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Toshiba Satellite S70A review

Ditch your desktop PC for this powerful replacement

3D mark
icestorm 54,798
cloudgame 5599
Fire strike 1050

Cinebench
OpenGL 37.67 fps
CPU 3.23pts

Battery life
2h 57m 39s

As a desktop replacement laptop, we expect the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H to prize performance above almost everything else, including portability. With a 17.3-inch screen, a thickness of 33.7mm and a weight of 2.7kgs, this is not a laptop that you're going to be taking around with you too much. Sure, it's portable to a degree, but carrying it around for a few hours in an over-the-shoulder laptop bag soon began to get tiring.

The larger build does mean that it comes with a full-sized keyboard and makes typing for long periods of time both comfortable and accurate. However, if you have smaller hands you may find you have to stretch your fingers to use all the keys, as there is a bit of space between each one.

Edge view

The keys are backlit and have a decent enough travel in them when pressed. There is also a large trackpad that is accurate, and can detect multi-touch commands, such as pinching with two fingers to zoom in and out.

The Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H comes with Windows 8.1 preinstalled. Whilst the new version of Windows 8 offers improvements over its predecessor, the Start screen and focus on apps remains just as divisive. The operating system was clearly designed for touchscreen devices – something that the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H isn't. Still, Windows 8.1 is fast and stable, and works well on the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H.

One annoying new feature of Windows 8.1 is the introduction of large 'tips' that take up a huge amount of screen space. They show you how to use the operating system, but they hang around for a little too long, and obscure what you're doing. Couple the low resolution of the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H's screen and a range of additional preinstalled software most of which likes to throw up messages at every opportunity, and you can quickly become frustrated as your desktop becomes obscured.

Toshiba aren't the only manufacturer to put extra, and often unnecessary, software on its laptops, and we understand that they can be necessary to help cut the cost of the hardware. Still, it's a habit that we don't like seeing. A few minutes of uninstalling the useless programs when you first get the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H will give you a far more pleasant user experience.

The power behind the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11 ensures that Windows 8.1 runs smoothly, and even without an SSD, the operating system loads quickly. For photo and video editing, the NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M graphics card is a fantastic addition, and handles graphic-intensive work extremely well.

Closed

It's not too bad at gaming either, with a few recent games playing well with medium settings. If you're after a laptop for just gaming though, you'll want to shell out more for a dedicated laptop, such as the Asus G750JX, as it doesn't have quite enough power to play games at high or ultra settings.

Still, for a balance between work and play, we feel Toshiba have got it pretty right. The screen is decent, but unfortunately lacks the sharpness and vibrancy found in full high-definition displays. The battery life was also low, with just under three hours of medium use when unplugged.

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