Alongside all-in-one PCs and high-spec Android tablets, Toshiba also had a premium gaming laptop on show today. Packing in the latest Nvidia notebook GPU and Haswell Intel processor, the Toshiba Qosmio X70 is a (relatively) portable gaming beast. We went hands-on earlier in a hotel playing host to Toshiba’s press event and share our thoughts here.“Relatively portable, you say?” That’s right – though billed as a gaming laptop, there’s some serious heft to the Toshiba Qosmio X70. Exact measurements haven’t been made available yet (and we didn’t attend today’s press event with weighing scales and a tape measure in our rucksack), but you’re looking at a laptop at the very least an inch thick at it’s chunkiest point, and weighty enough to make you think twice about carrying it over to a mate’s house. This is as much a desktop replacement as a laptop.In its defence, there’s some incredible power tucked under the hood though, and that space is needed to house it all and keep air flowing over all the hot-running components. The Qosmio X70 can be configured to include a Haswell Quad-Core i7 CPU, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 770M, a whopping 32GB of RAM over 4 slots and a 3TB HDD paired with a 256GB SSD. Though it’d push your bank balance into the red, that’s a formidable configuration.It’s certainly enough power to see many games shine on the machine’s 17.3 inch 1080p display. With an 8ms response time and LED backlighting it’s both responsive enough for hardcore gamers and vibrant enough for enjoyable Blu-ray playback from the included high-def disc drive, if a little reflective.
The Qosmio also continues the line’s in-your-face design sensibilities, with matte and gloss black plastics sitting alongside brushed aluminium elements and red accents. The keyboard too features red-glowing backlighting.We had a brief play through the introductory chapter of recent PC release Metro: Last Light on the laptop. The performance was incredibly impressive, given how demanding a title the game is. Running at the display’s native full HD resolution and all graphical settings set to their highest value (tessellation and anti-aliasing effects maxed out, and texture settings cranked up too), the game ran incredibly smoothly. Though we didn’t have the means to run a proper framerate test, to the naked eye it looked as though the game was hovering around a consistent 30fps mark – not a buttery smooth 60fps, but very playable indeed nonetheless. The machine obviously has some mean gaming chops, and should have no problem playing the current generation of top-tier, demanding PC games.We did make two slightly concerning observations however during the brief testing session. Firstly, the Qosmio X70 was running hot. Like really hot; we stood to the side of the machine to take a few photos (next to where its ventilation system is placed), and we thought for a moment that someone had turned the hotel’s radiators on, despite it being a summers day. Of course, gaming laptops always run hot, what with the powerful components crammed into such a tight space, but this seemed worryingly toasty.Our second issue came with the trackpad. Though comfortably sized and responsive, it wouldn’t allow us to move our Metro: Last Light character forward while also turning. Having not played the game on another computer, this could potentially be a quirk with the title as opposed to the machine (please do chime in in the comments section below if that’s the case), or maybe a problem with the pre-production model we were testing, or even an elusive setting having been activated. It’s probably nothing, but worth pointing out at this stage if it’s a system-wide problem that rears its head again upon release. We’ll keep an eye out.
Despite the concerns, the Qosmio X70, like last year’s model, again has the potential to be a winner. It’s certainly powerful enough to tempt pro gamers, who will wan’t to keep an eye out for it’s launch come Q3 2013. You’ll need to start saving now though if you’re interested, with prices starting at a high £1,499.