Dynabook Portege X30L-J review – 900 grams of versatility

Dynabook may seem like a new contender in the laptop space, but it is actually the “successor” to the Toshiba brand. Three years ago, a major share of the computing department of Toshiba was purchased by Sharp. A couple of years later, Sharp completed a full takeover of the department and renamed it Dynabook. Other than that, almost everything about the company remains the same – especially the history.

In fact, Dynabook now claims that Toshiba once introduced the first real laptop – the Toshiba T1100. This is a little dim, considering the fact that the term “laptop” was really stretched in the middle of the ’80s. Nevertheless, the brand is still alive, and it introduced the Portege X30L-J. Indeed, it sounds like a name for a robot, but what is more important is, the appeal for its business clients.

First of all, we have to mention that this is one of the lightest laptops currently on the market. It has a weight of just 907 grams, and it makes the Fujitsu LifeBook U9311X we tested yesterday feel like a tank.

In addition to that, the manufacturer has managed to cram a Tiger Lake CPU inside, although they give you only two choices – the Core i5-1135G7, or the Core i7-1165G7. Furthermore, we have to say that Sharp has produced some really impressive screen panels in the last couple of years, and we expect to see one of them inside of this laptop.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dynabook-portege-x30l-j/

Contents


Specs Sheet

Dynabook Portege X30L-J - Specs

  • Sharp LQ133M1JW41 (SHP1488)
  • Color accuracy  1.6  0.7
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 2000GB SSD
  • RAM
  • up to 64GB
  • OS
  • Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home
  • Battery
  • 53Wh, 4-cell
  • Body material
  • Magnesium alloy
  • Dimensions
  • 304.8 x 210.82 x 17.78 mm (12.00" x 8.30" x 0.70")
  • Weight
  • 0.90 kg (2 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps)
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), Sleep and Charge
  • 2x USB Type-C
  • 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbps), Thunderbolt 4, Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort
  • HDMI
  • Card reader
  • MicroSD
  • Ethernet LAN
  • 10, 100, 1000 Mbit/s
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.1
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • HD
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • TruTalk Dual Microphones
  • Speakers
  • Stereo Speakers by DTS Audio
  • Optical drive
  • Security Lock slot

What’s in the box?

Inside the package, you will find a 65W USB Type-C charger, paired with a rather long power cable, some paper manuals, and a good amount of protection for the laptop.


Design and construction

As we mentioned, we were baffled by the incredibly lightweight body of this notebook. Once again, the reason for that is due to the usual suspect – magnesium alloy. If you have skipped the intro, the device weighs 907 grams and feels like a feather in the hand. You know, there is one thing that is not particularly great about that – the laptop seems super fragile. Indeed, the chassis offers quite some resistance to flex, but the lid bends like cheese. Overall, it leaves an impression that you can crush it Hulk-style with one hand.

Unfortunately, the lid can’t be opened with a single hand. However, the hinges are balanced and need little force to move. The 1080p matte display is surrounded by relatively thin bezels, as the top one houses an HD Web camera with a privacy shutter and an IR face recognition sensor. Respectively, the chin employs the Dynabook logo.

Next, let’s take a look at the base. Interestingly, the Power button is randomly placed in the space above the keyboard. It has a glossy, chrome-like detail around it. But the real deal here for sure has to be the keyboard. Once again, there is a surprisingly long key travel, relatively clicky feedback, a pointer stick (in this case a Blue Nipple), and some weird function shortcuts. On the downside, the Arrow keys are extremely small, making them hard to use even for Kevin Hart.

Further down below, there is the touchpad. It has a set of buttons, meant for use with the Blue Nipple, while the touchpad itself has a clicking mechanism. And while the latter works okay, we were a bit worried by the size of the Mylar surface area. Now, as you can see from the images, this unit sports a fingerprint reader, but what’s bad about this, is that the area around it is non-responsive. And once you slide your finger there, you have to lift it up and place it back on the touchpad in order to get any response from it. This kind of makes the use of an external mouse a necessity in our view.

Lastly, if you turn the laptop upside down, you will find the tiny speaker cutouts, a rather large ventilation grill, and a glimpse of the exhaust vents.

Ports

On the left side, there are two Thunderbolt 4 connectors, either of which can be used for charging, an HDMI connector, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an audio jack. Then, on the right, you will find a security slot, an RJ-45 connector, another USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and a MicroSD card slot.


Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance

To open this device, you have to undo 13 Phillips-head screws. After that, just lift the bottom panel starting from the back.

Inside, we see a 53Wh battery pack.

On their Web page, Dynabook offers configurations with none, 8 or 16GB of soldered memory. Additionally, there is one SODIMM slot for further expansion. As for the storage, there is one M.2 PCIe x4 slot.

Interestingly, the cooling comprises two heat pipes, a medium-sized heat sink, and a fan.


Display quality

Dynabook Portege X30L-J is equipped with a Full HD IPS touchscreen panel, Sharp JQ133M1JW41 (SHP1488). Its diagonal is 13.3-inch (33.78 cm), and the resolution – 1920 х 1080p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 16:9, the pixel density – 166 ppi, their pitch – 0.153 х 0.153 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 53 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.

The maximum measured brightness is 468 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 435 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 13%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6910K – slightly colder than the 6500K temperature for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 30% Brightness (White level = 143 cd/m2, Black level = 0.108 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is good – 1330:1.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows Dynabook Portege X30L-J’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 97% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976, providing a punchy and vibrant image.

Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.

Below you can compare the scores of Dynabook Portege X30L-J with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 28 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Dynabook Portege X30L-J’s display uses PWM up until 120 nits, where the flickering has an unharmful high frequency. This makes it safe to use in this aspect.

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Dynabook Portege X30L-J configurations with 13.3″ Sharp JQ133M1JW41 (SHP1488) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS panel.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

Dynabook Portege X30L-J’s speakers produce a sound with very low maximum volume and unimpressive quality. Furthermore, we saw some deviations from clarity, across the entire frequency range.


Drivers

All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://support.dynabook.com/drivers

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. This device’s 53Wh battery lasts for 15 hours and 10 minutes of Web browsing, and 10 hours and 44 minutes of video playback.

In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.


CPU options

In terms of processors, you can choose between the Core i5-1135G7 and the Core i7-1165G7.


GPU options

Respectively, the graphics options are the 80 and 96EU versions of the Iris Xe Graphics G7, depending on the processor of choice.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GO HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings) HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 51 fps 39 fps 16 fps

DOTA 2 HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings) HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Average FPS 68 fps 39 fps 22 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.

Intel Core i5-1135G7 (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
Dynabook Portege X30L-J 3.67 GHz (B+53%) @ 99°C @ 52W 3.16 GHz (B+32%) @ 93°C @ 37W 2.81 GHz (B+17%) @ 82°C @ 28W
Acer Swift 3 (SF314-59) 3.60 GHz (B+50%) @ 91°C @ 45W 3.22 GHz (B+34%) @ 91°C @ 36W 2.76 GHz (B+15%) @ 91°C @ 27W
ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 UX482 3.13 GHz (B+30%) @ 92°C @ 39W 3.01 GHz (B+25%) @ 92°C @ 33W 2.44 GHz (B+2%) @ 73°C @ 22W
Lenovo ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 3.79 GHz (B+58%) @ 90°C @ 47W 3.47 GHz (B+45%) @ 90°C @ 39W 3.05 GHz (B+27%) @ 79°C @ 28W
Dell XPS 13 9310 3.15 GHz (B+31%) @ 100°C @ 40W 2.73 GHz (B+14%) @ 100°C @ 30W 1.65 GHz @ 73°C @ 15W
Dell Vostro 14 5402 3.02 GHz (B+26%) @ 99°C @ 29W 2.61 GHz (B+9%) @ 99°C @ 25W 2.00 GHz @ 76°C @ 15W
MSI Modern 15 (A11X) 3.59 GHz (B+50%) @ 94°C @ 44W 3.45 GHz (B+44%) @ 95°C @ 40W 3.18 GHz (B+33%) @ 91°C @ 34W
Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga 3.52 GHz (B+47%) @ 94°C 3.24 GHz (B+35%) @ 94°C 2.63 GHz (B+10%) @ 75°C
Lenovo Yoga 7 (14) 3.34 GHz (B+39%) @ 94°C 2.97 GHz (B+24%) @ 94°C 2.39 GHz @ 75°C
Acer Aspire 5 (A514-54) 3.54 GHz (B+48%) @ 87°C 2.01 GHz @ 66°C 2.03 GHz @ 67°C

Well, the Dynabook seems to be just on par with the Acer Swift 3 (SF314-59), which is about 200-300 grams heavier. Not bad.

Comfort during full load

The laptop is not afraid to spin its fan quickly, which results in a slightly higher noise under heavy load. However, the keyboard remains relatively cool, even under these circumstances.


Verdict

In conclusion, we would like to say that this notebook’s best feature is undoubtedly its portability. With a weight of about 907 grams, it is one of the lightest 13-inch notebooks in history. It is so light, in fact, that it feels like a toy when handled. However, it is far more than that.

The performance is definitely on point, and if you pair it with dual-channel memory, you would likely get decent graphics performance as well. Additionally, its I/O is well-populated thanks to two Thunderbolt 4 connectors, a couple of USB Type-As, HDMI and RJ-45 connectors, and a MicroSD card slot. As far as the software is concerned, our unit came pre-equipped with a VPN service, and a bunch of other security enhancements.

Dynabook Portege X30L-J’s IPS panel has a Full HD resolution, high maximum brightness, good contrast ratio, and comfortable viewing angles. It covers 97% of the sRGB color gamut, and its backlight doesn’t use aggressive PWM for brightness adjustment. In addition to that, the color representation is very close to the sRGB standard, and our Gaming and Web design profile improves the situation even further.

Not only that, but the battery life was more than fine – we got 15 hours and 10 minutes of Web browsing, and 10 hours and 44 minutes of video playback.

Generally, we had one issue with the device – the touchpad. It is a bit too small, and its fingerprint reader takes a significant chunk of the space. Moreover, the area around it is practically unusable, and once you move your finger over it, you have to lift it from the touchpad and return back to a “detectable area” in order for it to function again.

Well, the good thing is that besides the fingerprint reader, you get an IR face recognition sensor and a privacy shutter over the HD Web camera.

At the end of the day, the price tag is pretty compelling, given the overall decent package you get. We really want to see Dynabook succeed in what it started (continued). And if the company picks it up from there, they can build a great self-sustained brand, that can get back be one of the top laptop brands out there. As NASA said last year – the key is in perseverance.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/dynabook-portege-x30l-j/

Pros

  • Magnesium chassis that weighs 907 grams
  • Covers 97% of sRGB colors
  • Very high color accuracy
  • Great battery life
  • A dedicated pen that hides inside the laptop
  • IR face recognition, fingerprint reader, privacy shutter
  • Rich I/O
  • No aggressive PWM


Cons

  • Speakers are really quiet
  • Small touchpad

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Eric
Eric
1 year ago

This laptop looks great, and I’d like to buy one–but good luck getting an answer to a request for quote. I used Dynabook’s online quote system for a Build to Order Portege X30L-J (which forwards requests to CDW) but heard nothing. Later, I emailed Dynabook’s inside sales using a link from their website. Also no response. If this is how their sales department treats potential customers, I wonder how their service department works . . . By the way, Laptopmedia, please accept my sincere thanks for the EXCELLENT quality of your reviews. The photos of the underside of the laptop… Read more »

Chris
Chris
10 months ago

I got a response within a day from the dynabook’s web site here in the US. Don’t expect discounts much, but no problem getting responses. CDW however does not respond very well to anything!