Dynabook Tecra X50-F review: This lightweight 15-inch business notebook falls a bit short

On paper, Dynabook’s Tecra X50-F 15.6-inch business notebook looks like a pretty solid buy, with an attractive mix of features. Now majority-owned by Sharp, which took over the company in 2018, Dynabook’s product announcement earlier this year impressed us with its emphasis on large, lightweight business machines.

As the first out of the gate, however, the Tecra X50-F suffers from various small problems, overall lacking the polish of its rivals. It also barely avoids the cardinal sin of less than eight hours of battery life.

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best laptops. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them.

Dynabook Tecra X50 primary alt Mark Hachman / IDG

The Dynabook Tecra X50 is surprisingly lightweight. The plastic chassis is a fingerprint magnet, though, and we found it difficult to get rid of the smudges on the trackpad after a few days of use.

Dynabook Tecra X50-F basic specs

  • Display: 15.6-inch (1920×1080) IGZO with touch
  • Processor: Core i7-8665U vPro (Whiskey Lake)
  • Graphics: UHD 620
  • Memory: 16GB DDR4
  • Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Ports: 2 Thunderbolt 3, 2 USB 3.1 (Type A) , HDMI, microSD, smartCard, optional SIM slot
  • Camera: 720p (user-facing); Windows Hello enabled
  • Battery: 46Wh (as reported by system)
  • Wireless: WiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5
  • Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
  • Dimensions: 14.13 x 9.66 x 0.78 inches
  • Weight: 3.21 pounds, 3.9 with AC adapter
  • Color: Onyx Blue

A note on pricing: Late in the review process, we were informed that Dynabook sent us a build-to-order model instead of one of the standard Tecra X50 configurations. The unit we originally asked to review cost $1,544, which you can use as a reference point to inform your purchase of other Tecra X50s. 

Build quality, display, and ports

The Tecra X50-F design is a typical clamshell, folding back roughly 45 degrees off the horizontal. A pair of metal hinges accents the corners, securely holding the screen, which simply refuses to flop. Everything feels strong and sturdy, and yet the Tecra X50-F is surprisingly light for a 15-inch laptop.

Dynabook appears to have achieved the lighter weight in part through the plasticky-feeling magnesium alloy chassis. It’s likely a cost savings, as is the display, whose 262 maximum nits of luminosity is barely enough to pass our usability threshold.

Dynabook Tecra X50 right side alt Mark Hachman / IDG

The Tecra in full recline. The port selection is one of the Tecra’s strengths, with a mix of forward-facing USB-C Thunderbolt ports and other, legacy USB Type A connections. 

While the design includes quite a bit of functionality, some of it seems clumsily executed. Tapping the power button lights the keyboard, but leaves the screen blank and seemingly powered off until a “Dynabook” logo swoops in. The dual biometrics include a front-facing Windows Hello camera that sometimes had issues recognizing me, forcing me to type in a PIN or password, or use my fingerprint instead. The fingerprint sensor is a “swipe” model, which experience has shown needs recalibration over time. The camera’s sliding shutter actually fell out of its track once, though I reattached it without issue and it didn’t fall out again. 

One or two of these issues, in isolation, probably don’t matter. But when they all tumble out at you while you’re still sipping your first coffee of the day—yikes.

Tecra X50 camera Mark Hachman / IDG

The Dynabook Tecra X50 comes with a physical shutter that you can slide to cover up the Webcam. One time after sliding the cover closed, it popped off! I was able to reinsert it, though, and it worked perfectly thereafter.

The fan’s also a little loud for my tastes. Under its default configuration, Dynabook’s fan flips on quite frequently. The frequency is adjustable in the Dynabook settings, although there doesn’t seem to be an option to enable a true fanless mode. Our unit also occasionally produced some faint whining similar to a rotating a hard drive’s chatter, though no such part was installed.

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