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Toshiba Qosmio X870 review: Toshiba Qosmio X870

The Qosmio is a fine gaming laptop. Choosing between this and Asus' G75VW is going to come down to personal preference and your wallet.

Craig Simms Special to CNET News
Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.
Craig Simms
4 min read

Toshiba's back with another gaming laptop, this time in third generation Core form. Qosmio's thing has always been red, and it doesn't disappoint here; the 17.1-inch laptop's trim and features are embellished with metallic red. It's otherwise a mixture of diamond-plated and faux brushed aluminium black plastic. It is actually quite understated compared to previous Qosmio efforts.


Toshiba Qosmio X870

The Good

Lighter than the competition. Highly specced. 120Hz screen.

The Bad

More expensive than the competition. Low battery life and no Optimus.

The Bottom Line

The Qosmio is a fine gaming laptop. Choosing between this and Asus' G75VW is going to come down to personal preference and your wallet.

It's also taken the rather odd path of being a Harvey Norman exclusive.

A big beastie with discrete graphics, the X870 isn't kind on the battery — even less so since Toshiba's decided to enable Nvidia's 3D Vision, which is incompatible with Optimus. As a consequence, Intel's HD Graphics isn't enabled and battery drain will be quite impressive, even when idling.


  • USB 3.0: 4
  • Optical: Blu-ray/DVD±RW
  • Video: VGA, HDMI
  • Ethernet: gigabit
  • Wireless: 2.4GHz 802.11n, Bluetooth
  • Audio: 2.1 Realtek audio

The dull-red backlit keyboard is welcome, however, only the primary keys light up — if you want to see function keys, you're going to have to turn on a light. As is increasingly the case, the function keys at the top have been inversed, so their primary duty is things like volume control and screen brightness. Hold down the Fn key, and you'll get F1 to F12 back.

The 1920x1080, 17.1-inch screen may be TN-based, but it manages decent colours, along with acceptable viewing angle, courtesy of its size.

Sound is passable, although the lack of a subwoofer in a machine this size hurts. There's no 5.1 out through re-assignable 3.5mm jacks either, just a headphone and microphone jack on the right — although, you'll have to figure out which is which yourself, as Toshiba's metallic red surfacing has no labels.

Four USB 3.0 ports, VGA, HDMI, gigabit Ethernet and an SD card reader make up the connectivity options, while wireless is handled by Bluetooth and 2.4GHz 802.11n.

Internally it's quite grunty, indeed, rocking a Core i7 3610QM, 16GB RAM, a 7200RPM 750GB hard drive and a hybrid 8GB SSD/1TB hard drive. There's also a GeForce GTX 670M, putting it directly in the firing line of Asus' G75VW. It's off to a good start: at 3.5kg, it's a whole kilo lighter.

Application performance

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia

Handbrake encoding (in seconds)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

iTunes encoding (in seconds)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Photoshop CS5 benchmark (in seconds)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

No surprises here, with an almost identical configuration to the G75VW, both machines returned near identical results. The Photoshop result was the most interesting, the 7200RPM hard drive in the Toshiba giving it a leg up on Asus' 5400RPM.

Gaming performance

Batman: Arkham Asylum
Playable on:
1920x1080, 4x AA, Detail level: Very high, PhysX off.
Metro 2033
Playable on:
1600x900, DirectX 10, MSAA 4x, Quality: Medium, PhysX: Off.
"="">Playable on:
The Witcher 2
1366x768, low spec.
Playable on:
1920x1080, medium detail

Interestingly, while the G75VW couldn't cope with Witcher 2 and played Skyrim on Medium, Toshiba's implementation managed Witcher 2 on Low, bringing it into the playable range, and Skyrim on High. We suspect that this is down to driver updates.

Battery life

Battery life (time)

  • Heavy battery test
  • Light battery test

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

All power and no Optimus makes the Qosmio hard on battery life. This won't be moving far from a wall.


The Qosmio is a fine gaming laptop, and choosing between this and the G75VW is going to come down to personal preference and your wallet. While the Toshiba is 1kg lighter and features speedier hard drives, it costs AU$500 more, loses the Thunderbolt/DisplayPort option and has a gloss screen. Our benchmarks do show better gaming performance, but we suspect this to be due to updated drivers.

While we're still holding out for a laptop with the elusive GTX 680M, if you need a gaming laptop now, you're spoiled for choice.