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Toshiba Satellite L870-11J review

An excellent screen can't mask usability issues with this laptop

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1600 x 900
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Decent performance
  • Good screen
  • Nice touchpad

Against

  • Battery life
  • Poor keyboard
  • No dedicated graphics

The Toshiba Satellite L870-11J works well as a desktop replacement, thanks to its large 17-inch screen and decent processing power. But there are occasional issues with the build quality and design that need pointing out.

Because this is a 17-inch machine, portability immediately becomes an issue. The Satellite L870-11J weighs a beefy 2.6kg and the dimensions stand at 409 x 267 x 31mm, meaning it's unlikely to be the first device you reach for before you head out on a road trip.

Where the Toshiba excels is at performance on the big screen. The 17.3-inch Super TFT display is very bright and the glossy coating makes this an excellent laptop for watching movies or editing pictures.

The Toshiba sports 6GB of RAM, helping to keep the operating system swift and responsive. Under the hood is an Intel Core i5-2450M clocked at 2.5GHz. This is a second-generation Sandy Bridge processor and, while capable, it is likely to be superseded over the next few months by Intel's third generation Ivy Bridge machines. Because of this, we can't give the Toshiba any points for future-proofing.

There's no dedicated graphics chip inside the Toshiba Satellite L870-11J, meaning that high-end gaming is beyond the scope of this particular machine.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 105 minutes
Cinebench: 10,335
3DMark 2006: 4,827

Usability on the Toshiba is also a mixed bag. We were impressed with the large touchpad - the textured surface is different from the smooth palm rest and makes it easy and comfortable to use.

Unfortunately, the keyboard doesn't fair quite as well. The isolation-style keys are well-spaced, but the amount of travel is surprisingly small. Also, we couldn't help but notice the severe flex on the keyboard that occurred during typing.

There are the usual ports and connections to take advantage of - something we would expect from a 17-inch laptop although Toshiba has only furnished the Satellite L870-11J with three USB ports. Elsewhere you've got HDMI, VGA and Ethernet connections and the standard 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks.

Assault on battery

The battery life also gave us cause for concern. After running the Battery Eater benchmark program over a looped HD video, we only recorded 105 minutes before this laptop gave up and died.

It's hard to recommend the Satellite L870 unless you're specifically looking for an affordable 17-inch machine with a good screen. It underperforms when it comes to usability and the introduction of Ivy Bridge processors and Windows 8 later this year further serve to relegate it.

As a desktop replacement this will suffice. The asking price is another reason to give it a look over. But, there are better choices when it comes to 17-inch laptops.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity640 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time4.50 Hour
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilySatellite L870
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-2450M
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameToshiba
Processor Speed2.50 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size43.9 cm (17.3")
Screen Resolution1600 x 900
Standard Memory6 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.70 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, ENERGY STAR 5.0
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1.65 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyTruBrite
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height33.7 mm
Width413 mm
Depth268 mm
Screen ModeHD+
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesL870
ManufacturerToshiba
Product ModelL870-11J
Product NameSatellite L870-11J
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineSatellite
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberPSKBGE-005004EN
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.toshiba.co.uk
Marketing InformationDesigned for great everyday performance, Satellite range products are affordable but serve up the power, features and portability that even the most demanding home users require. You can buy Satellite products through an extensive network of high street and online retailers.
Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Satellite L870-11J
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year