Connectivity is fine: dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi is fast becoming the standard on all but the cheapest laptops, and there’s Bluetooth 4.0 and Gigabit Ethernet.
Around the edges you will find a decent laptop load-out. Pairs of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports mean there’s one more connector than most notebooks offer, and there’s an SDXC card reader, two 3.5mm jacks and both HDMI and D-SUB video outputs.
The benchmarks of Toshiba Satellite L70-B-11C are given as:
• PC-Mark 8 Home: 2,293
• PC-Mark 8 Home battery life power saver 25% screen: 5 hrs 36 mins
• PC Mark 8 Home High Performance 50% screen battery life: 3 hrs 38 mins
• 3DMark: Ice Storm: 31,828; Cloud Gate: 3,896; Fire Strike: 529
• Cine-bench R11.5: CPU: 2.48; Graphics: 16.23
• Cine-bench R15: CPU: 230cb; Graphics: 21.77
In PC-Mark 8’s Home test the Toshiba scored 2,293 points. That is a sliver ahead of the Lenovo Flex 2 15, which had a similarly-powered Core i5 part, but it could not catch its stable mate – the Toshiba Satellite S50D-A-10G, with its AMD APU, scored 2,611 points. The Toshiba proved more successful in the Cine-bench tests. In version R15 of the benchmark the L70 scored 230 points – the same score as the Lenovo, and ahead of the 118 scored by the Toshiba.
The L70 might trade blows with the competition, but it’s unable to pull ahead of any of its rivals. It is a machine that is comfortable with low-end tasks and general computing, but it will not handle anything more demanding.
The Toshiba does not impress a lot in gaming tests. Its result of 31,828 in the low-intensity 3D Mark Ice Storm benchmark lags behind both rivals, and the gulf is clear in the tougher Fire Strike test. In this high-end benchmark, the L70’s 529-point result is only ten points behind the Lenovo, but it’s less than half the pace on offer from the other Toshiba. If you want a laptop that’s affordable but can still play games, the L70 isn’t it – buy the S50D instead. Our standard battery test uses PC-Mark 8’s Home benchmark with balanced power mode and the screen at 50% brightness. During the review time, The Lenovo lasted for 3 hours 38 minutes, which isn’t far behind the S50D – and more than thirty minutes more than the Lenovo managed. It was increased the L70’s result to beyond five hours by using Power Saver mode and toning down the screen brightness.
The screen has a 1,600 x 900 native resolution. That’s an improvement on the 1,366 x 768 screens found on most budget 15.6-inch laptops – including both rivals – but it still feels disappointing. With a 17.3-inch diagonal, we would have preferred a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, which would have improved the L70’s versatility and made Windows 8.1 and its icons look smaller and sharper. As it is, the entire OS looks overblown and rough around the edges. The overall benchmark results also indicate that this screen isn’t cut out for serious work.