Review: Toshiba Portégé X20 PRT13A-05S002 convertible laptop

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Review: Toshiba Portégé X20 PRT13A-05S002 convertible laptop

Business at the front and back.

Don’t let the diminutive, simple lines of the latest Portégé fool you – this is a lion in a business suit. It mightn’t have the laser cut lines of fashionable convertibles, or a glossy aluminium chassis, but hiding beneath that simple black exterior is a laptop that will get the job done quickly and efficiently.

The 12.5-inch display makes this even smaller than most ultraportable convertibles, helping to keep its weight down to a mere 1.1kg for the base model. At this price point the HD resolution is a little hard to swallow, with competitors offering up 4K screens for just a few hundred dollars more, but Toshiba has focused on performance first and foremost. Besides, with the panel being so small, it’s still superbly clear, and the matte finish makes it usable in even the brightest conditions. Despite the tiny size, it’s a little chunkier than the competition, measuring 15.4mm at its deepest, but thanks to the low weight you won’t notice carrying this around all day. A simple twin-hinge mechanism allows the screen to flip through the full 360 degrees, and it’s surprisingly resilient to the bounce-back factor when using the touch-screen. 

Considering the slightly thicker dimensions, we were a little surprised at the lack of I/O options. A single USB 3.1 Type C port is on the left, with another USB 3.0 Type A on the right. Thankfully Toshiba also includes a Type C docking port, which brings HDMI, another USB Type C and USB Type A connection to the single Type C port integrated into the laptop. It’s great to see that the Type C port is also fully Thunderbolt 3 compatible, delivering a whopping 40Gbps of bandwidth.

Toshiba has turned to stylus professionals Wacom to deliver the Wacom ‘Feel’ technology pen, which can detect up to 2,048 differing levels of pressure, perfect for tablet sketches and quick mock-ups. Twin IR cameras deliver accurate facial recognition via Windows Hello sign-in feature, and is one of the more secure methods of biometric security currently available. The keyboard is a little small, a trade-off given the chassis’ small size, but at least it’s backlit and there’s plenty of separation between each key. 

Taking a look at the PCMark 8 Home Accelerated score shows that underneath the keyboard lies some serious hardware. Our review sample came with Intel’s latest Core i7 7600U CPU. It may only be a twin-core model, but the Boost speed of 3.9GHz is industry-leading, without sapping battery life. Our battery result of 262 minutes is excellent, showing this laptop should easily handle 9 to 5 duties unless you’re being excessively demanding. HyperThreading is also included to allow for up to four threads of instructions at a time. The CPU has been combined with 16GB of memory, so it’s no wonder this machine performed so well in our tests, taking out the second top spot after the much larger, heavier Metabox gaming machine. 

In terms of storage, Toshiba has gone for a Samsung 512GB M.2 drive in our sample, but that’s as big as you can get – there’s no option for a 1TB version. Integrated 802.11ac WiFi via a 2x2 transmitter/receiver delivers excellent wireless performance, though there’s no Ethernet backup if you find yourself stuck in cable-town. 

It might not be flashy or pretty, but this is a machine for professionals who want to get the job done. With impressive performance and battery life, not to mention the incredibly light weight, it’s the perfect convertible for those who don’t mind a slightly smaller form-factor. Throw in Toshiba’s excellent support for businesses thanks to its comprehensive office-focused software, and it’s the perfect contender for an office convertible that does the job ably and swiftly. 

Toshiba Portégé X20 PRT13A-05S002
5 5
Verdict
It might not be flashy or pretty, but this is a machine for professionals who want to get the job done.
Overall
Recommended
Specs
$2915 AUD
• Toshiba : www.toshiba.com.au
Intel Core i7-7600U (twin core, HyperThreaded, 3.9GHz Boost Speed) • 16GB memory • 12.5-inch HD touchscreen • Wacom ‘Feel’ Stylus • 802.11ac • twin IR cameras for Windows Hello support
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