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Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q review: Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q

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The Good Very powerful components; excellent screen; good trackpad; plenty of storage.

The Bad Pricey; unattractive keyboard.

The Bottom Line The Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q might be huge and have the sort of style that appeals to teenage boys but it packs some seriously powerful components for gaming and media use.

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8.3 Overall

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Toshiba's Qosmio X770 was an excellent laptop stuffed with potent nuggets of silicon that were easily capable of tackling demanding tasks and video games.

Toshiba has given it a refresh for 2012 with the X870-11Q, which packs the latest Intel Ivy Bridge chips and a spicy Nvidia GeForce GT670M graphics card, letting you play the latest games at the highest settings without much trouble.

My review model came with an Intel Core i7 processor, a whopping 16GB of RAM and will set you back £1,700.

Design and build quality

Like most of Toshiba's Qosmio range, the X870 is a chunky beast. It has to be, of course, as it's housing a gargantuan 17.3-inch screen. That should immediately extinguish any thoughts that this is the sort of laptop you'll be taking away on office trips or quickly whipping out on a train to send emails.

Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q thickness
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At 418mm by 272mm, this is no super-sleek ultrabook.

It measures 418mm wide and 272mm deep so it's not a machine that will sit comfortably in a shoulder bag. Find a suitable spot in your house and leave it there. Make sure your table's got good legs on it to support the not inconsiderable 3.4kg weight.

The whole chassis is wrapped in a metal/plastic alloy that's been given a deep steel-grey colour which, together with the red accents around the edge and under the lid, add up to a rather aggressive look. If you want a subtle-looking laptop for the office, this isn't going to be for you. But if angry styling gets you in the mood for some serious fragging, it's likely to be right up your proverbial.

Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q lid
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The snarling exterior won't be to everyone's taste.

It feels generally well put together, with only a touch of flex when you push down on the lid and the wrist rest. It clearly isn't something you're going to be carrying all over the place, where it could get knocked and bashed, but it's still good to know it could probably survive a tumble to the floor from the sofa.

The massive size and weight helps it sit firmly on your desk, making it comfortable for working on those marketing reports for hours on end, or more likely, playing Battlefield 3 into the early hours.

Around the edges you'll find four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, VGA out, headphone and microphone jacks, an Ethernet port and a Blu-ray drive. There's also a 1TB hard disk drive inside for storing movies and games and a fast 128GB solid state drive that should keep start-up times speedy.

Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q Blu-ray drive
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The Blu-ray drive will set you up for watching high-definition films on the huge 17.3-inch screen.

Keyboard and trackpad

Under the lid you'll find what seems to be Toshiba's standard laptop keyboard -- it's the same one it dumps on nearly all of its machines. That's sadly not a positive thing as the plain square keys and unappealing font detract somewhat from its style. The look of the keyboard might not be the biggest of issues, but when you're paying £1,700 for a laptop, you'd be right to be a little picky about aesthetics.

The keys offer a fairly standard typing experience. If I was really nitpicking, I'd say they're perhaps a little too easy to press, which led to some inaccuracies at first, but I quickly got used to the feel and I've certainly used worse keyboards.

The trackpad is a much better experience all round. For starters, it's huge, and doesn't have separate buttons, meaning all the space can be used for sliding your finger around. It's also pretty responsive, which makes quick cursor work in web browsing that much easier.

Of course, if you plan on doing a lot of browsing and office work on this thing, you'd still find your hands thanking you for a proper external mouse, but it's adequate. It has a pleasant matte texture to it that lets your finger glide across without any awkward sticking.

Toshiba Qosmio X870-11Q trackpad
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The massive trackpad is responsive and easy to sweep around.

Screen

The screen is arguably one of the shining lights of the X870, not least because it's so big. It measures 17.3 inches corner to corner, making it a good size for movies and games.

It's also packing a Full HD resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels so you can enjoy shiny new shoot-em-ups or Blu-ray discs at the optimum quality. If the 17-inch display doesn't quite cut it, you can always output your video to a TV using the HDMI port. But 17 inches is still a great size for catching up on the latest flicks in your bedroom or tackling gaming on the sofa.

Toshiba has a good track record of producing high-quality screens for its laptops and that's still the case with the X870. It's bold, bright and has great black levels, giving video and photos a 'pop' that movie buffs will particularly appreciate. I loaded up my Blu-ray copy of Art of Flight (which, as I've said before, is the best piece of film-making ever achieved by man), and it displayed extremely well, with crisp snow, bold colours and great contrast.

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