Notebookcheck

Review Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R Notebook

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 09/21/2013

The Hulk of gaming. Toshiba has now introduced its latest offspring from the Qosmio series. It is a device of superlatives. Powerful processor, masses of RAM, vast storage capacity, speedy graphics and a large Full HD screen. That sounds tempting but can this behemoth deliver what it promises? Find out in this review...

For the original German review, see here.

Toshiba's Qosmio X70-A-11R replaces the Ivy-Bridge based Qosmio X870-119 with the newest Haswell technology. Almost all components have been upgraded in the new model. Toshiba only leaves out the 3D-capable screen. A faster 4700MQ replaces the old Core i7-3610QM and the working memory has been doubled to 32 GB. The Japanese manufacturer has also increased the storage capacity massively. The integrated solid-state drive (SSD) is now 256 GB. As if that were not enough, two "real" storage devices from HGST are installed, both with a capacity of 1.5 TB. Thus, the X70 achieves a gigantic total storage capacity of 3.3 TB. Unlike the former X870-119, Nvidia’s Optimus technology is used; automatically switching between the CPU-integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 and the dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 770. The latter promises enormous graphics power.

The Qosmio X70 has two little sister models. The X70-A-11Q (1899 Euros, ~$2570) sports 16 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD alongside a 1.5 TB HDD. The X70-A-110 (1549 Euros, ~$2097) features eight gigabytes of working memory, two 750 GB HDDs but no SSD. Otherwise, all three models from the series feature identical equipment. Toshiba demands a steep surcharge for the extra RAM and storage capacity but other manufacturers also demand these prices.

Although the competition among gaming laptops is not vast, it is exclusive. The One K73-3N (1750 Euros, ~$2369), Schenker XMG P703 (2660 Euros, ~$3597), MSI GT70H-series (from 1500 Euros, ~$2028) and Deviltech Fragbook DTX (1500 Euros, ~$2028) are all found in this group. All contenders used for comparison are based on Intel's Haswell architecture alongside a high-end graphics card from Nvidia. Read in this test report how well Toshiba's latest gaming flagship fares.

Case

The lid and controls have aluminum rims.
The lid and controls have aluminum rims.
The base unit is made of plastic.
The base unit is made of plastic.

Compared with the former Qosmio X870, the X70-A has only been modified marginally. The display's dark-silver bezel is largely made of aluminum that features a hairline pattern. It also proved to be quite rigid although higher pressure from the back became visible on the screen. The Qosmio logo is illuminated in red. However, it is no longer in the display's middle but has been moved to the lower left corner. The screen can easily be opened with one hand in the desired position and only rocks to a slight extent.

The keyboard bed and wrist rest are made of the same aluminum. It has a very pleasant feel and the surface is quite fingerprint resistant. The casing's black, plastic underside features a dotted surface. The device proves to be relatively light (~3.4 kilograms, ~7.5 pounds) considering the 17.3-inch machine's size of 418.6 x 272.5 x 44 mm (~16.5 x 10.7 x 1.7 inches).

The laptop is very rigid. Nothing can be twisted or warped and the device does not make any creaking or cracking noises. The red design highlights are painted aluminum that adds a unique note to the gaming behemoth. The gaps are accurate in all places. We did not find any irregularities so that a good overall impression was made in terms of build.

Connectivity

The available interfaces are virtually identical with those of the precursor: four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and VGA port, Gigabit LAN and two audio jacks. Just like the X870, two of the USB ports support recharging external devices even when the laptop is off. The microphone jack also remains active when the laptop is shut down. It can be used for connecting a phone or other device that has a 3.5 mm jack and allows using the laptop’s speakers. However, this function first has to be enabled in the BIOS or via Toshiba's System Settings.

Toshiba has improved details of the HDMI out. It is both 3D and UHD capable (ultra-high definition, 4k). The optical drive has also been upgraded to a Blu-ray drive that not only reads but also writes on the corresponding blanks. Regrettably, the interface positioning has also been adopted. Most ports are on the right so that the space for using a mouse could be a problem when this side is completely occupied.

Front: Card reader
Front: Card reader
Rear: No interfaces
Rear: No interfaces
Left: Lock, LAN, 2x USB 3.0, Blu Ray burner
Left: Lock, LAN, 2x USB 3.0, Blu Ray burner
Right: Headphone, microphone, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, power socket
Right: Headphone, microphone, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, power socket

Communication

The RJ45 port is connected to a network card from Atheros and supports data transmission up to 1000 MBit/s (Gigabit). Intel's Centrino Wireless-N 2230 Wi-Fi module supports the IEEE 802.11 b/g/n standards and transmits in the 2.4 GHz frequency range. Although that does not allow particularly high data rates, the review sample exhibited a good range. A website could be opened without noticeable speed losses even through two walls and a distance of 20 meters (~66 feet) from the router. Windows 8 also confirmed that the X70-A had a good connection quality.

Bluetooth version 4.0 with LE (low energy) is also installed. The laptop supports both Intel's Wireless Display (Wi-Di) and the open peer-to-peer wireless screencast standard Miracast.

Accessories

There are not many accessories included. The gaming laptop only comes with a power supply unit with a nominal capacity of 180 Watts (19 volts, 9.5 ampere), which is also certified by the German Association for Technical Inspection (TÜV) and bears the "GS" quality seal. There are no specific accessories for the Qosmio X70-A. It is currently not even possible to buy a replacement battery. Bags, port replicators and more are available as cross-model accessories.

The battery is easy to replace.
The battery is easy to replace.
The maintenance cover is easy to open.
The maintenance cover is easy to open.
The fan can only be cleaned after removing the base plate.
The fan can only be cleaned after removing the base plate.

Maintenance

Single hardware components can be accessed from a large maintenance cover on the base unit's underside. Only one screw has to be removed to open it. It allows accessing both HDD hard drives and two of the four RAM banks. The Wi-Fi module is also accessible. Besides that, it is also possible to replace the lithium coin cell that powers the CMOS RAM and system clock, in contrast to the former X870.

It is also possible to completely remove the base plate. Several screws that are all under the rubber stoppers have to be removed for this. When this is done, the Blu-ray drive also has to be taken out because two more screws are beneath it. Then it is possible to access the casing's fan. Cleaning it might prove to be tricky.

As before, it is still not possible to access the other two RAM banks and the SSD drive. It is likely that the keyboard has to be removed to access these parts. However, the latter is installed so accurately that we did not try this so not to damage the loaned unit. Toshiba also states that some maintenance work may only be performed by appropriately certified and qualified professionals. However, it is incomprehensible that accessing the SSD is denied in our eyes. The battery can be removed easily.

Warranty

Toshiba includes a 12-month warranty on its laptop ex-factory. It can be upgraded directly via the manufacturer. The Japanese company offers various international warranty upgrades ranging from two to four years (34 Euros/~$46 to 109 Euros/~$147) in its shop. The device has to be sent to Toshiba in case of damage.

The so-called "No matter what happens warranty" is available for one year (59 Euros/~$80) or three years (74 Euros/~$100). It includes an accidental damage and theft protection as well as a data recovery service besides the standard warranty.

Toshiba also offers an on-site service for 99 Euros (~$134) to 119 Euros (~$161) in Europe, the Middle East and Africa that is available within a distance of 100 km around major cities.

Buyers in Austria and Germany also receive the two-year retailer’s warranty.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The chiclet keyboard has a total of 102 keys including those of the dedicated number pad. The QWERTY keys feature a size of 14 x 14 mm, are matte-black and flat. They have generous four-millimeter spacing and provide a pleasant, medium drop. The feedback is decent but could be a bit more defined. The click noise is very audible but not too loud. 

The Qosmio X70-A appropriately features a red backlight. It cannot be dimmed to different levels but allows a good overview of actions in the dark. When required, it can be completely disabled via the FN + Y key combination. It turns off after 15 seconds of inactivity in the default settings. However, a permanent light can be enabled via the BIOS.

The F keys can only be used via the function key (FN) and are assigned to media, volume, wireless and screen controls ex-factory. However, these functions can be changed in Toshiba's System Settings.

Touchpad

The touchpad in the X70-A is generously sized at 112 x 78 millimeters (~4.4 x 3.1 inches). The surface is sleek and the finger glides accordingly. The pad detects multi-touch gestures and implements them precisely. The keys are directly integrated in the input area (Clickpad) and a left click can be implemented on the pad's entire surface. The pressure point is very stiff. The lower area features a separate field for the mouse keys with a much softer pressure point. The click noise is well audible and a bit muffled but not at all distracting.

The touchpad can be disabled via a simple double tap in the upper left corner. A corresponding status LED lights up then. This gesture has to be repeated in the same place to reactivate the pad.

The keyboard has 102 keys.
The keyboard has 102 keys.
The touchpad is easily disabled.
The touchpad is easily disabled.

Display

The screen in Toshiba's Qosmio X70-A-11R is made by AU Optronics. All models from the X70-A series feature a Full HD screen with 1920x1080 pixels. It is a reflective-type, TN model that Toshiba specifies with a response time of eight milliseconds (black/white time).

The average brightness is a bit lower compared with the 323 cd/m² from the former X870 model. It nevertheless achieves a decent rate of 302 cd/m². The homogeneity of illumination of only 77% proves to be a weak point. On the other hand, the contenders are not always better. Only the screen in MSI's GE70 (312 cd/m²; 84%) is superior in both cases. We noticed two small light spots (screen bleeding) in the review sample's right screen edge. However, this as well as the middling illumination is not noticed in everyday use.

276
cd/m²
267
cd/m²
274
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
316
cd/m²
312
cd/m²
328
cd/m²
345
cd/m²
298
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 345 cd/m²
Average: 301.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 77 %
Center on Battery: 316 cd/m²
Black: 0.49 cd/m²
Contrast: 645:1

The X70-A delivers good rates with a black value of 0.49 cd/m² and contrast of 654:1. Although the black value could be a bit lower, it is still within an acceptable range. Black looks dark and rich.

The device's color space coverage is surprisingly high. The screen reproduces 65% of Adobe RGB and even 96% of the smaller sRGB color space. None of the contenders come close to that. Unfortunately, the screen is not calibrated ex-factory. We ascertained an average DeltaE of 8.8 in the grayscale. The measured rates even exceeded a DeltaE of 10 in 10% to 40% of the cases. Trained eyes will see the deviations. Besides that, the bluish cast typical for TN screens is also present. Similar rates are seen in Color Checker and visible deviations are displayed in color saturation and color accuracy in an uncalibrated state. This improved greatly after calibration. Alongside the high sRGB coverage, the laptop could certainly be interesting for enthusiastic hobby photographers.

Grayscale (uncalibrated, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (uncalibrated, target color space: sRGB)
Color accuracy (uncalibrated, target color space: sRGB)
Color accuracy (uncalibrated, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (uncalibrated, target color space: sRGB)
Color saturation (uncalibrated, target color space: sRGB)
Color Checker (uncalibrated, target color space: sRGB)
Color Checker (uncalibrated, target color space: sRGB)
Qosmio X70-A-11R vs. sRGB (grid)
Qosmio X70-A-11R vs. sRGB (grid)
Qosmio X70-A-11R vs. Adobe RGB (grid)
Qosmio X70-A-11R vs. Adobe RGB (grid)

The user should look for a shady place outdoors. Although the content remains legible in bright ambient light, the reflections on the screen are very distracting. There are no severe problems indoors. The decent brightness and high contrast ensure unimpeded pleasure with the screen.

The Qosmio X70-A-11R in overcast conditions outdoors
The Qosmio X70-A-11R in overcast conditions outdoors
Viewing angles: Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R
Viewing angles: Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R

The viewing angles of the Qosmio X70-A are quite decent for a TN screen. Even an angle of 45° is no problem for the screen horizontally. It is not quite as stable vertically and color inverting is noticed sooner. Nevertheless, it is possible to watch a video on the laptop with several people without anyone complaining about the picture quality.

Performance

Toshiba's Qosmio X70-A-11R really shows off in terms of performance. In addition to a state-of-the-art quad-core processor based on Intel's latest Haswell architecture, the laptop sports a whopping 32 GB of working memory, a swift SSD and two 1.5 TB hard drives. Toshiba also receives a fat exclamation mark from the dedicated high-end graphics card. The review sample represents a generously configured DTR (desktop replacement) that can be used as both a gaming machine as well as a multimedia laptop.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWiNFO64
DPC Latency Checker
System information: Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R

Processor

The processor used is Intel's Core i7-4700MQ. The quad-core, based on Haswell, is manufactured in a 22 nm build. It features a TDP of 47 Watts and can process up to eight threads at the same time. The CPU's default clock of 2.4 GHz can be increased to 3.4 GHz (single core) via Intel's Turbo Boost 2.0 technology. Up to 3.3 GHz are possible when two cores are demanded at the same time and up to 3.2 GHz on four cores. Although the former 3630QM (Ivy Bridge architecture) has the same clock rates, it only achieves approximately 90% of the performance.

We checked the processor speed with the Cinebench R11.5 benchmark. The review sample scored 1.51 points and is thus on a par with its contenders that feature the same processor model. Overclocking was consistently implemented with 3.4 GHz during the test; the clock only dropped slightly to 3.3 GHz for a short time. The CPU achieved 6.91 points in the multi-core test and kept the Turbo stable at 3.2 GHz.

The system limited the performance to 3.0 GHz per core when all eight threads of the 4700MQ were fully loaded via Prime95. The temperatures in the SoC increased to such a level within one minute that throttling occurred and the CPU repeatedly switched to energy-saving mode to cool down for a moment. The fan did not blow consistently at full speed here but rather alternated in a matching beat. The fan management should be improved in this point.

However, the load test with Prime95 is an extreme case. This will hardly ever be achieved in practical use. A similar picture is seen in battery mode where the Turbo is limited to 2.8 GHz.

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
6.91 Points ∼39%
Acer Aspire V3-771G-736B161TMaii
GeForce GT 650M, 3630QM, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
6.26 Points ∼36% -9%
MSI GE70-i765M287
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ, Hitachi Travelstar 7K750 HTS727575A9E
6.63 Points ∼38% -4%
Deviltech Fragbook DTX (MS-1763)
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Samsung SSD 840 Series 120 GB (MZ-7TD120)
7 Points ∼40% +1%
Asus G750JW
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700HQ, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
6.97 Points ∼40% +1%
One K73-3N
GeForce GTX 770M, 4800MQ, Samsung 840 Series 500 GB (MZ-7TD500)
7.19 Points ∼41% +4%
Schenker XMG P703
GeForce GTX 780M, 4900MQ, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD256HAGM
7.01 Points ∼40% +1%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
1.51 Points ∼76%
MSI GE70-i765M287
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ, Hitachi Travelstar 7K750 HTS727575A9E
1.5 Points ∼75% -1%
Deviltech Fragbook DTX (MS-1763)
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Samsung SSD 840 Series 120 GB (MZ-7TD120)
1.51 Points ∼76% 0%
Asus G750JW
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700HQ, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
1.52 Points ∼76% +1%
One K73-3N
GeForce GTX 770M, 4800MQ, Samsung 840 Series 500 GB (MZ-7TD500)
1.64 Points ∼82% +9%
Schenker XMG P703
GeForce GTX 780M, 4900MQ, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD256HAGM
1.7 Points ∼85% +13%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
6650 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
24617 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6831 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4954
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
19041
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6844
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.51 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
6.91 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
60.39 fps
Help

System Performance

The system performance is first-rate. There is absolutely no reason for complaint. Windows 8 boots very fast, which is primarily owing to the SSD. The PCMark 7 scores are also all on a good level and easily surpass 20,000.

The scores in these benchmarks are always very dependent on the installed primary hard drive. However, other contenders with a flash memory cannot quite reach the good rates of the Qosmio X70-A. The actually better equipped Schenker P703 (21,350 points) is thus marginally defeated.

5.3
Windows 8 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
7.9
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
7.9
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
5.3
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
7
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
8.1
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage21660 points
PCMark 75526 points
PCMark 8 Home3740 points
PCMark 8 Creative4938 points
PCMark 8 Work4789 points
Help

Storage Devices

There are more than enough storage devices in Toshiba's Qosmio X70-A-11R. The primary hard drive is a large 256 GB SSD from Toshiba. In contrast to conventional hard drives that use spinning disks, it can score with speedy access times and high data rates.

The solid-state drive is also compelling when compared with other drives of its kind. It achieves a data rate over 500 MB/s in sequential read. Even reading small file blocks (4k) is swift with 20.2 MB/s. 195 GB are available after the first boot. 11.5 GB are reserved for the recovery partition and the rest is used up by the operating system and preinstalled software.

Two hard drives from HGST have been additionally installed for pure data storage. The storage devices from the Western Digital subsidiary both offer a capacity of 1.5 TB. The speed of the spinning 5400-rpm HDDs is decent in comparison. Both drives are completely empty in the state of delivery.

Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
Sequential Read: 507.6 MB/s
Sequential Write: 464.2 MB/s
512K Read: 415.5 MB/s
512K Write: 436.9 MB/s
4K Read: 21.63 MB/s
4K Write: 87.16 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 374.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 191.9 MB/s

Graphics Card

In contrast to the former X870, Toshiba uses Nvidia’s Optimus technology in the Qosmio X70-A-11R. The CPU-integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600 takes care of routine graphic acceleration. Its clock rate actually ranges from 400 to 1150 MHz. The unit installed in the review sample however consistently runs with 600 MHz according to GPU-Z. We cannot explain why Toshiba does not allow the GPU to reduce its default clock.

The dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M is enabled for demanding graphic calculations. It is located in the upper high-end range, is based on the GK106 chip from the Kepler series and is built in a 28 nm process. It represents a further stage of the GTX 670MX and features a higher memory and core rate than its precursor. The core clock is 811 MHz and can be increased even more via GPU Boost 2.0, providing the cooling performance is sufficient.

The scores ascertained using 3DMark are quite decent and are close to those of the contenders. The review sample achieved 14603 points in 3DMark Cloud Gate. The One K73-3N accomplished 15,337 points with the same GPU, which equals a plus of approximately 5%.

We found the reason for this while permanently loading the graphics unit with the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark. The laptop simply gets too warm. Although the fan is permanently active, it does not run at full speed and the GPU sometimes has to reduce its clock to prevent exceeding a temperature of 80 °C (176 °F). Thus, the GPU clock fluctuates between 601 and 862 MHz. A better fan management could also improve this.

3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
14603 Points ∼53%
MSI GE70-i765M287
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ, Hitachi Travelstar 7K750 HTS727575A9E
12574 Points ∼46% -14%
Deviltech Fragbook DTX (MS-1763)
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Samsung SSD 840 Series 120 GB (MZ-7TD120)
14714 Points ∼54% +1%
Asus G750JX
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700HQ, Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 HTS727550A9E364
14784 Points ∼54% +1%
One K73-3N
GeForce GTX 770M, 4800MQ, Samsung 840 Series 500 GB (MZ-7TD500)
15337 Points ∼56% +5%
Schenker XMG P703
GeForce GTX 780M, 4900MQ, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD256HAGM
18258 Points ∼67% +25%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
22909 Points ∼20%
MSI GE70-i765M287
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ, Hitachi Travelstar 7K750 HTS727575A9E
17727 Points ∼15% -23%
Deviltech Fragbook DTX (MS-1763)
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Samsung SSD 840 Series 120 GB (MZ-7TD120)
23493 Points ∼20% +3%
Asus G750JX
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700HQ, Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 HTS727550A9E364
23444 Points ∼20% +2%
One K73-3N
GeForce GTX 770M, 4800MQ, Samsung 840 Series 500 GB (MZ-7TD500)
24335 Points ∼21% +6%
Schenker XMG P703
GeForce GTX 780M, 4900MQ, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD256HAGM
36360 Points ∼31% +59%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
6436 Points ∼16%
MSI GE70-i765M287
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ, Hitachi Travelstar 7K750 HTS727575A9E
6233 Points ∼16% -3%
Deviltech Fragbook DTX (MS-1763)
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Samsung SSD 840 Series 120 GB (MZ-7TD120)
6376 Points ∼16% -1%
Asus G750JX
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700HQ, Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 HTS727550A9E364
6448 Points ∼16% 0%
One K73-3N
GeForce GTX 770M, 4800MQ, Samsung 840 Series 500 GB (MZ-7TD500)
6686 Points ∼17% +4%
Schenker XMG P703
GeForce GTX 780M, 4900MQ, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD256HAGM
6658 Points ∼17% +3%
3D Mark
3DMark 0525031 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
21791 points
3DMark Vantage19081 points
3DMark 114916 points
3DMark Ice Storm77886 points
3DMark Cloud Gate14603 points
3DMark Fire Strike3040 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme1486 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Metro: Last Light playable even in high details
Metro: Last Light playable even in high details

Core-gamer hearts beat faster when they hear Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M because the card promises smooth rendering of contents even in Full HD resolution (1920x1080 pixels) and high details.

In fact, Toshiba's Qosmio X70-A-11R can run many games smoothly and most of them even in high details. The GPU's throttling is not particularly noticed here. The laptop first found its limits in the benchmark tests using ultra-presets (1080p, maximum details). Especially GRID 2 shows that higher frame rates would be possible with a better cooling solution. The DevilTech Fragbook DTX that features a virtually identical performance foundation manages almost 14% more frames.

Nevertheless, most gamers will be happy with the available performance although a bit more power could be expected in view of the high price. Also, we observed streaks when panning, which is likely due to the screen's high response time.

GRID 2
1366x768 High Preset AA:2xMS (sort by value)
Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
115 fps ∼61%
Deviltech Fragbook DTX (MS-1763)
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Samsung SSD 840 Series 120 GB (MZ-7TD120)
125.1 fps ∼67% +9%
One K73-3N
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
111 fps ∼59% -3%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:4xMS (sort by value)
Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT
30 fps ∼23%
Deviltech Fragbook DTX (MS-1763)
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ, Samsung SSD 840 Series 120 GB (MZ-7TD120)
34.3 fps ∼26% +14%
One K73-3N
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
49 fps ∼38% +63%
low med.high ultra
F1 2012 (2012) 18213411767fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 1851139929fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 93754021fps
GRID 2 (2013) 18713211530fps
Company of Heroes 2 (2013) 56474015fps
Total War: Rome II (2013) 17515511718fps

Emissions

System Noise

Toshiba's Qosmio X70-A-11R remained agreeably quiet when idling. The noise level ranged from 29.2 to 32.5 dB(A). The SSD is innately silent and the HDDs do not produce noise either. The magnetic disks only clicked quietly in the background during load. The fan did not run when the device is activated in energy-saving mode and was only enabled after several minutes. It was even completely off from time to time. The cooling seemed to run a bit unevenly when the fan switches on again. Since this side noise disappeared quite fast when the fan increased its speed, we presume that it is not mounted properly.

The fan clearly increased its speed in 3D operation. But this was expected in view of the powerful components. The laptop reached a maximum noise level of 45.5 dB(A) during full load. Although this is very audible, it is still acceptable for a gaming laptop. The One K73-3N is the loudest device in the comparison field with 55 dB(A).

Noise Level

Idle 29.2 / 31.1 / 32.5 dB(A)
DVD 36.9 / dB(A)
Load 41.8 / 45.5 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Toshiba's Qosmio X70-A-11R in the stress test.
Toshiba's Qosmio X70-A-11R in the stress test.

The surface temperatures of the Qosmio X70-A-11R remained on a cool level of around 30 °C (86 °F) in idle mode. Toshiba has clearly improved the thermal qualities compared with the precursor. The X870 reached up to 36.8 °C (98.24 °F) during normal use.

The temperatures increased greatly during load. The highest increase was recorded in the fan's area with up to 51.8 °C (125.24 °F). Other devices, such as the DevilTech Fragbook DTX (max. 48.6 °C/119.48 °F), are a bit cooler. The Schenker XMG P703 (54 dB(A), max. 39 °C/102.2°F) and the One K73-3N (55 dB(A), max. 37 °C/98.6 °F) accomplish their lower surface temperatures with a louder cooling noise. In return, the MSI GE70 literally seems to smolder and achieves rates of up to 59 °C (138.2 °F).

The components were pushed to their limits in the stress test using Prime95 and FurMark. The CPU-SoC reached very high temperatures in this extreme scenario and the clock rate was repeatedly set to energy-saving mode. The fan ran at full speed until the CPU cooled down only to throttle the speed and allow the temperatures to increase again. The GPU exhibited a similar behavior. Its clock did not surpass 740 MHz in this scenario. The subsequent 3DMark 06 test achieved 21,252 points and thus over 500 points less than in a cold state (21,791 points).

Max. Load
 32.6 °C43.1 °C51.8 °C 
 33.2 °C43.2 °C51.5 °C 
 27.8 °C35.0 °C35.0 °C 
Maximum: 51.8 °C
Average: 39.2 °C
46.4 °C34.5 °C28.0 °C
41.7 °C34.5 °C27.8 °C
39.5 °C36.2 °C25.7 °C
Maximum: 46.4 °C
Average: 34.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  41.1 °C | Room Temperature 24 °C | Voltcraft IR-550

Speakers

Toshiba brings out the heavy artillery in terms of sound. Four speakers from Harman Kardon with an output of 6 Watts are to ensure a good sound and are supported by Dolby DTS. The sound quality is quite decent and is suitable for music, movies and games alike. Bass is clearly audible, the mids are strong and the trebles are clear. In view of the available possibilities, the result is good and no distortions occur even in maximum volume.

A bit of time should definitely be invested to optimize the settings in the DTS Sound Studio because the sound is otherwise unbalanced. The microphone does a good job and can be used for calls without hesitation.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The idle power consumption is 11.3 - 26.1 Watts, which is quite a good rate in the comparison field. The result could have been better with a somewhat lower clocked HD 4600.

The consumption increases up to 125.9 Watts during load. This peak value is achieved using Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously. The requirement would be much higher without throttling. The One K73-3N based on identical equipment consumes almost 179 Watts without performance losses.

The review sample's power supply is adequately designed with a nominal capacity of 180 Watts.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.6 Watt
Idle 11.3 / 16.0 / 26.1 Watt
Load 95.6 / 125.9 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

Toshiba's X70-A-11R comes with a 47 Wh battery (14.4 V, 3000 mAh, lithium-ion), which is not exceptionally generous and, particularly when looking at the precursor, does not let us hope for long runtimes.

We use Battery Eater Reader's test to ascertain the maximum runtime. The screen is dimmed to minimum brightness and all other energy consumers are disabled for this. The laptop only lasted for two hours and 18 minutes here. The DevilTech Fragbook (09:23 h; 87 Wh) and the One K73-3N (04:32 h, 77 Wh) run considerably longer owing to their stronger batteries.

The battery is drained with Battery Eater Classic test in the opposite scenario, using maximum screen brightness and energy consumers on. A minimum runtime of 40 minutes is rather poor. The rates were also disappointing in the practical Wi-Fi test. Longer movies are also unthinkable. The credits will no longer be displayed from a Blu-ray.

The small battery and the correlating runtimes underline the X70-A's DTR ambitions. Toshiba apparently envisions home use for the laptop because longer times without a socket are impossible.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
2h 18min
WiFi Surfing
1h 47min
DVD
1h 31min
Blu-ray
1h 12min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 40min

Verdict

In review: Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R
In review: Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R

Toshiba's Qosmio X70-A-11R wants to be a gaming machine, multimedia center and full-blown desktop replacement. There is no doubt that games on this laptop are possible on a high graphical level. Unfortunately, the GTX 770M is throttled by the insufficient cooling, which can lead to noticeable performance losses. Thus, the device is a good grab for enthusiastic casual gamers, but hard-core gamers will be annoyed about the lost frames and streaks.

It looks better with multimedia performance. The Full HD screen has good viewing angles. The Harman Kardon speakers score with a great sound. Even playing 3D or UHD material on a corresponding TV set is possible via the HDMI port. The screen also has high sRGB coverage and makes it interesting for hobby photographers and movie makers. Particularly the latter group will take delight in the strong Intel Core i7-4700MQ and the large storage capacity.

The buyer gets a very versatile laptop that barely leaves anything to be desired owing to the generous configuration for currently 2000 Euros (~$2708). Users who can live with slightly limited gaming power will get a good desktop replacement.

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In Review: Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R. Review sample courtesy of Toshiba Germany
In Review: Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R. Review sample courtesy of Toshiba Germany

Specifications

Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M - NVIDIA: 3.072 MB GDDR5, Intel: Shared Memory bis 2.048 MB, Core: NVIDIA: 811 MHz, Intel: 600 MHz, Memory: NVIDIA: 4.000 MHz, Intel: 1.600 MHz, NVIDIA: DirectX 11, Shader 5.0, 28 nm, 192 Bit, GK106M, 960 pipelines; Intel: 22 nm, 20 pipelines, Quick Sync, NVIDIA: 9.18.13.1141 (ForceWare 311.41), Intel: 9.18.10.3165, NVIDIA Optimus
Memory
32768 MB 
, four slots with 8 GB DDR3-RAM PC3-12800 each, 1600 MHz, Samsung M471B1G73CB0-YK0
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, AU Optronics AUO209D, TFT, high brightness display with LED backlight, 8 ms response time (s/w), glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel HM86 (Lynx Point)
Harddisk
Toshiba HG5d THNSNH256GMCT, 256 GB 
2 x 1,5 TB HGST HTS541515A9E630, 3146 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: two 3.5 mm jacks (dedicated headphone and microphone jack), Card Reader: SD, miniSD/microSD (via adapter), SDHC, SDXC, MMC,
Networking
Atheros AR8161/8165 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 (b g n ), LE + 4.0 Bluetooth
Optical drive
Matshita BD-MLT UJ272
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 44 x 419 x 273 ( = 1.73 x 16.5 x 10.75 in)
Weight
3.418 kg ( = 120.57 oz) Power Supply: 801 g ( = 28.25 oz)
Battery
46 Wh Lithium-Ion, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 210 h
Price
2199 Euro
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Bit
Additional features
Webcam: 2.0 MP (1.920 x 1.080 Pixel), Speakers: 4 Harman Kardon speakers with 6 watt output, enhanced via DTS sound, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 180 watt power supply unit, Desktop Assist, Display Utility, Eco Utility, Function Key, Media Player by sMedio TrueLink+, PC Health Monitor, System Settings, McAfee IS and Microsoft Office 365 (both 30 day trial), 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The lid is aluminum but looks like carbon.
The lid is aluminum but looks like carbon.
The logo is illuminated when the laptop is on.
The logo is illuminated when the laptop is on.
The screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and is reflective.
The screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and is reflective.
The sRGB color space is covered to 96%.
The sRGB color space is covered to 96%.
Maximum opening angle.
Maximum opening angle.
The optical drive can read and write Blu Rays.
The optical drive can read and write Blu Rays.
The burner dominates the left.
The burner dominates the left.
The ports are gathered on the right.
The ports are gathered on the right.
The caps lock key has its own status LED.
The caps lock key has its own status LED.
The num lock key also has a status LED.
The num lock key also has a status LED.
The power button is also illuminated.
The power button is also illuminated.
Three status LEDs: Power supply, power & Wi-Fi.
Three status LEDs: Power supply, power & Wi-Fi.
The keyboard features a red backlight.
The keyboard features a red backlight.
The lit touchpad LED indicates the pad's deactivation.
The lit touchpad LED indicates the pad's deactivation.
The webcam has a resolution of 2 MP and is well-suitable for video calls.
The webcam has a resolution of 2 MP and is well-suitable for video calls.
The underside is completely made of plastic.
The underside is completely made of plastic.
The battery is easy to remove.
The battery is easy to remove.
The maintenance cover is easy to open but only allows accessing a few components.
The maintenance cover is easy to open but only allows accessing a few components.
Both HDDs come from HGST and have a capacity of 1.5 TB.
Both HDDs come from HGST and have a capacity of 1.5 TB.
Accessing all components is not possible even when the base plate is removed.
Accessing all components is not possible even when the base plate is removed.
Cleaning the fan is very inconvenient to do.
Cleaning the fan is very inconvenient to do.
The cooling system finds its limits in full load.
The cooling system finds its limits in full load.
The power supply unit has a nominal capacity of 180 Watts.
The power supply unit has a nominal capacity of 180 Watts.
No matter what we tried, the HD 4600 clocked with 600 MHz.
No matter what we tried, the HD 4600 clocked with 600 MHz.
CrystalDiskMark (SSD)
CrystalDiskMark (SSD)
HD Tune (HDD)
HD Tune (HDD)

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Pro

+Strong performance bundle
+Bright screen with decent contrast
+Spacious storage
+Swift SSD drive
+Blu Ray burner
+Good sound
+Decent input devices
 

Cons

-Sensitive high-gloss components
-Cooling system too weak
-Poor fan management
-Adversely placed fans
-GTX 770M throttles during permanent load
-Streaks (high response time)

Shortcut

What we like

The components are strong and have lush peripherals that barely leave anything to be wanted.

What we miss

A decently working fan management and a generally more effective cooling system would be appreciated.

What surprises us

Toshiba labels its product as a gaming laptop but installs a screen that has a fairly long response time and that shows streaks.

The competition

The contenders are DevilTech Fragbook DTX, One K73-3N, Schenker XMG P703, Asus G750JH and MSI GT70.

Rating

Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R
03/18/2014 v4
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
72 / 98 → 73%
Keyboard
77%
Pointing Device
72%
Connectivity
72 / 91 → 79%
Weight
54 / 66 → 79%
Battery
55%
Display
74%
Games Performance
94%
Application Performance
96%
Temperature
78 / 95 → 82%
Noise
78 / 90 → 87%
Audio
80%
Average
75%
81%
Gaming *
Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Toshiba Qosmio X70-A-11R Notebook
Author: Daniel Schmidt, 2013-09-21 (Update: 2013-09-23)