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.

Toshiba

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.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity1 TB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA, Intel
Graphics Controller ModelGeForce GT 740M, HD 4600
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityDedicated, Shared
Maximum Battery Run Time4 Hour
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilySatellite S70-A
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
Processor Modeli5-4200M
ColourIce Blue Brushed Aluminum
Operating SystemWindows 8.1
Brand NameToshiba
Processor Speed2.50 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size43.9 cm (17.3")
Screen Resolution1600 x 900
Standard Memory8 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.70 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, ENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 2 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyTruBrite
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0 + LE
vPro TechnologyNo
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3L-1600/PC3-12800
Height33.7 mm
Width413 mm
Depth268 mm
Screen ModeHD+
Memory TechnologyDDR3L SDRAM
Product SeriesS70-A
ManufacturerToshiba
Product ModelS70-A-11H
Product NameSatellite S70-A-11H
Pointing Device TypeClickPad
Product LineSatellite
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberPSKNEE-06P02TEN
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.toshiba.co.uk
Marketing InformationDesigned for great everyday performance, Satellite range products are affordable but serve up the power, features and portability that even the most demanding home users require. You can buy Satellite products through an extensive network of high street and online retailers.

Maximum Memory16 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Satellite S70-A-11H
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year