Toshiba Qosmio X70 review

A gaming laptop that makes a loud first impression

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The Toshiba Qosmio X70 follows the classic gaming laptop blueprint: a thick, heavy chassis with plenty of garish design features and a specification that's powerful enough to brush aside the demands of modern gaming. The screen and graphics core are the stars of this particularl show, with the former providing bright, vivid colours and the latter standing up to rivals with great benchmarks scores.

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With Qosmio, it's all about power

We liked

The GeForce GTX 770M graphics core has enough power to run the most demanding games without big quality drops, and it's accompanied by a powerful quad-core processor. The screen makes a great first impression, too, thanks to superb brightness levels and good colour coverage and accuracy.

The Qosmio has a solid wrist-rest and keyboard base, a full-size numberpad, and plenty of ports alongside a Blu-ray drive. It's also got one of the most versatile designs we've seen recently, with expansion room and plenty of access to the internal components.

The quarter of Harmon/Kardon speakers are the loudest available inside any laptop, and the Qosmio's bright design will attract those who want a laptop to stand out as well as play games.

We disliked

The Qosmio's unique sense of style won't suit everyone – rivals such as the MSI GS70 Stealth are much more demure. The divisive looks also come with a bloated design: the Qosmio's 3.4kg weight and 44mm-thick chassis means this is a laptop that's tricky to carry around.

The hefty size and high-end components haven't been paired with a decent battery, either – the Qosmio has one of the shortest lifespans we've seen, even from gaming notebooks.

The speakers lack bass and are dominated by a tinny high-end, the keyboard doesn't have enough travel, and the screen's black level is too high. Build quality, too, is iffy – the solid wrist-rest is undermined by a flimsy-feeling screen.

The price is also high. Other laptops with similar specifications are hundreds of pounds less, and the MSI GS70 Stealth works harder to justify a similar outlay by installing two SSDs and better networking hardware inside a slimmer, lighter and better-looking enclosure.

Final verdict

The Qosmio has undeniable power levels thanks to its current-generation hardware, but the Toshiba's table-topping benchmark results are undermined by small flaws elsewhere: the battery life isn't up to scratch, the keyboard and build quality are mediocre, and the volume from the Harmon/Kardon speakers isn't matched by good quality.

As for the price, it's just too high. The Asus and Gigabyte machines offer similar power and similar flaws for hundreds of pounds less. And if you're determined to spend this amount on a gaming notebook, the MSI GS70 Stealth is a more rounded package.