October 19, 2021


Born to play

Dynabook Tecra A50-J-11X review: A robust 15-inch business laptop with excellent connections Review

Dynabook’s Tecra array of business laptops spans a few products: the thirteen.three-inch A30, 14-inch A40 and fifteen.six-inch A50. These are no-nonsense regular laptops — there are no touch screens or 360-diploma rotating hinges listed here. But they are huge on connections — and in the situation of the Tecra A50-J-11X reviewed listed here, huge on dimension. This entry-stage A50-J design is gentle on the wallet also: in the British isles you are going to pay back £789 (ex. VAT £946.eighty inc. VAT), though in the US the A50-J array starts off at $939.ninety nine. 

A fifteen.six-inch laptop computer is unlikely to be ultraportable, and you are going to absolutely detect the Tecra A50-J’s one.65kg bodyweight in a bag or backpack. And nevertheless you carry it, this laptop computer will require a lot of place as it measures 358.2mm vast by 236.9mm deep by 19.9mm thick. 

Even though there is some flex in the lid, the chassis feels sound. Dynabook states the Tecra A50-J meets MIL-STD-810H, so it should cope with drops, higher and lower temperature, humidity, vibration and shock. The chassis is Mystic Blue, a color that lies someplace concerning deep blue and black. 

Dynabook’s fifteen.six-inch Tecra A50-J series operates on 11th-technology Intel Core processors with up to 32GB of RAM and up to 512GB of SSD storage. It weighs one.65kg.

Image: Dynabook  

As famous, the Tecra A50-J-11X has a sizable footprint, and the capability to rotate the monitor one hundred eighty levels to lie flat on the desk, though probably practical, may well challenge users with cluttered desks.  

The monitor sits in pretty slim shorter-edge bezels, but the bottom bezel is sizeable. The upper bezel is just deep sufficient to property the webcam, which has a sliding privateness address, and IR assistance for Windows Hi there facial area authentication. If you never want facial area login, you will find a fingerprint sensor in the touchpad. Further security characteristics consist of an optional smartcard slot, which was present on my overview device on the front appropriate aspect.  

The fifteen.six-inch IPS monitor is not touch-responsive (none of the a few Tecra A50-J products obtainable in the British isles are) and has a matte finish, which will make sure you those who never like viewing their very own reflection though they perform. Its FHD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels, 141.2ppi) is great for standard crafting, email and world wide web browsing duties, whilst viewing angles are not excellent in both horizontal or vertical planes. The sixteen:9 element ratio helps make it attainable to have two functioning documents aspect by aspect. Movie is rendered fairly nicely, but if you’re seeking higher-high-quality whole-monitor video clip playback, look somewhere else.  

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The stereo speakers sit on the front of the chassis, with grilles on the underside wherever the chassis curves upwards somewhat. Audio percolates up through the keyboard really nicely, and audio high-quality is acceptable at best. Quantity goes up fairly higher and will not distort, but it is gentle on bass and hefty on treble. 


The backlit keyboard has a bouncy motion, and may well be noisy if you’re a hefty-handed typist. The fifteen.six-inch chassis provides room for a separate range pad on the appropriate aspect.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The keyboard space is vast sufficient to include a separate range pad, but not vast sufficient for the range pad keys to be whole dimension, or for there to be a obvious separation concerning it and the major QWERTY area. It took me quite a though to strike the Enter key accurately each and every time instead than jabbing the 7 or 4 key as a substitute. 

The key motion is bouncy, but you require to utilize considerable force to depress just about every key. Typing generates a boring ‘thunk’ that gets louder the heavier the typing motion. This may well become annoying for other people in tranquil areas. In contrast to in Dynabook’s Portégé array, you will find no AccuPoint adhere as an alternate to the (responsive and successful) touchpad. 

The Fn keys are fairly modest. There are no assigned second features for F10, F11 and F12, yet Dynabook puts volume management as 3rd Fn-key-managed actions on the three and 4 keys, and a zoom operate as a Fn key motion on the one and 2 keys (this will, for illustration, zoom in and out of world wide web pages, or boost/lower textual content sizes in a term processing application). This arguably produces some unneeded overcrowding. 


Remaining aspect (leading): power, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2., USB three.2, three.5mm audio in/out. Suitable aspect (above): smartcard reader, MicroSD card slot, USB three.2, RJ-45 Ethernet (flip-open).

Illustrations or photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

There is an expansive array of connections. On the remaining edge the three.5mm audio in/out jack is joined by a pair of USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, a whole-dimension HDMI port, a USB-A port and a spherical-pin power input. The gain of a dedicated power jack is that equally USB-C ports are generally available. There are two lights on this edge: a person allows you know the power jack is plugged in, though the other tells you the device is driven on (useful if you just shut the lid without switching off, but only obvious if you come about to be wanting at the laptop’s remaining edge).  

The smartcard slot is in the direction of the front of the appropriate edge, though in the direction of the again you will find a MicroSD card reader, another USB-A port and an RJ-45 Ethernet port. The chassis is just not quite deep sufficient to accommodate the latter without delivering a hinged flap at the foundation, but that flap pushes down without affecting the laptop’s equilibrium on a desk. If you opt for LTE mobile broadband, the SIM slot is also on this edge.

This array of connections is outstanding contemplating that many laptops provide no additional than a couple of USB-C / Thunderbolt ports and a USB-A port, and that a person of the USB-Cs is generally out of motion when the machine is getting charged. Bravo, Dynabook. 

There are a few configurations of the Tecra A50-J obtainable off the shelf in the British isles. My Core i5-dependent overview device was the entry-stage design: 

Tecra A50-J-11X (as reviewed) 
Intel Core i5-1135G7, Home windows ten Pro, fifteen.six-inch one,920 x one,080 pixel IPS non-touch monitor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD 
£789 (ex. VAT) 

Tecra A50-J-151 
Intel Core i7-1165G7, Home windows ten Pro, fifteen.six-inch one,920 x one,080 pixel IPS non-touch monitor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD 
£839 (ex. VAT) 

Tecra A50-J-13W 
Intel Core i7-1165G7, Home windows ten Pro, fifteen.six-inch one,920 x one,080 pixel IPS non-touch monitor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD 
£949 (ex. VAT) 

There are 5 preconfigured Tecra A50-J products in the US, commencing at $939.ninety nine and rising to $one,329.ninety nine. There is also a configurable develop-to-purchase alternative. 

Dynabook rates the Tecra A50-J-11X’s 4-cell 53Wh battery as good for up to 9 several hours of daily life. My usual check, dependent on an each day workload of crafting, streaming and browsing, consists of functioning from a fully charged battery for a few several hours. After that period the battery experienced fallen to sixty five%, suggesting battery daily life of all over eight.5h on a linear extrapolation. On other instances I attained 6h and 7h functioning durations from a fully charged battery. So, based on what you’re executing, you may well or may well not get a whole day’s perform from this laptop computer on battery power. 

Dynabook states the battery will arrive at forty% capability in 30 minutes. Tests this on a person celebration when the battery experienced fallen to forty%, I set it on cost and immediately after fifteen minutes the battery experienced risen to 55%. A further fifteen minutes took it to sixty seven%, and immediately after a complete of 45 minutes of charging the battery was at 77%. 


Image: Dynabook


The Dynabook Tecra A50-J-11X is a fairly bulky and hefty fifteen.six-inch laptop computer. It is really a no-nonsense business machine, whose exhibit and audio subsystems are not up to client pursuits this sort of as gaming or video clip viewing. But it has fair battery daily life and a myriad of connections, including an Ethernet port. If you benefit a large monitor for functioning with phrases or spreadsheets, appreciate a separate range pad, and never require a touch monitor or leading-high-quality seem, it could be truly worth contemplating.  

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