Toshiba may have retreated from the consumer PC segment in recent years, but its business laptops are still one of the best in the industry.
Take its latest 13.3-inch Portege X30 business ultrabook. It is wonderfully light at just over 1kg. Slide its thin 15.9mm chassis into your bag and, after a while, you may even forget you are carrying a laptop.
To achieve its featherweight status, the Portege has a magnesium alloy body. Hence, the lid is not as sturdy as one made from aluminium and flexes slightly under pressure.
Fortunately, the backlit keyboard shows little flex while typing. Like many business laptops, it also comes with a pointing stick located in the middle of the keyboard, dubbed Dual Point. Key travel is very good, too. My sole grouse is that the Function and the directional arrow keys are small.
The touchpad feels smooth, thanks to its glass finish. It could be larger, especially as it has an integrated fingerprint sensor at its top left corner.
Alternatively, you can log into the Portege by looking into the infrared facial recognition camera above the screen. Because of this camera, the top bezel is not as narrow as it could be, but at least the bezel at the sides is slim. My review set also comes with a Smart Card reader for companies that implement this additional layer of security.
The screen itself has the desired matte finish found on business machines. It looks crisp with its 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution. Viewing angles from the sides are good with an in-plane switching (IPS) panel.
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-7600U (2.8GHz)
GRAPHICS: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 8GB DDR4
SCREEN SIZE: 13.3 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
CONNECTIVITY: 2 x USB 3.1 Type-C Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB 3.0, HDMI, microSD card slot, Smart Card reader, audio jack
BATTERY: 48 watt-hour
BATTERY LIFE: 3/5
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5
One of the first things that I test for every laptop is whether I can open its lid effortlessly with one hand. It may not seem very important, but it is so convenient to be able to do this and I was pleased that the Portege passed the test.
The downside of a slim chassis is the lack of space for ports and connectors. The Portege has a single full-size USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port and two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. Charging is done via either one of the Thunderbolt ports, and they can also be connected to a LAN cable using the bundled Ethernet dongle. Users who need more ports can buy an optional Thunderbolt 3 dock accessory.
It scored 3,356 points in the PCMark 10 benchmark, which is on a par with ultrabooks in its class.
The bottom of the laptop did not feel too warm during the benchmarking, which is good. It also runs quietly - I had to put my ear close to the keyboard to hear the whine of its fan.
However, I was a bit disappointed by its battery stamina. It lasted 5hr 12min in our video-loop battery test when I was expecting over 6hr. You can probably get much longer uptime by lowering the screen brightness, which, to be fair, is quite bright at its max setting.
• As business laptops go, the highly portable Portege X30 is excellent in almost every department, save for its battery life.