Review Price £999.00
As already mentioned, we’re looking at the mid-range Toshiba DX730-102, with an Intel Core i5 CPU, 6GB of RAM, integrated Intel graphics and a 1TB hard drive. Configurations with up to a Core i7, a whopping 16GB of RAM and huge 2TB hard drive might be in the pipeline, but that will probably be overkill for most. A genuine reason to go for the current higher-end model would be its dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 540M graphics though, since - as you’ll see below – the 102’s integrated effort is only just adequate for casual or older titles.
Mind you, we have no complaints of the processor. The Core i5-2430M is a dual-core chip with support for up to four virtual cores and a default clock speed of 2.4GHz, which can Turbo clock up to 3GHz. It will happily handle any productivity tasks you might throw at it, and is even up to light video editing.
Likewise, 6GB of RAM should be plenty to be getting on with - though quite a few retailers are selling a version of the DX730-102 that has 4GB, which is still sufficient for most. 1TB of storage is fairly generous and as it’s easy to upgrade or expand using external drives, we wouldn’t worry about running out of space.
Graphics are the DX730-102’s weak point, at least if you’re into 3D gaming. Mind you, old and undemanding titles like TrackMania Nations Forever will run just fine, but in a ‘proper’ game like Stalker Call of Pripyat, the Intel HD 3000 graphics only managed a barely playable 19.4 frames per second average, and that was at Medium Detail and 720p. The one advantage of not having more powerful graphics is that the Qosmio DX730-102 stays nice and quiet even when under load.
Value & Rivals
Value is difficult to assess, as for now this particular configuration of the DX730 is available exclusively from Costco for £999inc VAT. Other configurations are available from various etailers, but these tend to be significantly less powerful, with the most widely stocked model combining a Pentium B930 2.1GHz and 4GB of RAM for around £580.
Unfortunately, our £999 review model gets shot down straight away by the award-winning HP TouchSmart 610, which in its most recent incarnation will set you back the same amount for a machine with the same CPU and hard drive, but dedicated AMD Radeon graphics, a Blu-ray drive, far better peripherals and, most importantly, a 23in IPS screen that’s miles above the competition and folds down to almost flat for easy touch. The word here is “owned”…
If a thousand quid is above your budget, a Core i3 TouchSmart 610 with Intel graphics, 4GB of RAM and a 750GB HDD can be had for as little as £800. However, at lower price points the Qosmio DX730 does become more competitive.
We generally like Toshiba’s first foray into the all-in-one PC market. The Qosmio DX730 is a reasonably attractive and compact machine with a wealth of options and connectivity. Its 23in Full HD screen is decent, as is the audio experience from its Onkyo speakers, and it’s only let down by poor included peripherals. The DX730’s main problem is that the established competition offers more for less at the high-end, so only if you’re looking for a sub-£700 PC will the Toshiba Qosmio DX730 range truly appeal.
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