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Dynabook doesn't ring the design changes with every new laptop and outwardly the 14-inch Satellite Pro C40-J is little different to previous offerings from the company formerly known as Toshiba. The dark blue chassis, which looks almost black, is business-like and unassuming.
The Satellite Pro C40-J-11I model reviewed here is lightweight and eminently portable, weighing 'under' 1.55kg and measuring 328mm wide by 224.8mm deep by 18.9mm thick. It should slot into a backpack with ease.
The £625 (ex. VAT, £750 inc. VAT) price tag is attractive for a workhorse-type laptop with a good all-round specification. Anyone who bemoans the paucity of connections on many laptops may be drawn by the range on offer here: there's a pair of USB-A ports, a full-size HDMI connector with 4K support, a USB-C port (not Thunderbolt), a MicroSD card slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack and even a Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45) port. The latter has a hinged base so that the port can slot neatly into the relatively slim chassis. Power is delivered via a dedicated round-pin connector, leaving the USB-C port accessible for other duties.
C40-Series Satellite Pro laptops are available in the US, starting at $769.99. The £750 (inc. VAT) price of the UK model reviewed here translates to around $950 at the time of writing.
Still, some may rue absence of Thunderbolt support, and the Wi-Fi only extends to 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5). The Satellite Pro C40-J-11I ships with Windows 10 Pro (and Windows 10 Home in some iterations) as standard, but can be configured with Windows 11 if required.
The 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080, 157.3ppi) display is non-reflective but doesn't have great brightness (220 nits) or viewing angles. Anyone wanting to indulge in some after-hours video viewing will find it lacks vibrancy and punch. The same goes for the stereo speakers, which are OK but nothing special in terms of sound quality.
The screen's limited brightness certainly doesn't bode well for those who may wish to work outdoors. And the large bezels, particularly at the bottom edge, make this laptop seem rather old-fashioned. Arguably, it's time Dynabook rethought its approach to the display.
The keyboard is very light touch, with enough bounce in the keys to make typing a satisfying experience. Typing elicits a light, hollow 'clacky' sound that shouldn't disturb any co-workers. The Enter key is large, as are the Fn keys, and I had no problem touch-typing at my usual speed. The ClickPad is a good size and nicely responsive.
My Satellite Pro C40-J-11I review unit was powered by Intel's Core i5-1135G7 processor with integrated Intel Iris XE graphics, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. There are plenty of other models, starting with the £459 (ex. VAT) C40-J-11F (Core i3-1115G4, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD) and rising to the £759 C40-J-11J (Core i7-1165G7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD).
Although there's a good choice of specifications, there are some fixed elements. For example, the webcam -- a 720p HD camera with dual microphones -- is standard across the range, and lacks a privacy cover. The 14-inch FHD display doesn't change between models, either, so there are no touch-screen options.
Dynabook says the Satellite Pro C40-J-11I's 45.6Wh battery should keep it going for 9 hours 50 minutes -- comfortable 'all-day' battery life, in other words. Based on my testing with a mix of mainstream productivity and undemanding entertainment workloads, that seems feasible. This laptop's range of ports, including wired Ethernet, is a plus point, but the 14-inch screen's limitation to FHD resolution and moderate brightness may turn off some potential buyers.