Toshiba Satellite S70A review

Ditch your desktop PC for this powerful replacement

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If a laptop is going to replace your desktop PC, as the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H is designed to do, then it's going to need to pack a lot of power. Thankfully, this is exactly what Toshiba has done, managing to cram in some excellent components while keeping the price of the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H at a reasonable level.

Facing away

The processor is one of Intel's latest and greatest, the 4th generation Intel Core i5-4200M. The fourth generation of these processors come with a number of advancements over earlier processors, including better performance, improved on-board graphics, and – crucially for a laptop – much lower power consumption. This allows for better battery life, as well as a cooler running chip, so you don't have to worry too much about the processor overheating in a slim laptop chassis.

The processor in the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H is the Core i5 variant, which is an affordable alternative to the more powerful Core i7. To keep the price of this processor down, the Core i5 model has a smaller cache (6MB rather than 8MB), four threads rather than eight, and no Hyper-Threading technology.

This means that while the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H may fall behind laptops such as the Toshiba Satellite P70 that boasts a fourth generation Core i7 processor. But if you're not performing intensive tasks that require a lot of multitasking, then you may find the lower price of Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H a reasonable compromise. Let's not forget that the fourth generation Core i5 processors are still very good performers as well.


The Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H also comes with a dedicated graphics card – somewhat of a rarity outside of gaming-orientated laptops. Rather than relying on the integrated graphics of the Intel Core i5-4200M, a perfectly fine graphics chip for day to day computing, but distinctly underpowered for gaming and video editing, the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H comes with a NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M.

This mobile GPU is DirectX 11 compatible, and is based on Nvidia's Kepler architecture, found in Nvidia's latest and most powerful graphics cards, like the Nvidia GTX 780 Ti.

The NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M is a mid-tier graphics card, and is specifically designed for mobile devices. Though the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H is not designed to be primarily a gaming laptop, the NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M has enough power to play most new games at medium, and occasionally high, settings.

Side on view

Because the graphics card has Nvidia CUDA technology, which allows for parallel computing between the GPU and CPU (the processor), the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H is an excellent choice for video editing. It means it would be a good choice for media playback as well, though the sub full HD screen (1600x900) and lack of a Blu-ray drive limits the media playing abilities of the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H, which is a shame.

Windows 8.1 comes preinstalled, and it comes with a decent amount of RAM (8GB's worth). A 1TB hard drive offers plenty of storage, though it runs at just 5,400 rpm (revolutions per minute). This is par for the course with a lot of laptop hard drives of this capacity, but it will make the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H seem rather sluggish compared to any laptop that comes with a much faster solid-state drive.