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Dynabook Tecra A40-J-17L review

For many years, the name tecra It has been synonymous with high-quality laptops, with a clear focus on the professional user and who bet on the always complicated balance between performance, connectivity and maximum autonomy that the business environment demands.

The Serie Dynabook Tecra A40 It is made up of mid-range equipment, with different configurations and a standard design format. We have had the opportunity to test for a few weeks one of its most interesting models, the Tecra A40-J-17L. Before we continue, let’s review the Technical specifications of the team:

  • 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor.
  • 35.6 cm (14″), 1920 x 1080 pixels, IPS with LED illumination. 16:9 format.
  • 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD.
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM (3200 MHz).
  • Intel Iris Xe graphics.
  • Official autonomy: 9 h and 23 min (MobileMark™ 2018 with Windows 10).
  • Weight: 1.45kg. Dimensions: 323.6 x 220.6 x 18,

The equipment is presented in a sober packaging and accompanied by a 65W power adapter, manuals and documentation. The Tecra A40-J-17L is committed to a sober and discreet aesthetic and is entirely made of plastic material.

The assembly level is correct in this price range, with special mention for the central hinge (the weak point of many teams) that is not only resistant, but is designed to be opened with one hand.

Once opened we find a 14 inch screen of fine bevels in the frames and thick in the base. In the upper frame there is a hole for a discreet webcam that includes a physical cover to guarantee privacy. To its left we have seen a plastic cover that, we assume, is the base for an optional recognition sensor for higher models.

One of the most important aspects when evaluating a professional laptop is the keyboard and trackpad. There is no use selling mobility if we cannot work more than an hour before missing a keyboard and a mouse. Fortunately, this is not the case with this team.

On a chassis with a 14-inch screen, Dynabook engineers have integrated a very comfortable keyboard, with generously sized keys and precise response. The touchpad, necessarily compact due to physical limitations, is very precise and responsive. Of course, the integration of the fingerprint reader in the left corner subtracts a useful surface that we miss.

The manufacturer experience in business environment jump back to the fore taking a look at the sides of the equipment, a whole display of ports that allows you to work with guarantees in any scenario. The equipment includes two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, one HDMI 2.0, two USB-A 3.2, a card reader, RJ45 Ethernet jack, 3.5mm audio jack. and Kensington lock slot. With this parade, it is obvious that we will not need to carry extra dongles and cables on any stage.

Regarding the panel, an IPS Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080, with a density of 157 ppi) has been chosen. It is not particularly bright (240 cd/m2) or precise (63% of the sRGB space) but it is sufficient for the office task environment to which it is oriented and similar to that of other equipment in this price range. Something similar happens with the integrated audio system, correct for business use but nothing more. Obviously, it is easy to make a significant leap in quality by connecting headphones, either by cable or using Bluetooth connectivity.

A nice surprise called Intel Core i5

The brain of this computer is a Intel Core i5-1135G7 with four low consumption cores and that works at a base 2.4 GHz, being able to reach peaks of 4.2 GHz. Testing how far we can go with Cinebench R23, we find some excellent numbers that are close to that of other equipment with Core i7 of his generation.

One of the keys is the high TDP of this micro (up to 28W), which Dynabook has been able to control by installing a cooling solution that combines two fans with a large heatpipe that is responsible for removing heat from the critical area very effectively.

In a more complete test such as PCMark 10 where we try to “simulate” the performance of the equipment in real work, we find somewhat more modest numbers, mainly due to the 8 GB of RAM (except for specific use cases, the jump to 16 is already recommended) and the installed SSD, simply enough for a laptop intended for a corporate environment. We stayed at 4591 points in this test, approximately 7% below other alternatives similar in price (mostly based on AMD), but with a little more RAM or a faster SSD. Correct, in any case, and the perspective between what is a synthetic test and the real sensations of use, which are what we prioritize in our analyzes, should not be lost.

The graphics should not be a critical aspect in a team like this and are delegated to an integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7. The advantages of this type of solution are well known: very low consumption, good driver support from Intel, and remarkable performance when working with office automation, browsing the web, or playing multimedia content. In this scenario, it works flawlessly.

Obviously, it is not a laptop to play but this does not mean that it is impossible, especially in titles that are not the latest batch. If we adjust the settings to medium or low, it is possible to move titles like GTA V, The Witcher 3, FIFA 21 or Far Cry 4 at around 30 fps. This helps, and a lot, a panel of “only” 1080.


cold and silent

One of the most outstanding aspects of the protagonist of our analysis is his quiet operation. With the Dynabook’s custom balanced settings (which we can of course change or tweak) there is no noise at all during normal tasks. Even when we demand a little more and the fans need to start working, they do so at a very moderate rate and with hardly any noise or vibrations. Outstanding at this point.

In many small laptops we detect heat problems in the keyboard area, which can be annoying for the user and, without a doubt, shorten the useful life of the equipment (a vital issue when talking about business laptops designed to be in operation for many hours). ). Again, we detect a excellent work by the manufacturer with a team that maintains 25-27º in the keyboard area and only exceeds 40º in the lower lid.


Level of autonomy: you can leave the charger at home

Our level of demand for a professional team is an autonomy of, at least one full working day. The powerful 53 Wh battery of this model more than achieves this, surpassing many devices in its price range.

In our tests we exceeded 9 hours of use without any problem, always with medium brightness and the balanced energy program. If we increase the brightness and include video playback in the equation, we will be around 7-8 hours, excellent figures in any case.

One more point in this section. The equipment can be charged via USB-C, a more suitable and elegant option than the “serial” charger and that will allow us to buy separately a dedicated charger, lighter and also useful for other devices. It is a pity that USB-C is not definitively chosen as a universal charging solution.

Conclusions

The Dynabook Tecra A40-J-17L is a great work tool, a solid platform, well built, with adequate performance and excellent autonomy. With a price of around 1000 euros, it is a balanced team in terms of quality, price and performance.


It is worth highlighting aspects such as the connectivity, autonomy, the cooling system and its performance, above expectations. On the negative side, the screen can be improved and the audio system remains sufficient, although correct for the environment of use to which it is oriented.

In short, a very interesting bet for the corporate market that knows how to stand out in the aspects that are important for its user profile in order to be competitive in a market full of large-scale rivals.

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