Toshiba Satellite P70 review

High-end 'larger laptop' lines up against the ultrabooks

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The Toshiba Satellite P70 eschews the style and lightweight dimensions of its rivals for power and versatility: it's got a Core i7 Haswell processor, a discrete graphics core, plenty of storage and a Blu-ray writer - but the half-aluminium and half-plastic chassis won't win any awards for style, and it's not exactly portable, either.

We liked

The quad-core Haswell processor is one of the fastest around - it's got the power to best most of its rivals, and its four cores and decent speed make light work of even high-end software.

The graphics core has just enough power to handle games and image-intensive applications, and the rest of the specification includes 8GB of RAM and 2TB of storage - more than enough for anyone. There's also the option to replace many of these components thanks to a panel on the base that can be removed.

The screen, too, is a stunner. The combination of an extremely bright backlight and high colour accuracy makes work and play a joy on this panel and, while it's not a touchscreen, it's very crisp.

We disliked

The Nvidia graphics core is a mid-range part that's unable to match the pace of GPUs included in similarly priced rivals. And that's not the only thing we didn't like about the Toshiba's specification - its single-band wireless puts it at a disadvantage that simply shouldn't happen at this price.

The battery life isn't great, either, and the Toshiba's design is a mixed bag: the aluminium lid and base look good, but they're undermined by glossy plastic and ugly seams around the Satellite's exterior.

Final verdict

The Toshiba doesn't win any prizes for style or longevity: its design is a mix between classy aluminium and cheap-looking plastic, and battery life results were poor.

Instead, this machine has a potent processor, a versatile specification and a high-quality screen and speakers. It's not cheap, but it's worth the investment if you prize power and practicality over the charms of lightweight, low-power Ultrabooks.