Dynabook E10-S review: A classroom computer and nothing more
Quick verdict: The Dynabook E10-S is specifically targeted at parents who need a simple and robust computer for their school kids to use and hopefully not break too quickly. It's perfectly fine for the price, without being particularly exceptional.
- Good battery life
- Rubber sides are slip resistant
- Well suited for standard school tasks
- Plenty of ports
- Middling performance, especially for graphics
- Small display might not suit some subjects
The Dynabook E10-S is a small laptop specifically pitched towards education use. The core idea is that it's not a powerhouse laptop, but much more a utility tool for parents who want or need a laptop that meets general school BYOD requirements without breaking the bank.
At this aim, it hits the target pretty squarely, and has some additional appeal thanks to solid battery life and a wide array of connection ports. However, it's not particularly powerful, which could be an issue if your child is doing more intensive computer-centric subjects.
Dynabook E10-S review: The design is not quite kid-proof, but close
The Dynabook E10-S is built as an education computer, and it's also built to meet a price point that'll be acceptable to parents who need to shell out for a BYOD computer.
That's a careful balancing act for any notebook maker because, to put it politely, children are not often all that responsible when it comes to mobile technology, but building ruggedised components costs serious money. The Dynabook E10-S does a reasonable job of meeting both needs, thanks to a few key design decisions.
It's built around an 11.6-inch 1366x768 pixel LCD display with 200 nits of brightness. That's not super-bright or particularly high resolution, although it's somewhat par for the course at the typical price point of the Dynabook E10-S. The nit brightness is arguably the more important metric there if your child is going to have classes outdoors, where a brighter display can offset sun glare to an extent.
That smaller display does make the Dynabook E10-S nicely portable, with a carrying weight of 1.15kg, not including its power adaptor. At 283.8x197.5x19.9mm it's easy to carry around and should slip nicely into just about any school backpack.
Speaking of slippage, one of the nice touches of the Dynabook E10-S is the matte finish and rubber sides of the notebook. Is it particularly fancy looking? No, it's not, but the point here is that it's less likely to slip out of the hand if grabbed quickly out of a backpack or off a desk, reducing the chances of an expensive drop incident.
The size of the Dynabook E10-S means that it can't quite accommodate a full keyboard with number pad, but it certainly makes the most of what space it has. Key travel on the keyboard is nicely responsive, although the plastic build of both keys and laptop does mean it can be a little noisy.
One very welcome inclusion on the Dynabook E10-S is a full array of expansion ports, something you don't always see on lower cost notebooks. On the right-hand side you'll find the power button, microSD card reader, 1xUSB 3.0 A type port, headphone jack and full gigabit ethernet port. Looking at the left, you've got a USB 3.1 type C port, another USB 3.0 type A port and HDMI for video output. While the pitch for the Dynabook E10-S is geared more towards a primary school audience, there's little in the laptop's peripherals capabilities that couldn't last a good long while for most student needs.
That extends out to a fairly simple integrated webcam, suitable for remote schooling needs at a basic level, but unlikely to turn your offspring into the next Twitch superstar. That's probably for the best, but if you did need to do any out-of-school work in dim environments, you'd quickly discover the limitations of that camera. Again, it's a matter of matching budget and a device that's typically fit for purpose, and the Dynabook E10-S does that at a design level.
Dynabook E10-S review: Performance
The Dynabook E10-S maintains its price point by having very modest specifications. It runs on an Intel Celeron N4020 1.1Ghz CPU with 4GB of RAM and (at the time of writing) Windows 10 Pro. It meets the specifications and passes Microsoft's Health Check app for Windows 11, so that upgrade should flow through to it in time, although it didn't do so by itself during my review period.
In terms of storage, it works off a 128GB eMMC, a very typical solution for a lower cost laptop. You don't get that full 128GB to play with given that Windows 10 Pro has to take up some space, but for many students working across Microsoft 365 and Google Classroom interfaces, cloud storage is rapidly becoming the accepted norm in any case.
However, it's still a very basic laptop and that is 100% reflected in how it responds, both in real world use and in synthetic benchmark terms. The Dynabook E10-S ranked dead last in most benchmarks against other laptops we've tested recently, but that does have to be tempered against the fact that it's also the cheapest laptop we've tested to date. To give some context there, the Dynabook E10-S scored 1,549 in PCMark 10's general usage benchmark. The older Microsoft Surface Go 2 managed 1,725 in the same test.
If your student is planning to do technology-specific or multimedia-centric courses, that could be a concern. However, for general school use where laptops are needed for everything from mathematics to English lessons, it's a more than adequate solution, especially for web-based applications.
The Dynabook E10-S relies on Intel's older integrated UHD Graphics 600, an older graphics solution introduced in 2017. Your child probably won't thank you for that, because it's not in any way games suitable, but your child's teacher probably will. Again, benchmark scores were very low, scoring just 99 in 3DMark's Time Spy benchmark. Frankly, I was surprised it ran at all, but again, this isn't a gaming laptop. For many parents that would be a blessing for what is meant to be a school work computer, not a school fun computer.
Dynabook E10-S review: The battery just keeps going
The Dynabook E10-S features a 2-cell lithium polymer battery that Dynabook rates as being capable of up to 10 hours of battery life. That should be more than enough for any school day, but as always, battery life figures as stated by manufacturers have the tendency to be rubbery, so we tested the Dynabook E10-S for real world performance.
That's a balancing act that we temper by testing straight onboard video processing for a light usage case, and then measure against PCMark 10's gaming battery test. The Dynabook E10-S isn't a gaming laptop, but that's a more brutal test that tends to show a worst use case scenario, handy for if your child has a lot of laptop-based learning in a day when power points might not be easily found nearby.
The smaller frame and cheaper asking price of the Dynabook E10-S would suggest that it might struggle with real world battery life, but this is where running with a lower speed CPU and lower resolution screen paid off. Here's how the Dynabook E10-S compared against a range of other notebooks:
The Dynabook E10-S acquits itself well against more expensive competition, although not without the obvious caveats that it's doing less work than other systems, especially in that PCMark gaming benchmark, where it recorded a good battery time but terrible actual frame rates. Still, there's little doubt that the Dynabook E10-S should last through most school days without issue. There's even scope for those days when your kid forgets to charge their laptop overnight.
Dynabook supplies a pin type 19V charging brick with the Dynabook E10-S, but it'll also take a charge through the USB-C port from compliant PD-specified chargers. Your low power mobile charger probably won't cut it, but a higher power one might in a pinch.
Should you buy it?
- Buy it if you need a basic education laptop.
- Don't buy it if your child has wider technology needs.
The Dynabook E10-S is the very definition of a utility laptop. It's not fancy and it's not fast, and for many students (or at least their cash-strapped parents) that's probably going to be just fine.
If your child has aspirations in programming or multimedia you'd hit a wall when it came to actual processor and graphics capabilities, but for everyday students it has appeal, primarily thanks to its solid battery life.
Dynabook E10-S review: Pricing and availability
How we tested
The Dynabook E10-S was tested over a 1-week period, including extensive benchmarking, battery testing and application usage with an eye towards the standard applications most school students would be expected to use on a daily basis. The author has been writing about and testing laptops for more than 20 years and has extensive experience in this category. The Dynabook E10-S tested was supplied by Dynabook for the purposes of review.
Images: Alex Kidman
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