Toshiba is a name we all know from years past as a computer maker that’s quietly exited the scene … or have they? Enter Dynabook, who is, per their logo, “Formerly TOSHIBA PC Company.” That’s right, Toshiba has rebranded itself as Dynabook to deliver both entry-level and premium laptops for a wide range of use cases. We’ve spent the past few weeks using the Dynabook Portégé X40L, featuring a 14-inch 16:10 display, Windows 11 Pro, and an i7-1270P vPro processor.
The Dynabook Portégé X40L has some pretty powerful specs and a nice design, though there are a few pitfalls that might make you reconsider the over-$2,000 price tag. So, how is it? Let’s take a closer look below.
Dynabook Portégé X40L review
Nobody would blame you if you said that you’ve never heard of Dynabook. Until I received an email from them, I hadn’t either. However, Toshiba? Now that’s a familiar name. Dynabook is essentially a new form for Toshiba, but it’s a very similar company under the hood. They still make Windows computers but now focus more on laptops than anything else.
The Portégé X40L is one of Dynabook’s latest releases featuring Intel’s 12th Generation technology as well as DDR5 support for the first time. The Portégé is geared toward being a business laptop with professional features, like vPro from Intel and three years of on-site warranty service included with your purchase, as well as Windows 11 Pro pre-installed.
Here’s a closer look at the spec sheet
- Intel i7-1270P processor
- 16GB LPDDR5 memory
- 512GB PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD
- microSD card slot
- 2x USB 3.1 gen 1 ports
- 2x USB 4.0/Thunderbolt 4 ports
- 14-inch 1920×1080 display
Unboxing the Portégé X40L, you’re greeted with a magnesium alloy shell that’s lightweight and strong which bears simply the “Dynabook” logo on the top. Ours came in a nice blue colorway, and there’s a companion USB-C charger to power the laptop as well. I was honestly impressed with the ports, and the fact that the power button has a built-in Windows Hello fingerprint reader as well. As a productivity laptop, the 16:10 aspect ratio was also welcome, and the display looked fairly crisp.
The magnesium alloy shell is lightweight and strong, which makes for a laptop that won’t weight down your bag. However, the overall feel somewhat reminded me of plastic, even though it’s something much more durable and premium.
When using the Dynabook Portégé X40L, I was impressed with the performance, even though it’s using a previous-generation PCIe 3.0 SSD when Dynabook could have opted for a Gen 4, or even Gen 5 SSD instead. However, the i7-1270p and 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM were more than enough to run Fusion 360 for me to do some CAD work in as well as do general web browsing and daily workflow tasks. I never really was left “wanting” for power from the Portégé X40L.
The keyboard is okay at best. It’s not horrible, but it’s also not great. It’s not what I was expecting in the least. Let me remind you, this is a $2,200 laptop, and it felt like I was typing on a $150 Chromebook. The keys were mostly squishy and sometimes I had to use a bit of extra pressure to get them to register. This could be because I’m more used to a mechanical keyboard, but I’ve used a lot of keyboards over the years, and none really felt like this.
The trackpad also left a lot to be desired, but that’s par for the course both for this laptop and Windows laptops in general, unless you’re Razer or Microsoft. The tracking wasn’t super accurate, and I ended up just plugging a mouse in to use the laptop whenever I needed to actually do something, so that’s worth keeping in mind.
The display, however, is pretty great. The 16:10 aspect ratio is nice, and it’s a 1080p resolution on an IPS panel. While I’d prefer to see 1440p or 4K at this price, at least it’s not a super cheap screen, and it looked good. I would have no problem editing photos or videos on the laptop with its screen, which are tasks it should be up to given its 12th Generation i7 processor.
Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth are also in tow on this laptop, alongside a Gigabit Ethernet port, which is something that we don’t see often on laptops like this anymore, sadly. All of this combines to provide ample connectivity with multi-Gig wireless connections as well as wired options if you need low latency and consistency over all else.
Port-wise, it also stacked up to have a decent offering all around. There are two USB-A ports for plugging things like mice and printers in without a dongle, and then the dual USB-C ports are also compatible with Thunderbolt 4 as well as USB 4.0, making it capable of handling large data transfers with ease. There’s also a native HDMI output so you can hook this laptop up to a monitor without any other dongles required, which was also very welcome.
In the end, the Dynabook Portégé X40L offers some premium specs in what I can best describe as a budget-focused shell. The magnesium alloy housing doesn’t feel premium, even though it is. And, something I was pleased to see is that the hinge easily opens with just one finger. And the keyboard. Oh, the keyboard. It’s fine for getting some tasks done when on-the-go, but it’s not something I would personally look forward to typing on. Is the Dynabook Portégé X40L worth the $2,220 asking price? If you need the vPro technology and lightweight form-factor, maybe? But even then, there are other options in this price range (or lower) that offer similar or the same features all around, so they might be worth checking out. Toshiba, I mean Dynabook, still makes a decent laptop, but it’s nothing to write home about.
- Decent specs for the price
- vPro tech for professionals
- Windows 10 Pro
- Subpar keyboard for the price
- On the more expensive side of laptops for what it has to offer
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