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Toshiba Portégé X30-D-10V review: A great executive laptop

Toshiba Portégé X30-D-10V review
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1200

Brilliant battery life and a gorgeous, ultralight chassis make this a great choice for mobile professionals


  • Excellent security features
  • Light
  • More than ten hours of battery life


  • Unintuitive keyboard

While other brands focus on style, Toshiba’s emphasis is on practicality: 8GB of RAM that you can easily double yourself; a true ultraportable design that weighs only 1.05kg; and a bountiful selection of security features that should appeal to any business IT buyer.

Not that this is a bog-standard business laptop. The X30 is for executive travellers, with a chassis that’s simply beautiful when finished in Toshiba’s Onyx Blue. Part of that beauty stems from its slimness, 16mm with the lid closed, but it’s also due to the subtle brushed metal on the lid and obvious attention to detail – for example, the flashes of contrast on the nickel-coloured hinge and the subtle lighting around its power button.

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Top-quality components complement the design, with the star being the 13.3in screen. This is the brightest I’ve seen on a business laptop, hitting 344cd/m² in our tests. A contrast ratio of 1,127:1 and sRGB coverage of 93.9% ensure that colours look both realistic and punchy, too. Its only black mark was a Delta E of 3.04; I’d have liked a score under two.

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It’s a little surprising to see a seventh-generation Core processor in place rather than an eighth-generation chip. This explains the need for the fan to occasionally activate to keep things cool (the Dell XPS 13 stays quieter) but proved powerful enough to push the Portégé to 41 in our benchmarks. If you want more speed then double the 8GB of RAM. This isn’t difficult: unscrew a few screws from the bottom of the chassis to take advantage of dual-channel memory, or even dump the supplied 8GB and slip in two 16GB sticks.Toshiba Portégé X30-D-10V reviewThe M.2 SSD isn’t user-replaceable, and while I would always like more storage than the supplied 256GB, this is a workable amount. Especially as you can store less frequently used files on an external device, with two USB Type-C ports on the right-hand side of the machine. These can also be used for charging the X30 or adding a display, although note the presence of a full-sized HDMI connector here, too. There’s even a microSD card and smart card reader.

The left-hand side is less populated, with a lone USB 3 port kept company by a 3.5mm audio jack and Kensington lock port. Security is again on Toshiba’s mind when designing the touchpad, with a fingerprint reader integrated into the top-left portion. This unlocks the laptop instantly, and Toshiba adds yet further layers via support for a Windows Hello-capable camera. Encrypt the hard disk – note Windows 10 Pro comes preloaded – and there’s no need to fear your company’s secrets will leak should it be left in a taxi.

I’d be tempted to invest in one of Toshiba’s docking stations, too. The PA5281E-1PRP Thunderbolt 3 unit plugs into a USB Type-C port and rewards you with a colossal number of connections: three front-mounted USB Type-C ports, another one at the rear, a full-sized DisplayPort and mini-DisplayPort, a VGA port, Gigabit Ethernet, three USB 3 ports and two HDMI ports. Yours for around £160 exc VAT.Toshiba Portégé X30-D-10V reviewThat could deliver quite some workstation when in the office, but you don’t buy a machine like this and then clamp it to your desk. Especially when it can deliver over ten hours of battery life, which is what the X30 achieved in our video-rundown tests. 

If you choose to work throughout those ten hours, you may grow weary of the keyboard’s idiosyncrasies. The first of these is the short Spacebar, which finishes to the right of the N key when most extend to the M – I had to retrain myself when typing. In a valiant effort to give Pg Up and Pg Dn their own keys, the right Shift key is also a fraction smaller than I’d like. 

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None of these are killer problems, though, and it helps that Toshiba offers the choice of trackpoint and touchpad, with separate left- and right-mouse keys above the pad and built into the bottom of it. Note the keyboard is backlit, too.

Toshiba Portégé X30-D-10V review: Verdict

It’s tempting to compare the Portégé to the Windows 10 Pro version of Dell’s XPS 13, which offers a similar specification – with an eighth-gen Core i5 – for £1,139 exc VAT. But that isn’t entirely fair. The X30 is around 20% lighter and offers many more business-friendly features, while the XPS 13 comes with Dell’s one-year ProSupport (including next-business-day, on-site cover). 

This warranty is more generous than the one-year of collect-and-return cover Toshiba supplies, but that’s reflected in the price. The X30 is an excellent system for the mobile professional and comes highly recommended.

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