Back at the IFA event in Germany, I noticed that Toshiba had announced a new laptop. However the headline didn’t quite grab my eye. It was only by chance that while walking through the show floor, I stumbled into the Toshiba booth where the device, called the Portégé X30T, was on display. When I say it is an uncanny mix of clamshell and tablet, this is not an exaggeration: trying to tap into that Thinkpad market is difficult, and Toshiba thinks this new device is one to fit into the bill.

Toshiba lists the Portégé X30T as ‘a business companion that’s built to move’. And if you take a quick glance at the fully-assembled device, then you'd say it looks like any other laptop, with a large high quality screen, a keyboard with ports, a hinge, and that should be the lot. However the Portégé X30T is more like a conventional 2-in-1: the keyboard – with houses the USB ports, VGA output, HDMI output, and Ethernet port – detaches.

The unit physically detaches with two metallic hooks to reveal a USB-C connection between the keyboard and the screen, but all the internals are housed in the screen. Those internals include a 15W class Intel processor with integrated graphics, storage and memory, but also a back hinge for the device to stand up like most 2-in-1 devices when the slim keyboard is used.

The full-fat keyboard, with an extra battery and ports, makes the system stable enough to be a clamshell; but users can invest in a light weight keyboard for the device to be more portable. The slim keyboard by contrast uses a simple pogo-pin type interface. But that being said, even with the full-fat keyboard, I felt the overall design was still fairly light – it was actually the first thing I said to the rep when they handed me the unit.

Inside the screen is an 8th generation U-series processor, a 13.3-inch FHD touchscreen display with active pen support, the built-in kickstand, both front-facing and rear-facing cameras, and Toshiba states that it is around 0.9 inches thick and weighs under 1kg. The base tablet mode should be good for eight hours of battery life, but the full-fat keyboard bumps that up to 14-15 hours. Toshiba is offering a 3-year warranty for the laptop, and it is built to the MIL-STD-810G standard for durability.

Compared to the previous generation, it would appear that the in-keyboard trackpoint is now an optional extra (for business users that prefer it), and Toshiba has bumped the device up from a 5W Core M to a 15W U-series processor, which requires additional vents in the tablet part of the device.

Toshiba is set to make the newest Portégé X30T available in October, starting at $1550.

To be honest, my main critique with 2-in-1 devices is that I use my main portable notebook in clamshell mode at critical parts of my job – either on tiny tables on airplanes, or on my lap during keynotes. This is where the 2-in-1 model falls apart: it requires an additional ‘stand’ which takes more room that I don’t have. By having a weighty keyboard that also adds a lot of battery life, Toshiba has a good thing going here. If I know I’m going to be doing desk work, I can potentially use the lightweight keyboard at all other times.

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  • ikjadoon - Thursday, September 13, 2018 - link

    Good things: standard 3-year warranty / fingerprint reader / spill-resistant keyboard / MIL-STD-810G

    Bad things: 16:9 display in a productivity-focused detachable.

    3:2 would've been perfect swipe at Lenovo et al for pushing tablet-capable devices with 16:9 screens. The stock image used....just perfectly illustrates the issue:

    Now imagine it undocked and holding that tall tablet. Alas, maybe next year.
  • pjcamp - Thursday, September 13, 2018 - link

    Kickstands are idiotic for precisely the reason you give -- they assume you're never anywhere except a nice large table.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, September 13, 2018 - link

    Articles like this could really use a video to further illustrate the system. :)

    I like this sort of thing myself. I had a Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro XE700T1C A02 (nice mouthful) for a while. 11.6" tablet with a keyboard dock that made it rock solid like a clamshell. Pretty good overall, but the tablet portion was fairly weighty and the connection wasn't rock solid, a bit of screen wobble on the train would lead to constant connect/disconnect sounds. A know problem of the series. The keyboard also had no battery, which was a missed opportunity. Fairly solid as a notebook (minus the disconnects), too unwieldy as a tablet.
    And just a few days ago I bought a Fujitsu T904, swivel notebook/tablet (used, leased device). That looks pretty good so far. 13.3" screen with QHD resolution, RAM and SSD upgradeable as well as battery through a couple of screws. I think I'll like it a lot more.

    The detachable thing makes me think I'm handling a tablet, which makes the weight (900g for the Samsung, 1.6kg with keyboard) much worse. And then there is the clunkiness of having to stow the keyboard somewhere when I'm using it as a tablet and not being able to switch very fast between the input modes. The small-ish size was also a handicap when using it as a laptop. The size of this Toshiba is much better with the weight being in the same ballpark (800g according to and 1.2kg for the whole system), that's a good accomplishment. I'm still fairly sure I like the T904 model more. 2 seconds and I'm in tablet mode, 2 seconds and I'm back in laptop mode, with a built in variable tablet stand and I won't feel like I'm using a (android) tablet, so the weight will not be as annoying.
  • Zeratul56 - Thursday, September 13, 2018 - link

    Dell actually makes a 2 in 1 where the keyboard dock works like a traditional clam shell but is detachable to a tablet. Their port selection is lacking compared to this and a think pad though. However, if you were looking for an uncompromising, is a tablet and a laptop, experience I would say that is it.

    The model is the Latitude 7285 2-in-1
  • Samus - Thursday, September 13, 2018 - link

    Typing on one right now. My first Dell in years and I don't regret it one bit.
  • SaolDan - Friday, September 14, 2018 - link

    I dont think that latitude's keyboard is hinged. I think its a one position keyboard. Not sure
  • SaolDan - Friday, September 14, 2018 - link

    nevermind. i had to look at youtube videos but yes it does hinge.
  • qlum - Thursday, September 13, 2018 - link

    This stand can be a real nightmare if you use it on a non solid surface such as your lap or in bed. Sure there is tablet mode but holding a device like this for longer periods of time is not ideal.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, September 13, 2018 - link

    This is why you should hire a guy to hold it for you. ^.^ The same guy can fan you with a giant, novelty feather or palm frond and feed grapes to you one at a time as well. Though, don't count on said guy doing all three of those things at once. From what I hear, most guys only ship with two limbs that have opposable thumbs.
  • Rincon - Thursday, September 13, 2018 - link

    Looks interesting. No meaningful 2 in 1 upgrade has been released since Surface Pro 4, sadly.

    I had hopes for the HP Elite x2 1013 but it was released 3 months past their estimate and I haven't seen a single review yet.

    Is Anandtech planning on reviewing that one?

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