Dynabook, the successor to the consumer division from Toshiba, offers with the X30W-J an exceptionally light, compact convertible that is nevertheless equipped with many connections. The equipment also includes a special guarantee, which ensures a new device and reimbursement of the entire purchase price in the event of a defect.
There are three configurations to choose from
With the X30W-J, Dynabook recently started offering an extremely light convertible based on Intel Tiger Lake. The device, which is available in three configurations and can be converted into a tablet via a 360-degree hinge, weighs just 989 g. For the test, ComputerBase decided on the cheapest variant with a recommended retail price of 1,989 euros. The RRP at Dynabook is hardly meaningful in terms of the actual price, because right at the start at the end of January the company announced a significantly lower market price of 1,620 euros. And even that fell to around 1,500 euros around a month after the premiere – still a lot of money, but around 25 percent less.
Portégé X30W-J-10H Portégé X30W-J-10F Portégé X30W-J-10K CPU Intel Core i5-1135G7 Intel Core i7-1165G7 R.A.M. 8 GB LPDDR4X 16 GB LPDDR4X SSD 256 GB 512 GB 1 TB RRP 1,989.00 euros 2,379.00 euros 2,579.00 euros Market price 1,620.00 euros 1,934.00 euros ?
Dynabook was once Toshiba Client Solutions
The fact that the X30W-J does not weigh a whole kilogram is thanks to its magnesium alloy housing. Mystic Blue is the name of the associated color, which covers the entire convertible in a matt, rather inconspicuous dark blue. The only distinguishing feature is the shiny Dynabook logo in the lid. Not every reader should immediately associate something specific with “Dynabook”, but with Toshiba it is more likely. Toshiba sold around 80 percent of the PC and notebook division to the Foxconn subsidiary Sharp in October 2018. Dynabook was launched as a new brand in early 2019. The company Toshiba Client Solutions eventually became Dynabook Inc.
Compact with many connections
The X30W-J measures a compact 304 × 197 × 17.9 mm (W × D × H) and yet Dynabook manages to accommodate numerous connections in the case that have since been shelved in many notebooks and convertibles of the competition. The fully-fledged connections for HDMI and USB Type A should be emphasized, for example, so that many screens, TVs or projectors and older storage media that do not yet use USB Type C can be connected straight away without an adapter. But the X30W-J also has the more modern interfaces due to the Intel platform used: Twice Thunderbolt 4 is offered on the left. There is also a 3.5 mm jack on the same side, while a microSD card reader can be found on the right. It is a shame that Dynabook did not opt for a full-fledged card reader,
Despite the light footed appearance, the convertible conveys stability if, for example, it is lifted very far out on just one corner. A slight bend can be seen in the case, but there is nothing to be concerned about. As rock solid as a current XPS 13or MacBook is not the overall impression – complaints at a high level. In terms of ease of repair, the X30W-J scores well on the one hand, but is severely limited on the other. The use of normal Phillips-head screws, which can be removed with a 6 mm screwdriver, is pleasing. The base plate can also be removed without unruly holding lugs. There is basically access to the hardware, only a lot cannot be exchanged because most of the components are soldered. Only the SSD in the standardized M.2-2280 format can be exchanged by laypeople. The battery (53 Wh) is also accessible, but requires a bit more skill.
When opened, the X30W-J reveals a view of the cooling system, which sits on the CPU package including the integrated graphics unit, which in turn is housed centrally on the circuit board, and from there two copper heat pipes to the 30 mm fans positioned on the outside leads. These suck in fresh air from the underside and let it escape again in the area of the hinges. The replaceable SSD is located below the CPU. The RAM can probably be found on the back of the PCB, although the board was not removed for the test.
Dynabook’s special “Reliability Guarantee”
Speaking of repairs: If there is a defect in the hardware within the first year after purchase, Dynabook’s so-called “Reliability Guarantee” applies, under which not only the repair costs are covered, but the entire purchase price is reimbursed. As a buyer, you can keep the (repaired) device and get the full purchase price reimbursed. For the special guarantee, the device must be registered with Dynabook up to 30 days after purchase , the “Reliability Guarantee” is then automatically registered. It only works if the hardware is defective and comes with certain restrictions that can be seen in a PDFto let. For example, cosmetic damage, defects in the battery or individual pixel errors on the screen are not covered by the guarantee. In principle, repairs to the notebook are allowed – but if you cause damage yourself, the “Reliability Guarantee” no longer applies.
Convertible with a matt touch screen
Designed as a convertible, the X30W-J is on the one hand a classic notebook, on the other hand it can be used as a tablet or in one of the many intermediate stages of the continuous 360-degree hinge. At 13.3 inches, the panel has 1,920 × 1,080 pixels in the established Full HD 16: 9 format. The latter is still in great demand, according to Dynabook. Requests for 16:10 or 3: 2 would come more from the press. However, the manufacturer does not want to ignore the higher formats, which are increasingly being encountered again, and the market is being monitored.
The matt panel is a successful choice despite touch support. Most providers only offer the latter in combination with a glossy panel with stronger reflections as a disadvantage. The matt finish ensures reduced reflections, for example from light sources or windows behind the user, but takes away some of the brilliance of the screen – a trade-off that the respective displays bring with them.
Display could be a little brighter
In terms of display quality and brightness, the X30W-J delivers measured values for the upper middle field. There are no outliers in terms of color accuracy, but the white point is set quite warm at the factory at just above 6,000 Kelvin. If you prefer a colder white, you can manually lend a hand using Intel’s graphics driver. The maximum brightness of an average of 391 cd / m² is okay. In the convertible’s price range, however, it could have been a bit more, although the matte screen doesn’t quite demand the values of a glossy panel to guarantee the same readability. Numerous providers such as Acer, Schenker, Gigabyte, Dell and especially Huawei and Samsung show how bright modern displays can be. Dynabook lands 15 to 35 percent behind, depending on the comparison device. Even with the uniform illumination (homogeneity), the X30W-J is only sufficient for the midfield. Deviations from the brightest point in the middle (433 cd / m²) to the outside with (in the worst case) 369 cd / m² ensure a homogeneity of 90 percent. A good black value brings a very good static contrast of 1527: 1.
New firmware for the display timing controller required
Editor’s note about the display: The test device flickered with static content. As soon as the moving image was displayed or the mouse was moved, the error disappeared. New drivers or a reset did not lead to the hoped-for elimination. The cause turned out to be a faulty implementation of Display Self Refresh (DSR) in the display’s timing controller (TCON). As soon as DSR was deactivated in the Intel graphics menu, the error disappeared. That would have had a negative impact on the convertible’s energy consumption in the further test. With static content, DSR represents the last content from the frame buffer, which is controlled via the TCON. The function, which can save up to 85 percent energy with static content, was introduced by VESA with the embedded DisplayPort 1.3 (eDP 1.3).
The editorial team was then in consultation with Dynabook, where the problem could be traced on devices from the first batch. Around 10 days after the manufacturer was first contacted, the manufacturer made a new firmware available for the TCON that solved the problem. The supplier of the TCON is Analogix with the ANX2404, for which the corrected firmware “rev301_201224_2” could be installed under Windows 10 using an EEPROM update tool. Before the update, DSR first had to be deactivated in the Intel graphics driver, but afterwards and after a restart the feature worked properly again. The manufacturer quickly addressed the problem, which is why it was not included in the rating.
Windows 10 with touch UI
The X30W-J becomes a Windows tablet as soon as the screen is folded down. Then the keyboard is also no longer active and operation is primarily via touch inputs on the then optimized Windows 10 interface. Since Windows 10 20H1, the operating system has an optimized touch UI in the desktop environment, especially for convertibles and 2-in-1 systems such as the Surface Pro, when the keyboard is removed there. In desktop mode with the new touch UI, the symbols in the taskbar are spaced a little further apart so that they can be operated better by touch. In addition, the input fields for Cortana and the Windows search are reduced to icons in order to create more space. Microsoft offers an optimized touch layout for File Explorer, and a touch keyboard appears automatically on the screen, as soon as an input field has been selected. The touch keyboard can also be called up at any time via the right-hand area of the taskbar.
Stylus is included
Another input method is the universal stylus pen, which is included with the X30W-J including a holder. The holder can be attached to the notebook with an adhesive strip and offers a flap for the pen, which in turn can also be attached to the shirt pocket with a retaining clip. You can use the stylus to perform all of the operations, from writing and drawing, entering data and navigating. The pen works with 4,096 pressure levels and an incline function and has two function buttons on the side for right-clicking and erasing. The active stylus requires an AAAA battery, which is included in the scope of delivery, which also includes a pen cap and two hard and slightly softer replacement tips.
Good keyboard meets small touchpad
With the classic input devices keyboard and touchpad, there is a full-fledged chiclet keyboard with an Enter key over two lines. The image keys directly below take getting used to, because they reduce the length of the right shift key and no longer allow it to reach all the way to the right, which made it difficult to tap with the little finger in the test every now and then. However, it was helpful in everyday life that the left Ctrl key is on the far side and has not been swapped with the Fn key. Typing on the X30W-J is inconspicuous and has no major criticism.
The touchpad (10 × 5.7 cm), which houses the fingerprint sensor on the top left, is small. This is an option for logging into Windows 10 via Windows Hello. Alternatively, there is an IR camera above the screen for face recognition, which in the test ensured that it was unlocked quickly with high reliability. With a maximum of 0.9 MP (1,280 × 720), the camera is suitable for Skype and similar VoIP services, but the image quality is at most mediocre – a problem for many, even expensive, notebooks. The upper camera offers a mechanical lock and thus not only provides more privacy via software. The X30W-J is also equipped with a second camera above the function keys, which works as a rear camera with 8 MP in tablet mode.
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