Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

We’ve learned to expect great things from the Harman/kardon speakers Toshiba laptops generally use, and the Qosmio X500-10T is no exception. Trebles are clear and defined, bass comes across with plenty of oomph, and overall the sound-stage just feels deeper and richer than most laptops can manage.

So far, as long as you can get past the design this Qosmio gets everything right, but it’s when we get to the internals that things get really interesting. As mentioned it uses one of the new Intel Core i7 mobile processors, specifically the 1.6GHz 720QM. Although this is the slowest mobile i7 chip available, as we saw in our review of the Novatech X70 CA Pro it performs like a champion, easily besting the most expensive Core 2 Extreme processors the previous generation offered due to the Turbo Boost technology that allows is to run at up to 2.8GHz.

While most high-end laptops come with a maximum of 4GB of RAM, the X500-10T throws in a whopping 8GB of 1,066MHz DDR3 memory, meaning this is one area that’s pretty much as future-proof as a laptop is going to get. Currently, 8GB should be plenty for even the most demanding tasks, and overkill for most games.

Not to be outdone in permanent storage, Toshiba backs this with twin 500GB hard drives giving you 1TB of space, which in laptop land is pretty much as good as it gets. Additionally, both drives are protected by Toshiba’s 3D Impact Sensor, which among other measures parks the drive heads if it detects a fall or shock. Unfortunately, unlike the similar twin 500GB setup found in the Asus G60J, the drives here spin at 5,400rpm rather than 7,200rpm. It’s not a huge deal, but it does seem a little incongruous considering how high-end the rest of the system has so far been.

More surprising is the relatively poor nVidia video card Toshiba has chosen to use. Again, this is only relative to the rest of the system’s specifications, but for any machine claiming to offer "Premium gaming power and performance" we would have expected at least an nVidia GTX 260M rather than the 1GB GTS 250M provided here. You can forget about running Crysis with any decent detail levels at the screen’s native resolution, for example.

Its impact is not as dramatic in older or less demanding titles, with Call of Duty 4 running at a perfectly smooth 38.5fps average on 1,920 x 1,080 with detail turned up to maximum. Just to put this into context with desktop gaming performance though, the £600 CyberPower Infinity i5 Hercules SE manages 88fps under the same conditions, showing just how much of a premium mobile gaming demands. Back to laptop comparisons, at the Asus G60J’s native 1,366 x 768 resolution its GTX 260M gave 75fps where the Toshiba’s GTS 250 provides 60.4fps.

Of course the card handles HD video processing perfectly, but then so would the cheapest integrated nVidia chip available. The only other benefit to the GTS 250M are its increased CUDA abilities, though these have a narrow appeal. Elsewhere the X500-10T continues its comprehensive feature set though, with an HD (1,280 x 800) webcam being an unusual highlight. Wireless connectivity, meanwhile, is provided by both Wireless-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR.

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