The Dynabook Portégé X40L-K is an Intel Evo ultra-thin lightweight laptop designed for office and creative use.
If you are not familiar with the Dynabook brand it’s because up until 2018, you knew it as Toshiba. The Dynabook name is in recognition of the device theorised in the 1960s, the dynabook, that first inspired Toshiba to pursue the idea of portable computers.
The supplied Dynabook Portégé X40L-K review sample was equipped with a 12th generation Intel Core i5-1240P processor (1.7GHz, up to 4.4GHz, 4P+8E cores, 12MB Cache) with Intel Iris Xe Graphics on board. This was complemented by 16GB of LPDDR5 4800MHz RAM and a Samsung 512GB PCIe Gen 3 x4 SSD.
The 60Hz 13.3" display reported a resolution of 1920x1200 in Windows, giving it a squarer shape than the regular 1920x1080 HD screen that this model is, curiously, documented as having on the Dynabook website. Being an IPS panel the colours are vivid and the display angle is superb. Whilst the sample’s screen wasn’t touchscreen, a touchscreen version is available as an option.
Elegant-looking in metallic blue, the Dynabook’s svelte form, and light weight will make it a winner for anyone tired of lugging a regular laptop about. At 306 x 210 x 17.9mm and just over 900g it fits easily in a small bag and isn’t too much of a chore to just carry around in a slipcase.
The chicklet keyboard feels great and the layout is a nice comfortable size. The built-in camera has a physical camera privacy switch and offers a reasonable maximum of 720p/30fps for video (1280x720) photos.
On either side of the keyboard are Dolby Atmos stereo speakers. Whilst you shouldn’t expect the laptop’s sound to fill the room with sound, the audio is exceptionally clear, especially at the top of the range. There’s not much in the way of bass but they are still small laptop speakers. The audio is more than capable of showing off a product demo or casually listening to music.
For such a slim laptop, it is packed with connectivity options. There’s no cheating with the Portégé X40L-K, all the sockets are located on the very thin sides of the chassis, thus, there’s no need to carry an awkward USB port adapter in your pocket.
There’s a Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 port, a 4K capable HDMI 2.0 socket, 2x USB 3.2 Type-C Gen 2 - Thunderbolt 4 ports, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A ports (one supporting USB charging), a headphone/ microphone combo socket, and a microSD Card reader.
Wi-Fi is provided by an Intel 6E (802.11ax) AX211 module with a max speed of 2.4 Gbps. This also provides Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.
A requirement of Intel’s Evo certification, charging is via either of the two USB 3.2 Type-C ports. According to Dynabook the (non-user serviceable) 4-cell, 53Whr lithium-ion polymer battery utilises quick charge technology (30 minutes charge = 4 hours of battery). Expect about eleven hours of life out to the laptop from a full charge.
As well as charging and data transfers, the two USB 3.2 Type-C ports can also be used for suitably enabled displays. Up to four external displays can be connected to the laptop.
The Portégé X40L-K is very light, even compared with its peers, which is great for a portable device. The downside is that it doesn’t feel particularly robust. It’s not flimsy, it just doesn’t feel like it could take much in the way of punishment. This is contrary to the Dynabook website, which says that the chassis is made from strong magnesium alloy. Still, it’s not a device I’d recommend for kids to take to school unless they are exceptionally careful.
The Portégé’s Intel Core i5-1240P is a reasonable CPU for general use, with the Iris Xe giving the graphics a decent boost for this class of device. The laptop has no problem running Microsoft Office, both the local installation and the free-to-use web version. I also tested the laptop with Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro 2022. Rendering a one-minute Premiere Pro clip only took a few minutes to complete. Both Adobe applications worked exceptionally well confirming that the device is a very capable creative tool for working on the go.
Benchmarking the machine, using the professional benchmarking app Crossmark, yielded results for productivity, creativity, and responsiveness at about half the score of a desktop PC running a 12th generation Core i5-12600K. The PCMark score of 5122 had the laptop holding its own against comparable office PCs, and stacking up reasonably against the 7722 score of a Core i9-12900HK notebook that I recently tested. The scores for office applications, photo editing, and video editing were all close, in keeping with my real-world application results.
The main limitation with the Portégé is the size of the solid-state drive. You are not going to get much on the 512GB drive. This can be mitigated by the use of external drives, swapping out to a larger M.2 drive after purchasing, or adopting a cloud storage working methodology. Regardless of the size, the 512GB PCI Gen 3 x4 SSD in the review sample gave me a very acceptable max read of 3085 MB/s and a max write of 1831 MB/s.
The review machine arrived with Windows 10 installed, which was a bit interesting. Whilst not my place to upgrade the operating system of a loaned machine, I did check the device using Microsoft’s PC Health Check App, and, rather unsurprisingly, it is compatible with Windows 11, which can be upgraded for free if not already installed on a Windows 10 machine.
The Portégé X40L-K is not intended as a gaming machine. Whilst better than most on-chip GPUs, the device’s Intel Iris Xe graphics capabilities limit it to the odd game of Age of Empires IV rather than anything too taxing, and even then you will need to compromise with the quality settings. That being said, with an Xbox Gamepass subscription and Xbox Cloud Gaming, you can stream many of your favourite games and play them that way. Just plug in a controller and off you go. I had no issues flying in Microsoft Flight Simulator and driving around in Forza Horizon 5 streamed to the Dynabook Portégé X40L-K over the Internet via Xbox Cloud Gaming.
The Dynabook Portégé X40L-K is a great-looking and feature-packed laptop in a very light and portable chassis. It doesn’t feel very robust, but it’s likely tougher than it seems. It’s a joy to use and its size means that you can take it where you want. The data storage space is a bit tight, but you can learn to live with that. It’s not really a games machine, but it is perfect for office apps, photo editing, and video editing.