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Toshiba Qosmio X500-10T - 18.4in Laptop - Toshiba Qosmio X500-10T

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers
Reviewed:

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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colin

February 10, 2010, 4:21 pm

i looked at this as a relacement for my ageing xps gen2 but the graphics card put me off as well even a 300 series is still poor as these are mainly renamed 200 cards there appears to be a number of i7 laptops appearing most of which have poor 200 series cards which rather defeats the object of a gaming laptop the only one ive found with decent spec is acer 8942g same 18.4 screen i7 cpu ram from 4-8gb and an ATI 5000 series card all for between £1050-£1500 (if you can find one) waiting for a review before comitting hint hint

TechVegan

February 10, 2010, 9:48 pm

@colin:


I completely agree with your point. Especially considering that graphics cards are FAR more important to mobile gaming than CPUs, the choice in this Toshiba is disappointing.





As to the "hint hint", we'll see what we can do - I'm looking forward to seeing how ATI's latest mobile GPU measures up myself :)

betelgeus

February 10, 2010, 10:28 pm

the acer appears to come with a hd 5650 which is infact slower than the 250m,although it uses less power and is cooler,horses for courses.look at the asus g73jh series which comes with a hd 5870 now thats prorper gaming

betelgeus

February 10, 2010, 11:36 pm

scrub that it actually uses the hd 5850 which is on a par with the 360m.still both are disapointing at this price point.

Will 3

February 21, 2010, 9:45 pm

@ Ardjuna


Are the HDD's connected in RAID? More specificly does the laptop use an Intel (or other) Raid controller?





Second Question:


Do you have any experience with Toshiba support? e.g. do they provide up to date drivers...etc


I had a VAIO laptop and Sony support is non-existent; I don't want to repeat a situation where I buy an expensive laptop with no customer support.

xmeiro

March 21, 2010, 9:38 pm

@ Will


I have a Toshiba for 3 1/2 months now and when it comes to drivers Toshiba sends notifications when something new comes about. Up to now it was new Bluetooth software, new bios, new Lan driver, new wireless driver and 2 graphics card drivers.


The drivers indicated/supplied by Toshiba are usually not the latest available.





As for support for hardware failures I have no idea how it is: I specifically chose Toshiba because in the last 12 years my father always had Toshiba and never needed to find out how is their support because there was never any need for it. That is why when I needed a laptop I went for this brand. Hope the quality and long term reliability is still the same.





I suspect with high end gaming machines this is more a factor and may influence their choice of hardware as higher performance gear is more prone to fail.

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