• notebookcomputer
  • 08/04/2023

Dynabook’s new Portégé will be one of the lightest laptops you can buy

Dynabook has announced its newest 14-inch flagship, the Portégé X40L-K. The device will start at $1,799.99 and hits shelves in April. I haven’t seen a full breakdown of the configurations that will be offered, but I’m certainly curious how expensive it will go.

Dynabook is known for making mind-blowingly light laptops. Its Portégé line regularly includes some of the lightest models in the world. At 2.3 pounds, the X40L-K won’t quite be the lightest 14-inch laptop on the market, but it’ll likely be close. Currently, there are a handful of 14-inchers that weigh less than 2.2 pounds — off the top of my head, the list includes the Asus ExpertBook B9 and the LG Gram 14 — but that’s such a smidge of a difference I doubt it will impact anyone’s life. There’s also the Acer Swift 7, which clocks in at under two pounds, but that hasn’t been refreshed in a few years.

Thinness isn’t everything for most shoppers, of course. And while a number of companies are zeroing in on sub-3-pound laptops this year, they’re cutting various corners to achieve that weight. We’ve seen port selections, battery sizes, keyboards, and touchpads shrink. It will be interesting to see where Dynabook has chosen to compromise, but we’ll have to wait until the review process to know that for sure.

Dynabook’s new Portégé will be one of the lightest laptops you can buy

For its part, Dynabook claims you won’t see issues with sturdiness. The device, it says, is engineered to meet MIL-STD-810H standards, which generally includes drop tests, pressure testing, and the like.

In terms of specs, Dynabook says the Portégé will be certified through the Evo program, Intel’s badge of honor. It will include 12th Gen P-Series i5 and i7 processors and up to 32GB of LPDDR5 memory. No GPU option (which would be shocking at this size) — it’s Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics all the way down.

There are Thunderbolt 4 ports as well as an HDMI and two USB-A. Up to four external displays are supported. The display is 16:10 (hurray!) and includes blue-light reduction technology (which most displays we’re testing do these days). The speakers support Dolby Atmos audio, which is also not a rarity at this price point but is often a good sign.

The battery is only 65Wh, which makes me a bit nervous, but since I haven’t tested a ton of these new 12th Gen chips yet, I’ll reserve judgment until the review process.

On the software side, there’s a feature called Dynabook Online Meeting Assist, which “uses AI to ensure faces are bright and visible in the wide spectrum of lighting conditions.” These sorts of effects can be good, but can also make things look artificial, so we’ll have to see how it looks in testing. Also relevant to conference callers: there are 360-degree dual-array microphones and AI noise reduction.

The company is also refreshing some of its 13-inch models, including the Portégé X30L-K and the convertible Portégé X30W-K. Both devices now have 12th Gen Intel chips, LPDDR5 memory, and Wi-Fi 6E. The models will start at $1,379.99 and $1,599.99, respectively.