Thursday, December 20, 2012

Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q review

The Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q is a 17.3in high-spec desktop replacement laptop, boasting a third-generation Intel Ivy Bridge processor, dedicated nVidia graphics and active-shutter 3D display technology. Read reviews of high-end laptops.
This giant of a laptop has a matt-black textured finish with embossed diamond shapes for grip. This all looks okay – until you spot the garish shiny-red side trim with the tinsel effect of a Christmas tree bauble. 
To give a sense of just how chunky is this monster laptop, it measures 44mm thick and weighs over 3.4kg.
A large backlit keyboard has a separate numberpad, joined by a large off-centre trackpad and what Toshiba calls 2x2 Harman Kardon speakers – that is, two drivers on each side.
We found using the Scrabble-style keys easy thanks to their size and nice spacing. 
In contrast, we found the trackpad to be annoying. It veered between being unresponsive and erratic. Two-finger scrolling was smoother and you can use pinch-to-zoom gestures.
The Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q has an impressive line-up of hardware starting with that Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7-3610QM clocked at 2.3GHz (3.3GHz with Turbo Boost).
It has a whopping 16GB of DDR3 1600MHz RAM and two storage drives – a 128GB SanDisk SSD and 1TB notebook hard disk. Windows Home Premium 64-bit is pre-installed.
The overwhelming £1699 price tag gets you top-spec hardware but build quality simply doesn't match. The Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q's shell is all plastic and somewhat graceless. It was fingerprinted all too easily from touching it and we found the screen to be very flimsy while its trim felt weak.

Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q: Performance 

Thanks to the good combination of Intel, nVidia and SSD components, the Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q scored mostly very well in our lab performance tests.
It managed 170 points in our WorldBench 6 real-world benchmark, narrowly beating the Alienware M14x by two points to achieve our highest ever score in a notebook computer.
This score included an estimate for the Roxio sub-test which failed to run on this machine; if it had completed it’s possible the score could even by slightly higher. 
As you'd expect from a high-end machine with discrete GPU it also fared well in our graphics tests.
The Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q has an nVidia GeForce GTX 670M with a huge 3GB complement of GDDR5 memory. In our straightforward FEAR test (1024x768, Maximum detail settings) the X870 coasted to a cool 205fps. 
Moving on to the more challenging Crysis, we recorded framerates of 80fps (DirectX 9, High, 1024x768) and 27fps at (DirectX 10, Very High, 1680x1050).
Playing Crysis on the Toshiba Qosmio X870 at native screen resolution and Medium settings resulted in an average framerate of 76fps.
A headline feature of the X870 is its 17.3in full-HD (1920 x 1080) glossy screen with active 3D technology. We found the 3D quality to be very good although the supplied nVidia 3D glasses are chunky and still look like welding goggles. 
Flickering artefacts has been one issue with such eyewear in the past but here we found the glasses only flickered when turned on or off.
Other hardware includes a Blu-ray rewritable optical drive, four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and a 3D webcam. We’re not sure of the purpose of the 3D webcam. Skype’s press office has confirmed that the Skype service does not include web-conferencing with 3D video. 
In addition the Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q has a VGA port, gigabit ethernet, SD card reader, 3.5mm line-in and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. 
Toshiba touts a battery life of only two hours from the Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q's modest 47Wh battery. This pack is easily removable via two catches. 
In our tests we managed marginally better than Toshiba’s short-run result, logging 2 hours and 14 minutes in the MobileMark 2007 Productivity test (134 mins).
In the best traditions of the old desktop-replacement laptop, this is a computer that will spend more time running from its hefty 180W power brick.
Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

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