Price (RRP): $2915
The newest of Toshiba’s Portégé line of computers is the X20, a 2 in 1 convertible. You know the kind of thing: you might think it’s a standard notebook, but the screen can fold all the way back, turning it into a kind of tablet. Or you can use it “tent” style, with the keyboard section acting as a kick stand. It comes with a stylus as well, for finer work, for text entry or for the exercise of artistry.
Portégé is one of Toshiba’s premium lines of computers (the Satellite and Satellite Pro are more entry level).
The review unit was the PRT13A-05S002 model. That’s fitted with a Core i7-7600U processor, a 512GB M.2 solid state drive and 16GB of RAM. There were originally three lesser models: 8GB RAM and 256GB solid state drives with a Core i5-7200 processor ($2145), a Core i5-7300U ($2420) or a Core i7-7500U ($2365). But I see that an additional model is now also available with the same processor as this one, but with the 8GB/256GB memory option for $2640.
Obviously a bigger SSD is nice to have. Its benefits speak for itself. Having 16GB of RAM rather than 8GB also helps performance, especially if you tend to run many programs at once and some are memory hogs. But what does a Core i7-7600U offer one over a Core i7-7500U? Well, as the model numbers suggest, the 7600U is a little more recent (released in the first quarter of this year, versus the third quarter of last year). It’s slightly faster, with a nominal 2.8GHz clock speed versus 2.7GHz, and benchmarks suggest it could be around ten per cent faster on some low level functions. In practice, that’d make no difference at all.
But what it does offer (as does the Core i5-7300U, but not the Core i5-7200U) is something called Intel vPro Technology. This is a package of features designed to provide improved performance, improved remote management and increased security. With regard to security, Intel says that in includes “Intel Authenticate … [which] captures, encrypts, matches, and stores user data in hardware, reducing the exposure to sophisticated software-level attacks, such as password cracking, phishing, and screen scraping.”
Physically, the Portégé X20 is a lovely little computer. It’s finished in something called “Onyx Blue”, although to my eye the magnesium alloy casework looks almost black. The full HD screen has a 12.5 inch diagonal. When closed, the unit is 15.4mm thick and it weighs 1.1 kilograms, so a very easy lug.
On the right side is a USB 3.0 socket next to the power button. On the left side is a USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3.0 socket, along with the audio input and output. Remember, Thunderbolt is plug-compatible with USB Type-C. Bundled with it is an adaptor which has a USB Type A socket (with USB 3.0 support), a USB Type C socket (with USB 3.1 support) and a HDMI output for an external monitor.
The computer is powered and charged up through the USB Type-C/Thunderbolt port. The adaptor passes through power so it can be used while charging continues.
Other communications features are Bluetooth 4.1 and WiFi at up to 802.11ac.
Of course, as a two in one, the screen is touch sensitive. But as a nice extra touch, so to speak, it’s bundled with a stylus so you can take fuller advantage of the various drawing functions available in modern versions of Windows. Or write in the handwriting text entry box when the screen is folded back.
Another nice touch, the Toshiba Portégé X20 comes with a three year warranty.
As delivered, Version 1607 of Windows 10 (Pro version) was installed. This model of computer was apparently granted a high priority to the Version 1703 Creators Update because pretty much as soon as I plugged it in, it started updating.
There is no doubt that things were fast. The other day I wrote about how it took nine minutes for the update process of Version 1703 to get to 100% in the first stage on my Surface Pro 4. With this computer I got the update happening then turned away to download the user manual for a piece of equipment I am reviewing, and when I turned back after, what?, two or three minutes, it was at 100% of the first stage.