Toshiba Satellite S70A review

Ditch your desktop PC for this powerful replacement

Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H
The desktop replacement we've been waiting for?

TechRadar Verdict

If your old desktop PC is showing its age, and you'd like to replace it with something that's more compact and convienant, then you should definitely consider the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H.


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    Great price

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    Well built

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    Comfortable keyboard

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    Windows 8.1 already installed


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    No SSD

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    Short battery life

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    Lack of HD screen

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    No Blu-ray drive

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It's a prediction so often repeated that it's become a cliché: traditional desktop PCs are dying, which is something Toshiba may be banking on with the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H.

Though you can still buy traditional tower setups like the Wired2Fire Velocity Ultima, these are more geared towards gamers who need the most powerful components in a big case full of cooling options.

For day-to-day computing tasks, we're increasingly moving away from the desk and onto the sofa, with a laptop – or even a tablet like the iPad Air or the Microsoft Surface Pro 2. Of course whilst these laptops and tablets are convenient and portable, they can't quite match a desktop PC's power, or they aren't comfortable to work on for long periods of time.

This is where the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H comes in. As part of the 'desktop replacement' sub category of laptops, along with machines like the HP Pavilion TouchSmart Sleekbook 15 and the Lenovo G770, the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H aims to replicate much of the traditional desktop experience by including powerful components and comfortable full-size keyboards.

Of course this comes at the expense of portability – in both the size of the laptops and their limited battery life due to the demanding components included in them – and their looks are a world away from the sleek ultrabooks such as the Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch.

Toshiba laptop

Because of this, and changing consumer tastes for anything thin and light, there's some merit to the idea that desktop replacement laptops are just as endangered as the PCs they're supposed to replace. But can the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H buck this trend?

It's certainly got a lot going for it. For a start, Toshiba and its Satellite brand of laptops are a well known and trusted brand. Our recent reviews of the Toshiba Satellite P70 and the Toshiba Satellite U840 are evidence that Toshiba Satellites are decent, well-built laptops, though missing that special something that you get with a machine like a MacBook Air or Sony Vaio Duo 13.

Along with this dependability is a very reasonable price (£699/$1144/$AUS 1256), especially given the components on offer. These are another plus for the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H. The latest Intel Core processor and a dedicated graphics card gives this machine some serious power, and we'll look closely at how well the Toshiba Satellite S70A-11H performs.