Review Price £999.00
Toshiba Qosmio DX730-102 – Connectivity, Peripherals and Touch
Connectivity on the Toshiba Qosmio DX730 is very good, and it’s stuffed with features. The right houses only the tray-loading optical drive, with the HD webcam and microphone neatly integrated in the screen’s top bezel. The rear features screw-accessible bays for upgrading memory and storage, while a cut-out panel houses a TV antenna connector, HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet jack and four USB 2.0 ports. Wireless duties are handled by the usual Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth combo.
The left side is where things get really interesting. Hidden behind the bezel here you’ll find an SD card reader, headphone and microphone jacks, and two USB 3.0 ports. There’s also a selection of buttons, which not only control volume and screen brightness, but also switch to the HDMI input and turn the screen off. The reason that last sentence is in italics is because it’s a surprisingly rare addition to AIO PCs, despite how obviously handy it is to turn the screen off without needing to put your computer into standby. Bravo Toshiba.
Toshiba’s bundled peripherals leave a mixed impression. It’s worth pointing out that the wireless mouse and keyboard don’t come with a dongle to take up one of your precious USB ports and that they’re pre-synced. On the other hand this does of course mean that you can’t use them with any other PC or laptop.
Like the DX730 itself, the mouse and keyboard are glossy-fronted and feel even cheaper. Thankfully, though the keyboard’s keys look shiny they don’t actually pick up fingerprints, even if its surround does. Still, their smooth surface is really unpleasant to the touch.
Thankfully, key feedback is decent enough with a fair amount of travel and only slightly mushy action. This actually makes it one of the better bundled keyboards we’ve come across recently, but that’s not saying much and we’d rather use an ordinary desktop keyboard from any decent third-party manufacturer.
The three-button, ambidextrous optical mouse makes the keyboard look premium by comparison, though it’s actually quite comfortable in the hand and its four-way, rubberized scroll wheel does the job. Gamers should immediately acquire another rodent though.
Last and least is the Windows Media remote, a horribly bulky and ugly thing that’s too thick to be comfortable even in large mitts. At least it uses AA batteries so you can switch to rechargeables.
Overall we’d say Toshiba’s peripheral selection is cheap and cheerful, but thankfully you can replace all three with something a little higher-end. Of course, thanks to the optical sensor tech embedded in the Qosmio DX730’s screen bezel (as used in nearly every other touch-enabled AIO PC), you can also use touch.
Touching the screen leaves rather obvious prints on its glossy finish. However, because the touch technology is based on sensors in the bezel rather than a capacitive layer, you can use anything you like as a pointer/stylus rather than your fingers: from bananas to the back of a marker pen. The system is also very sensitive, and sometimes hovering a micrometre away from the screen’s surface already results in input.
There’s support for a whopping two fingers at once, which is just enough to play the included Microsoft touch games and little gems like the Windows version of Plants Vs. Zombies (not included, unfortunately). It’s also plenty to navigate through Windows 7, which wasn’t designed with touch in mind but does cope, if a little awkwardly. You can always upgrade to the completely touch-minded Windows 8 at the end of the year though.