’s priced at more than £1000, too, doesn’t help its cause.

Its near-13 hour lifespan is promising when you compare it against high-end notebooks and 2-in-1s, while its performance levels, display, and connectivity options are all reliably solid attributes. There are, however, similar 2-in-1s out there such as the Lenovo Yoga C490 or the HP Elite Dragonfly that equal or better the Portégé X30W-J-10C in some areas while also bringing the style factor. As with most Dynabook units launched in recent years, there’s barely anything wrong with the Portégé X30W-J-10C; we just wished it offered that little something extra.

Dynabook Portégé X30W-J specifications

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ProcessorIntel Core i7-1165G7
Additional memory slotsNo
Max. memory16GB
Graphics adapterIntel Iris Xe Graphics
Graphics memoryn/a
Storage512GB SSD
Screen size (in)13.3in
Screen resolution1,920 x 1,080
Pixel density (PPI)166
Screen typeIPS LCD
Pointing devicesTouchpad, Stylus
Optical driveNo
Memory card slotYes (microSD)
3.5mm audio jackYes
Graphics outputsUSB Type-C, HDMI
Other ports2 x USB 3.0
Web Cam720p IR camera, 8MP rear camera
SpeakersStereo speakers
Wi-FiIntel Wi-Fi 6 Dual Band Wireless LAN (802.11ax)
BluetoothBluetooth 5.1
Dimensions, mm (WDH)303.9 x 197.4 x 17.9 mm
Weight (kg) - with keyboard where applicable989g
Battery size (Wh)53Wh
Operating systemWindows 10 Pro
Keumars Afifi-Sabet

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is a writer and editor that specialises in public sector, cyber security, and cloud computing. He first joined ITPro as a staff writer in April 2018 and eventually became its Features Editor. Although a regular contributor to other tech sites in the past, these days you will find Keumars on LiveScience, where he runs its Technology section.