MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
Dynabook Portégé X30W-J – a very good all-rounder
Weighing in at under a kilogram it is built to go anywhere
- Incredibly light
- 2-in-1 flexibility
- Does most things well
- Intel EVO certtified
- A little pricey
- Not the greatest looker
If you need both a laptop and a tablet then this 2-in-1 delivers the goods. It is a great all-rounder. However, multi-functionality isn’t for everybody.
Price$ 2,099.00 (AUD)
The Dynabook Portégé X30W-J is incredibly light – 989gm to be precise. That’s almost ridiculous! Seriously, it is possible to balance it on a couple of fingers for minutes on end.
Novelty aside. When it comes to travelling, the Intel Evo-certified 2-in-1 convertible laptop with a 13-inch screen has to be almost unbeatable. Whether it be work or play you can take this one anywhere. For comparison, it’s half the weight of my DSLR camera and telephoto lens which live around my shoulders and neck a lot of the time, and weigh around 1.85kg.
Overall, it’s a good but not-quite-sensational convertible laptop that will keep most buyers very happy. I think it’s a tad expensive with a starting price of AU$2099 and the aesthetics are a little bland to these eyes.
The price puts in a very competitive market and includes, for instance, the new MacBook Pro 13-inch laptop – yes, it isn’t a 2-in-1 and it does weigh 400gm more. But what the MacBook Pro offers in terms of quality balances those considerations out. And that’s is not to say the Portégé X30W-J isn’t a very good all-rounder. So, as ever, it comes down to what you want in a portable.
Is the flexibility of being able to fold the Portégé X30W-J in half and use it as a tablet a novelty or a real bonus? I certainly found it useful but I also have the suspicion once the novelty wore off that I would eventually come down to just using the device as a laptop or a tablet only. And if I wanted a tablet I’d just buy one and not bother with a laptop at all.
I would argue that a top-end iPad Pro with a Magic Keyboard, which will only set you back a few hundred dollars more, is a better buy.
Of course, if you hate Macs and are a Windows devotee then the competition is even fiercer. There is very good Lenovo ThinkPad X1 tablet which successfully works as a laptop, as well. Then there’s the Lenovo Yoga Book C930 which is a wicked little beast and offers not one but two screens. And for $800 or so less the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a very good option.
Yes, you have to think through what you really want your device to do. So if flexibility is your answer and you need both a laptop and tablet but don’t want to buy both then the Portégé X30W-J is the perfect answer. Choices, choices, choices!
Ruminations aside let’s get down to a few stats. The test machine came with a 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor (2.4GHz, 8MB L3 SmartCach), 16GB RAM, 256GB M.2 PCIe Solid State Drive (SSD), Intel Iris, XE graphics engine, 13.3" Full High Definition TFT Active Matrix Widescreen 400NIT (1920 x 1080) with Anti Glare sheet, backlit resolution and Embedded Display Port (EDP 1.4), touchpanel (capacitive) and a Wacom AES 2.0, Black Active multi protocol felt tip stylus pen with battery, with 10 points multi-touch finger Gesture Support (4 fingers, tap, swipe for Windows 10), Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth, all running on Windows 10 Pro.
It has five viewing modes – laptop, tablet, tabletop, presentation and audience – all easily enabled thanks to a stabilising dual action hinge. The 10-point touch enabled display is responsive and when used with Dynabook’s TruPen (incorporating Wacom Feel IT technologies) offers a nice digital handwriting experience. Mark-up, messaging and similar functions are all delivered seamlessly.
The screen is very good without being brilliant and renders colours well and quite dynamically. Watching videos on the machine is a pleasant experience and the battery holds up well. Photos also come up nicely with little colour distortion from the original. At times I felt download speed was a little slow but that could have been the local Wi-Fi connection! However, there was little to no buffering when playing video – always a good sign.
As tablet it’s as functional as you would expect – there are no corners cut with Portégé X30W-J. What I did like is when you fold the device it asks whether you want to move into tablet mode. Personally, I found the folded device a little odd in the hand but I think the majority of users will be find it quite acceptable.
The Harmon Kardon speakers driven by Dolby Atmos Sound do a good job for such a small machine. It isn’t top-end hi-fi but you wouldn’t expect it to be. At its price, it is better than average.
Expansion and battery
The Portégé X30W-J comes with two Thunderbolt 4 certified USB Type-C ports, a USB 3.1 port, micro SD card slot, and HDMI TV-Out Port.
It has a four cell 53-Watt Hour Lithium-Polymer with a battery life rating of up to 16 hours on a single charge. I got 14 hours 45 minutes and 15 hours 10 minutes on two test runs from fully charged to fully drained. Overall the Dynabook Portégé X30W-J offers a pleasant and easy user experience. Its greatest asset is its weight – or, to be precise, lack of weight. I can see a lot of people just tucking it under the arm and taking it everywhere. And in the modern world flexibility can be key, particularly when it comes to technology.
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