Unfortunately, the lack of quality screen options is our main bugbear with most AIO PCs, and the 23in, 1,920 x 1,080 Toshiba joins the crowd. You see, like budget monitors, most AIOs use TN panels, which suffer from poor viewing angle characteristics. The only readily available exceptions are the 27in iMac and
HP TouchSmart 610, which both use high-quality IPS panels – the same type used in monitors for professional photographers and digital artists.
Thankfully, the Qosmio DX730’s screen is at least one of the better TN displays we’ve come across, nearly rivalling that of the 21in iMac. Viewing angles do suffer from the tech’s telltale contrast shift, but you have to be quite far to the side to see it. Colour shift is a bit more dominant with whites turning yellow quickly, but this is less of an issue for daily use.
The good news continues with contrast, which is up there with the best of the rest. Blacks are deep without compromising subtle dark detail, and colours are reasonably vibrant without being oversaturated. The glossy screen finish does cause annoying reflections but also enhances the perception of these strengths. Excellent sharpness and no noticeable artefacts round out a good performance, though the colour shift means it’s not ideal for colour-sensitive work.
Though Toshiba has partnered with Harmon/kardon for its laptop speakers with superb results in the past, for its first AIO PC it has decided to go with Onkyo. Of course, with gems like the Onkyo TX-NR709 under the latter Japanese company’s belt, that’s certainly no bad thing, and in practice it does lead to good performance – if not quite as impressive as we were hoping.
The speakers offer up plenty of detail at a decent volume level, though distortion does creep in at maximum. The subwoofer is a tad subpar, providing just enough oomph to make its presence felt but never giving adequate punch to match the average dock, for example. Overall, it’s not a huge step above the MSI Wind Top AE2400 but for most activities, external speakers won’t be required.
Speaking of which, the Qosmio DX730 shares the same awesome Sleep & Music technology we first came across on the Toshiba NB520. This means you can plug in an MP3 player or other audio source and use the PC’s speakers even when it’s turned off. It’s a genuinely useful innovation that we wish every computer offered.