Toshiba Portege X20W-D review

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The Good: The Toshiba Portege X20W-D is a stylish business ultraportable 2-in-1 that’s small enough and light enough to easily use as an everyday-carry laptop and tablet. Battery life and performance are solid for office tasks, presentations and light photo editing. Its USB Type-C port is combined with Thunderbolt 3 for expansion and fast data transfers. Both a fingerprint reader and IR camera for Windows Hello login. Toshiba includes an excellent Wacom pen and an HDMI-to-USB-C adapter.

The Bad: The keyboard is a bit cramped and shallow and the touchpad is relatively small, too. It has just two ports and no SD card slot. No storage on the laptop for the included stylus.

The Bottom Line: The featherlight, flexible Portege X20W-D shows Toshiba hasn’t lost its touch when it comes to business laptops, delivering a solid 2-in-1 that’s ready for long flights, boardroom presentations and coffee shop brainstorms.

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Toshiba gave all its attention to making business PCs after getting out of the shrinking consumer PC market in 2016. If the company’s premium Portege X20W-D is an indication of where it’s headed, the singular focus might pay off.

The ultraportable 2-in-1 starts at $999, AU$2,145 or £1,399 in the UK and is available in several preassembled configurations. Or you can, at least in the US, configure one yourself to create a laptop like our review system, which hit $2,099. A better option, though, might be the similarly configured Signature Edition available through Microsoft for $1,500.

Regardless of what processor, memory and storage you go with though, all the base features and components are the same and result in an excellent, if slightly buttoned-up, tablet/laptop hybrid. And while it’s aimed at business users, students might want to consider it, too, for its slim body and 2.4-pound weight (1.1 kg) as well as the included Wacom-powered TruPen active stylus.

Toshiba Portege X20W-D

The screen doesn’t separate from the keyboard like the Dell Latitude 12 5000 Series 2-in-1‘s or the Microsoft Surface Pro‘s, but instead folds back like on a Lenovo X1 Yoga. This style of two-in-one can be a little awkward to use in tablet mode, but that’s not the case here thanks to its light weight and not-too-big 12.5-inch 1,920×1,080-pixel display.

Built with Gorilla Glass for extra durability, the screen has an antiglare coating that actually works and, combined with the 350-nit brightness, you won’t struggle so much to see this screen outdoors.

Toshiba Portege X20W-D

Price as reviewed $2,099
Display size/resolution 12-inch, 1,920×1,280 touch display
PC CPU 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7600U
PC memory 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz
Graphics 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620
Storage 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD
Networking 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2
Operating system Windows 10 Pro (64-bit)

You can, of course, use your fingers to navigate the touchscreen, but Toshiba includes its TruPen stylus with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. Developed with help from industry leader Wacom, the pen has minimal lag that’s probably still too much for a professional artist, but for rough sketches and scribbles during a brainstorming session or adding notes in the margins of a presentation it’s plenty fast. The biggest downside: There’s no place to store the pen.

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While I like the screen and pen, I’m less a fan of the keyboard. There’s not a lot of travel due in part to the shallow body, but the keys feel mushy as well and everything feels tiny and cramped.

The touchpad is on the small side, too, but at least it’s responsive and the palm rejection worked very well. Plus, there’s a fingerprint reader embedded in the top left corner for logging in with Windows Hello. (Toshiba also includes an IR camera above the display next to its 720p webcam if you’d rather use facial recognition to log in.)

Doing more with less

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Like all really compact and thin laptops, the Portege X20W-D has a limited port assortment. In fact it has just two: a standard USB 3.0 and a USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3. There is a headphone/mic combo jack, but it has no direct video output, no Ethernet and no SD card slot. Making matters slightly worse is that the laptop charges through the Type-C port. That means you’ll have to choose between power or using the port for something else.

Luckily, Toshiba includes an HDMI-to-Type-C adapter with an additional Type-C port on it, so at least you have one out-of-the-box option for simultaneous video out and power. It’s just that if you want to go beyond that, say at an office desk, you’ll have to invest in a dock of some sort, which

System configurations

Toshiba Portege X20W-D Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7600U; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD
Dell Latitude 12 5000 Series 2-in-1 Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7600U; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD
Lenovo Miix 510 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 520; 256GB SSD
Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 520; 256GB SSD

Of course, its thinness limits what goes inside, too, so you won’t find high-performance quad-core processors and discrete graphics here. Still, what Toshiba put in works really well. It never struggled to keep up, even when I had two dozen Chrome browser tabs open while streaming music in the background. And even under load, the system stays relatively quiet. The fans will throttle up when doing something demanding, but quickly return to idle. The Intel HD Graphics 620 integrated graphics are enough for casual gaming, full HD video playback and some light photo editing.

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As for battery life, Toshiba rates it at up to 13 hours and we got just over 10 hours in our video streaming test. In my anecdotal testing, it stayed up and running for roughly 8 hours of mixed use with music constantly streaming and the display brightness set to 50 percent. With constant use and higher brightness, you’re probably looking at an hour or two less. Basically, you’re likely to get most of a full workday out of this before hitting an outlet.

Keep on keepin’ on

There are plenty of two-in-one PCs to choose from and, for the most part, all of the insides are the same. To compete, Toshiba not only built a reasonably priced model in the Portege X20W-D, but offered a couple things others don’t, like a Gorilla Glass 4 matte-finish touchscreen, an active stylus and both an IR camera and fingerprint reader for security. Toshiba hasn’t lost its touch when it comes to business laptops, delivering a solid 2-in-1 that’s ready for long flights, boardroom presentations and coffee shop brainstorms.

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System configurations

Toshiba Portege X20W-D Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7600U; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD
Dell Latitude 12 5000 Series 2-in-1 Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7600U; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD
Lenovo Miix 510 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 520; 256GB SSD
Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 520; 256GB SSD

(cnet.com, https://goo.gl/VHwzhu)

 

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