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Product Name: Toshiba Portégé X30T-E
Product Description: 2-in-1 detachable based on Windows 10 Pro
Offer price: £1,380
A business-focused 2-in-1 that delivers on its promises
Great battery life, lovely keyboard, bundled stylus
Windows 10 in tablet mode, expensive
If you have no desire to use a Windows 10 tablet, then walk away now. This Portégé is not for you. If, on the other hand, you have a genuine reason to do so, but also want a fully featured laptop, then this Toshiba Portégé X30T-E review may just tempt you away from Microsoft’s range. Here’s why.
BTQ: Brief Tech Questions
|Is it a laptop or a tablet?||It’s both. The screen detaches, just like a Microsoft Surface Book.|
|Is it fast?||Fast enough – but not good at 3D acceleration, so forget late-night Fornite sesssions|
|Is it for home or business?||The Portégé range is aimed at businesses, but it would work as a home machine too|
|How long does the battery last?||Over 13 hours in our tests, and over eight hours if you’re just using it as a tablet|
|What do I get for the price?||The tablet, a keyboard and a stylus|
Toshiba Portégé X30T-E review: the typing experience
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Because Toshiba includes all the key components in the screen, it’s heavier than the keyboard. And that means after a certain point – around 110 degrees – it would topple back without support.
That’s why Tosh integrated a kickstand into the rear of the screen. This works just like the one in the Surface Pro, so has a huge amount of range. You can angle the screen at pretty much any position you want, which could come in handy if you’re drawing on-screen or watching a film on a plane.
The obvious drawback is when you’re trying to type with the Portégé on your lap. There’s no escaping the fact that it’s both less comfortable and less stable than a normal laptop. It’s possible to do, because the keyboard base is nice and stiff, but not pleasurable.
Stick the Portégé X30T-E on a table, though, and it’s great. Toshiba does an excellent job both with the main keyboard (which it calls a Docking Keyboard) and the travel keyboard, with plenty of travel and a nice feel to the keys.
Toshiba Portégé X30T-E review: docks away
The Docking Keyboard is included in the price, and it packs all the ports most people could ever desire. There’s even a D-SUB for connecting old screens and projectors.
Here’s the full list of ports:
- HDMI out
- 2 x USB 3 (old-style Type-A)
- Gigabit LAN
- USB-C (for charging only)
Note the lack of a proprietary charging port there, which is a welcome move. For laptops like this, a USB-C charging port makes much more sense, and I also welcome the tiny charger itself.
Tosh charges around £130 for the travel keyboard, but it’s not really necessary. It weighs 375g to the 575g of the docking keyboard but you lose the built-in battery and all those ports.
Bear in mind that the tablet only has a 3.5mm audio jack and single USB-C port (which supports data transfer and outputs to DisplayPort via an adapter), so the Docking Keyboard’s ports are likely to come in handy.
Toshiba Portégé X30T-E review: battery life and screen quality
Battery life is one of this laptop’s biggest strengths, lasting for over 13 hours when I played a video non-stop. Considering it weighs 1.35kg, and measures 22mm tall, that’s one portable machine.
If you’re only using the tablet portion then the life drops to around eight hours, so enough to get you from London to New York.
The screen isn’t as suited to movies as the Surface Book’s, in part due to the anti-glare coating, but as you’d expect from Toshiba it’s a good quality screen.
I wouldn’t recommend it to photographers, though, because it didn’t excel in either our colour accuracy or colour coverage tests (see test results at the foot of this review if you’re interested in precise figures).
Toshiba Portégé X30T-E review: as a Windows 10 tablet
We all know that Windows 10 is a poor tablet OS compared to Apple’s iOS, for numerous reasons. First, the choice of apps is much weaker. Second, the interface isn’t as easy to use. In fact, it’s often confusing.
However, you may have your own reasons to use Windows 10 as a tablet, and we are starting to see more apps being tuned to work on it. For instance, I use Adobe Acrobat Pro to check PDFs and annotate them.
With a suitably good pen – and the stylus Toshiba bundles is very good indeed – you can also draw directly on screen, while the built-in character recognition is now surprisingly good.
You can also use OneNote to scrawl notes, but if you’re hoping that its character recognition means that you can automatically turn them into searchable, editable prose then you’re out of luck. My tests suggest you’ll get around 70% recognition, which isn’t enough.
My final criticism: there’s nowhere to dock the pen when not in use, so you’ll end up with it in your pocket the whole time.
One positive, though, is that the nib feels great against the rough anti-glare screen surface. It isn’t like writing on paper – nothing can be, apart from writing on paper – but it’s the closest I’ve experienced yet on a tablet.
Toshiba Portégé X30T-E review: which version should you buy?
Toshiba supplied me with its top-end Portégé X30T-E-13H unit, which comes with a Core i7-8550U processor, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Frankly, that’s overkill for most people, and you pay for it too: around £2,300 once you include VAT.
I would have preferred to see the £1,450 Toshiba Portégé X30T-E-112, which includes a Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Note that both models come with the stylus and Keyboard Dock.
That lower spec is still fast enough to be most people’s main machine, and during testing it became clear that the X30T-E’s chassis doesn’t offer enough cooling opportunities to keep the processor running at full-tilt for any more than a minute or two.
So should you buy it? Yes, but you must have a compelling reason to jump between laptop and Windows 10 tablet. Most people would be better served with either a Windows 10 convertible, such as the HP Spectre x360, or buy a cheaper slimline Windows laptop and an iPad.
But for those who crave this form factor, this is an excellent execution. For businesses in particular, I think it’s superior to the Surface Pro or Surface Book (note it comes with Windows 10 Pro, too).
Toshiba Portégé X30T-E review: specifications
|Model||Portégé X30T-E-112||Portégé X30T-E-13H|
|Price inc VAT||£1,380||£2,110|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-8250U||Intel Core i7-8550U|
|Memory||8GB LPDDR3||16GB LPDDR3|
|SSD size||256GB PCIe SSD||1TB PCIe SSD|
|Screen||13.3in Full HD||13.3in Full HD|
|Graphics||Intel UHD 620||Intel UHD 620|
|Dimensions* (mm)||315 x 207 x 22.1||315 x 207 x 22.1|
|Warranty*||1yr C&R||1yr C&R|
*Dimensions and weight with Keyboard Dock. Tablet-only depth is 9.1mm not 22.1mm. Tablet-only weight is 775g. Note that the quoted weight is our measurement on calibrated scales; Toshiba’s official weight is 799g and 1.399kg. C&R stands for collect and return, where Toshiba will pay for collection and delivery of the faulty laptop.
Toshiba Portégé X30T-E review: test results
- Contrast ratio, 1,049:1
- Max brightness, 341cd/m²
- sRGB coverage, 77.5%
Benchmark tests (X30T-E-13H)
- Geekbench single-core, 4,863
- Geekbench multicore, 14,003
- GFXBench Car Chase, on-screen, 23.8fps
- GFXBench Car Chase, offscreen, 26.4fps
- AS SSD, sequential read, 2,184MB/sec
- AS SSD, sequential write, 2,301MB/sec
- AS SSD, 4K read, 52.7MB/sec
- AS SSD, 4K write, 112.1MB/sec
- Video rundown test, with Keyboard Dock, 13hrs 8mins
- Video rundown test, tablet only, 8hrs 24mins