THE FLIP SIDE of working from home the last two years has been learning from home. Vendors and school districts compressed a decade of online education advances into the past 24 months, and every school-certified laptop flew off the shelves, many functioning as Chromebooks.
Welcome Dynabook (formerly Toshiba PC Co.) to the schoolyard tech fight against Dell, Acer, HP, Apple, and the rest. The Dynabook E10-S has two interesting weapons in this battle: a very solid, sturdy, and usable student laptop design, and one of the first iterations of Windows 11 SE, the Windows 11 version designed specifically for K-8 students.
The plain brown box holding the Dynabook clearly states this is not a retail unit. It looks sturdy enough for you to stack a dozen on a dolly and wheel them into a school with no worries.
Inside, the 11.6-inch laptop has a textured black matte finish that should resist fingerprints and crayons, with a light gray "dynabook" stenciled in the middle of the lid. The unit seemed heavier than the 2.5 pounds advertised, mostly because ruggedness imparts gravity. It gave us the feeling that using the laptop as a baseball bat was survivable (elementary students do weird things).
Lifting the lid of the Dynabook E10-S levers up the keyboard portion, adding some incline to the typing surface. The keyboard is as full-sized as you can get on an 11.6-inch unit, and the chiclet-type keys have enough travel for your keypress to feel complete. The directional arrow keys are half-sized, but at least they're in the normal inverted-T arrangement. The right shift key is smaller than usual (again, 11.6 inches), but proper placement allowed it to work without issue. In the top right, the backspace key shrunk a little as well. Dynabook promises the keyboard is spill-resistant, but we didn't feel comfortable testing that feature.
The "multi-touch Clickpad" dominates the space below the keys, and it's as good as any we've seen on laptops costing $1,000 more than this unit. It's responsive, handles zooming and shrinking properly, and has solid click feedback on the right and left button zones.
The HD 720p webcam has no slider or cover. A bright light, enough to help see a user's face, comes on when the camera activates. Two stereo microphone holes are about two inches on each side of the webcam. The hinges are a full inch and look strong enough to hold up in a middle school environment.
Around the sides are, happily for us, plenty of ports. On the left, there's a USB Gen 1, a USB-C, and a full-size HDMI port, along with the small hole for the barrel charger. The USB-C port also works for charging. On the right are the power button, microSD slot, another USB Gen 1 port, and headset and Ethernet ports. Yes, a real, RJ-45 Ethernet port. Around the edges is a rubber bumper that claims to protect the unit when dropped from 30 inches or lower. Maybe we'll try that after we finish the review.