Hardware review: Toshiba Portégé X30-D

Weighing in at a mere 1,050 grams and measuring only 16mm thin, this lightweight 13.3-inch notebook packs a punch. If your coffee dispenser can produce your favourite cuppa in under 14.9 seconds, then you’ll be happy to know that this notebook will be up and running by the time you take your first sip.

Technical specifications

Dimensions: 225x316x16mm

Processor: Intel Core i7-7500U CPU

Operating system: Windows 10 64-bit Home edition

Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD

Memory: 16GB DDR4

Native resolution: 1920×1080

Display: 13.3-inch non-reflective screen

Price and supplier information
Supplier: Mustek
Website: www.mustek.co.za
RRP: R19,999

The Toshiba Portégé X30-D comes preinstalled with Windows 10 64-bit Home edition and sports a seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7500U 2.7GHz CPU (14nm Kaby Lake U/Y, clocked up to 2.9 GHz with vPro technology), dual-channel 16GB DDR4 RAM and a 256GB PCIe SSD. Gaming is not what the Portégé X30-D is built for, but an Intel HD Graphics 620 chip powers this notebook, so obtaining your daily fix of Dota 2 skirmishes at lower settings whilst commuting to work is 100% doable. The audio on the Portégé X30-D is impressive, powered by Harman Kardon stereo speakers that deliver Dolby DTS sound. The unit includes a microSD card slot, two USB Type-C and one USB3.0 ports, a smart card reader, a SIM slot and a dual headphone/microphone port.

Toshiba has included multiple security features, including an IR camera / webcam combo for facial authentication, as well as SecurePad, a fingerprint sensor on the touchpad. Toshiba has also built a custom BIOS, so there’s no risk of a third-party BIOS compromising security via backdoor entry into the Portégé X30-D. In other words, this beauty will make you feel secure in the knowledge that if your notebook is ever “lost”, none of your sensitive personal or work information will be seen by anyone other than you.

Internet connectivity via Wi-Fi or LTE is superb, thanks to Intel’s Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X7 LTE-A. The touchscreen LCD worked seamlessly whilst navigating through my tests, and never missed a touch or seemed out of whack – even when I asked my dumb, overweight left hand to use the screen. Here’s an invaluable life lesson if you’re right-handed: never trust your left hand, other than for using the WASD, shift and spacebar keys during Quake III matches. Just saying.

The Portégé X30-D battery delivers about 11 hours of life, but could yield up to 18 hours with minimal use. This naturally drops off significantly should you stress the system, but it’s nevertheless impressive. As I’m writing this article, the battery is currently reporting 34% remaining and this translates to 10 hours and 17 minutes. Granted, this is assumed timing based on Windows calculations and the reality will for sure be way less than that, but it’s still awesome to see, right? The built-in cooling of the notebook works perfectly, and while perched on my lap it’s neither hot to the touch, nor do I feel like I’m starving the unit of air. Do any of you sometimes feel as though your laptop is being deprived of air when using it in bed? Like it’s drowning? Or is it just me?

The unit is encased with magnesium alloy and utilises a honeycomb reinforcement design, so it’ll survive a few knocks. It’s also fairly shock resistant according to Toshiba. Obviously, I’m not comfortable drop testing this unit, meaning I’m purely passing on what I’ve been told. To be fair though, the notebook feels rigid enough and doesn’t have that it’s-going-to-shatter-on-impact feel, so I can’t fault the build quality.

Overall, the Portégé X30-D impressed me. I wouldn’t change a thing on this beauty. Stop wasting time around the coffee machine waiting for your current pile of poo to boot up, and get yourself in front of the new Toshiba X Series.

8.5Coming in at a starting price of around R20,000, the Toshiba Portégé X30-D may seem on the expensive side, but you truly get what you pay for – an enterprise-focused, extremely secure, lightweight, portable powerhouse.