The new Toshiba Qosmio X870 3D-capable gaming notebook is the company's refresh of last year's Qosmio X770 model. When it was first launched, the X770 was equipped with an NVIDIA GT560M graphics module, which was one of the best GPUs around (the higher end 580M only appeared on Alienware notebooks) on portable gaming platforms. This year, Toshiba is once again one of the first PC manufacturers inject Intel's 3rd-generation Ivy Bridge processor and NVIDIA's new top-tier Kepler GPU together into a gaming machine.
Toshiba seemed to have spent quite a bit of effort in redesigning the Qosmio X-series. The 17.3-inch Full-HD X870 (also 3D-capable) looks less 'organic' than the X770 with a lack of ostentatious red accents within the laptop. Instead, the red highlights (aluminium) are found on the sides of the X870. The lid is also covered with a brushed metallic look, which makes it appear classier than the average gaming notebook. After handling the 3.42kg X870, we also found the build quality to be slightly superior to its X770 predecessor.
Another change that can be found on the X870 is that it sports a much larger clickable trackpad than the one on the X770. The X870 also sports a swanky red aluminium border around the clickpad that adds to the X870's impressive aesthetics. Such an addition won't actually enhance your gaming experience, but it would make the X870 much more user-friendly when its performing as a regular personal computer. Thankfully, Toshiba didn't remove the backlit chicklet keyboard and its reddish glow which we liked on the X770.
When it comes to ports, the X770 didn't let us down in any way, and neither will the new X870 which comes with generous connectivity offerings of its own. It even has four USB 3.0 ports, thanks to the new chipset that accompanies the latest Ivy Bridge processors.
The Toshiba Qosmio X870 will retail in June for S$3,699
The Toshiba Satellite P850 (15.6-inch) is also a refresh of last year's Toshiba Satellite P750, and like the Qosmio X870, it is more than just a component update. One of the more interesting upgrades that the P850 received is its glasses-less 3D feature, first seen in last year's Toshiba Qosmio F750 gaming machine. Similar to the F750, the Satellite P850 also arrives in two models -- one with glasses-less 3D capabilities, and one without.
The differences between the two models are subtle. But the most glaring one is the disparity in screen resolution. The non-3D (2.5kg) model has a very low 1366 by 768 pixel resolution, and runs the new NVIDIA GT630M, while the glasses-free 3D (2.8kg) model has a Full-HD resolution of 1980 by 1080 pixels and runs a higher end GT640M. The glasses-less 3D model also has a special facial tracking webcam that is integral to how the glasses-free 3D technology works. And if it so happens that you bought a Toshiba 3D-capable television, you can also make use of the 2D to 3D conversion feature found on both models.
On top of receiving 3D capabilities, the P850 also looks distinctly different from last year's Satellite P750. This time round, it doesn't have the organic texture that the P750 had. And just like the more premium X870, it also sports a clickable trackpad (clickpad) that enhances your tracking experience. The chiclet keyboard that it has is more or less the same as the one found on last year's P750 model.
Another significant physical change with the P850 is that it comes with four USB ports. And thanks to the new Intel chipsets found in 3rd-generation processors, the P850 also boasts of USB 3.0 standards. It also has a full-sized HDMI slot, and a VGA port should you feel the need to plug in external monitors.
The Satellite P850 will retail in June for S$2599 (3D), and S$1599 (non-3D).
Along with the upper tier notebook models, of course, are the mid and lower tier models that are good for everything else other than gaming. Toshiba also took the chance to reintroduce to us to the Satellite 800 series of notebooks. On the top of this heap, we have the 14-inch (1366 x 768) M840, which comes with either an i3, i5 or the latest i7 processor. For casual gamers, there's also the AMD Radeon HD 7670M - a mid-range but adequate GPU. The M840 also comes in a metallic (fingerprint magnet?) finish in gold, pink or blue, and weighs only 1.99kg thanks to its ultra-slim DVD drive.
Next, we have the L800 series, which have models very similar to the M830 in terms of components (processor and GPU), but comes in three different sizes. There's a 13.3-inch (1.89kg), a 14-inch (2.12kg) and a 15.6-inch (2.41kg) model, but unfortunately, they all share a similar 1366 by 768 pixel resolution. However, do bear in mind that these notebooks are meant to be quite affordable, hence the low quality screens. For some users who prefer AMD processors, well there is that option as well.
Lastly, Toshiba also took the chance to familiarize us with the C800 series, which happens to be the most affordable series of the lot. Because they're supposed to cater to those on a tighter budget, there are options for 2nd-generation Intel Core i3, Pentium Dual and Celeron, or AMD processors too. On top of that, the C800 series also comes with a entry-level AMD Radeon HD 7610M GPU. There are two screen sizes to choose from, including a 14-inch and a 15.6-inch variation. Not surprisingly, these two models also sport the 1366 by 768 pixel resolution.
Most of the Satellite 800 series notebooks are already on sale, except for a lone model running a next-generation Intel processor which will reach us sometime in June. Retail prices for the M800 series will start from S$1199, the L800 series from S$1099, and the C800 series from S$869.