Le PortÃ¨ge has a long history of innovation in the ultra compact world. business laptops and while the Toshiba brand associated with it no longer exists, Dynabook, its successor, promises to keep the product line going. The Portege X30L-J1337 (otherwise known as X30L-J-13R in the UK) is an ultraportable business laptop that weighs just over 1kg. It faces stiff competition from established brands like Lenovo, Dell, and HP as well as competing brands like MSI, Acer, Asus, and Gigabyte.
Part of the challenge is to differentiate itself from other ultraportable laptops that have gone down the same path and use identical hardware, leaving only design, aftermarket support, and price as the only major differentiators. But the brave Dynabook scores well with a 3-year on-site warranty that comes as standard and a good balance of features, price and performance. The only downside is the battery life.
Price, availability and competition
The Dynabook Portege X30L-J-13R retails for as low as $ 1,549 at American online retailer Provantage with Windows 10 Professional, an Intel Core i7-1165G7, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of built-in storage. A slower model, the Portege X30L-J1331, is also available with an Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, half the memory and half the on-board storage for $ 1,218 from Dynabook direct. UK, Currys PC World Business sells the latter for just over Â£ 863 excluding VAT. Note that Dynabook also offers a bespoke version that offers up to 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and a 4-year limited on-site warranty, which is one year longer than our test sample. There is no vPro option (Intel Core i7-1185G7).
In comparison, at the time of writing, the slightly heavier Dell XPS 13 costs $ 1309 with a 4 year warranty and a 17% discount using promo code SAVE17. HP Elite dragonfly is the closest in size and shape but costs 44% more. As for Lenovo, the superlative ThinkPad X1 Nano was the second most expensive at just over $ 2,000 with a 90-day delay.
Dynabook inherited the dark blue color (also known as Mystic Blue) and the understated design philosophy of the PortÃ¨ge brands. Nothing flashy or fancy except the Dynabook branding and an oval ring around the power button (and the blue Dynabook AccuPoint pointing stick).
As expected for a laptop of this price (and standard), magnesium alloy is the main material of the chassis which allows it to be so light but on the other hand gives it a bit of flex, which is a characteristic. intrinsic to this material.
Dynabook says the laptop has a starting weight of 906g, or 1.996 lbs (one pound equals 454g). Ours was 1,033 kg, 14% heavier than expected. The screen is matte, with Full HD resolution and a diagonal of 13.3 inches. There is an HD webcam that sits at the top with a privacy shutter and a pair of microphones.
On the left side of the PortÃ©gÃ© are two USB-4 / Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI connector, and a full-size USB 3.2 Gen 1 port plus an audio port. On the other side is a full-size Gigabit Ethernet connector, a microSD card slot, and a USB 3.2 Type A connector.
The bottom of the laptop is – as expected – secured by a number of screws – meaning it’s usable, which is what you’d expect from any business laptop worth its salt. There are lots of slots to allow air to circulate and cool the components inside.
Three rubber pieces ensure that there is a slight gap between its base and any surface it sits on. Similarly, the hinge that connects the screen to the base of the laptop hides ten cooling holes at the back of the PortÃ¨ge.
At 306 x 210mm and up to 18mm thick, it sits comfortably on an A4 sheet, meaning the keys aren’t squished.
Here are the full specifications of the Dynabook Portege X30L-J-13R:
CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7
Graphic: Intel Xe
RAM: 16 GB LPDDR4
Filter: 15.6 inch FHD resolution
Storage room: 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD (KBG40ZNV512G)
Ports: 2 x USB 4.0 / Thunderbolt 4, 2 x USB 3.2, 1 x HDMI, microSD, audio jack
Connectivity: Intel AX201, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Weight: 1.03 kg
Cut: 306 x 210 x 18 mm (H x W x D)
Our test sample was equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor (the i7-1165G7), a quad-core model with Intel Iris Xe graphics card, 16 GB of LPDDR4 RAM (8 GB soldered and 8 GB added and an M.2 PCIe SSD 512 GB (the Kioxia KBG40ZNV512G).
Connectivity is handled by an Intel AX201 wireless chip that offers Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 while powered by a 4-cell 53 Whr battery and USB-C fast charging power adapter. 65 W. Too bad it is not a GaN model because it is significantly bigger than some that we have seen recently.
Performance and use
The only big surprise we got when reviewing the laptop was the poor battery life. Our test – as a reminder – is not taxing. Push the brightness to 100%, play a 10 hour video from YouTube (which involves connectivity) and move the âpower modeâ slider all the way to get the best performance.
Here’s how the Dynabook Portege X30L-J-13R performed in our series of benchmark tests:
Passmark CPU: 11856
CPU-Z: 2781.4 (single wire); 583.1 (multithreaded)
Geekbench: 1473 (single-core); 4418 (multicore); 1591 (calculate)
3DMark: 1208 (Timespy); 2950 (shot); 11473 (Nightraid)
CrystalDiskMark: 2311MB / s (read); 1576MBps (write)
Multiprocessor Cinebench: 2027
Nova bench: 1979
Atto: 2180MB / s (read, 256MB); 1480MB / s (write, 256MB)
AJA: 1903MBps (read); 1044 Mbps (write)
Windows Experience Index: 7.9
With its 52.67 Wh battery, the Dynabook laptop reached 262 minutes, meaning that every minute of activity consumed 0.20 Wh of battery. That’s a lot, around 50% more than the Honor MagicBook equivalent (Intel Core i7-1165G7), which hit 430 minutes with a 56WHr battery.
As expected, the fan put on overdrive during some demanding benchmarks (eg Cinebench). Oddly enough, the Dynabook’s Core i7 fared worse than the same processor in the Honor MagicBook which could indicate limiting problems. The storage subsystem is also weaker than expected, delivering lower than expected test results.
The display comes with an ePrivacy filter which can be activated via the FN + D key combination. It significantly restricts the viewing angle and is useful when on the move. The screen’s brightness and overall quality are on par with its similarly priced competitors: crisp with accurate color reproduction and high enough resolution that lets you get the most out of your spreadsheets.
The keyboard is backlit, responsive and fun to use. It is noisier than expected and its movements are pleasant; no porridge observed. As for the touchpad, it houses the fingerprint reader and is responsive enough to match the best.
Last but not least, there is bloatware (Iolo, Winzip, ExpressVPN) on this Windows 10 Pro laptop, which is rather unexpected.
Should I buy the Dynabook Portege X30L?
Buy it if:
You want a lot of ports
With a full-size HDMI port and Ethernet connector, this PortÃ©gÃ© laptop is ready to roam anywhere.
You want a light, well-balanced business laptop
The Dynabook is probably one of the lightest and most powerful business laptops on the market. It’s a great all round overall.
Don’t buy it if:
You want long battery life
Unfortunately, based on our testing, the PortÃ¨ge performs significantly worse than the competition when it comes to off-grid performance. Which is a real shame.