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Toshiba Qosmio X500-10T - 18.4in Laptop
It’s been a while since we looked at one of Toshiba’s Qosmio laptops. In fact the last one was the G50-115 way back in 2008. That machine was let down by a poor screen and Toshiba’s reluctance to embrace Blu-ray, making the high price tag difficult to stomach. Toshiba appears to have seen the error of its ways in the Qosmio X500-10T that, among other things, boasts a Blu-ray writer drive.
In terms of specifications it certainly grabs the attention, which it should considering you’ll have to cough up £1,600 for the privilege of owning it. For this you get highlights such as an Intel Core i7 Mobile processor, an nVidia GeForce 200-series mobile graphics chip, 8GB of RAM, 1TB-worth of hard disk space and a 18.4in Full HD screen to display those Blu-rays on, which is an impressive list for the money.
Being part of the X500 range marks this machine as one intended for high definition entertainment and gaming. This explains the more garish design, with Toshiba's now ubiquitous pinstripe patterns joined by red highlights around the lid, the body and on selected items such as the speakers and touchpad buttons. This won't be to everyone's taste and the X500 certainly divided opinion in the office, but to Toshiba's credit this model is an improvement on the outrageous X300 that preceded it and is more subdued than many competing offerings. Toshiba’s insistence on glossy interior finishes is less praiseworthy, so you’ll constantly need to wipe away fingerprints and grease to keep the X500-10T looking at its slightly gaudy best.
Thankfully the tile-style keyboard is semi-matte and, as we’ve come to expect from Toshiba, a pleasure to use. Key travel is shallow but well-defined, layout and spacing are ideal, and the large chassis has allowed Toshiba to add a full number pad. Best of all, the keyboard is clearly backlit in white, making it a doddle to use in the dark. It's a bit odd, though, that Toshiba hasn't opted for red backlighting to match that of rest of the system.
To the left of the Qosmio’s keyboard reside a physical power button and Toshiba’s standard set of touch controls, which are identical to those found on the Satellite P500 laptop. These include a green-backlit 'Eco' button for activating the power saving mode, as well as the usual variety of multimedia buttons - all of which are backlit in red. These touch buttons are nicely sensitive and dim briefly to indicate a successful press. They also produce a horrible loud beeping noise when touched, which thankfully can be switched off using the 'Toshiba Assist' software.