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Toshiba Qosmio X500-10T - 18.4in Laptop review

Ardjuna Seghers

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Summary

Our Score

7/10

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It’s been a while since we looked at one of Toshiba’s Qosmio laptops. In fact the last one was the G50-115 way back in 2008. That machine was let down by a poor screen and Toshiba’s reluctance to embrace Blu-ray, making the high price tag difficult to stomach. Toshiba appears to have seen the error of its ways in the Qosmio X500-10T that, among other things, boasts a Blu-ray writer drive.

In terms of specifications it certainly grabs the attention, which it should considering you’ll have to cough up £1,600 for the privilege of owning it. For this you get highlights such as an Intel Core i7 Mobile processor, an nVidia GeForce 200-series mobile graphics chip, 8GB of RAM, 1TB-worth of hard disk space and a 18.4in Full HD screen to display those Blu-rays on, which is an impressive list for the money.

Being part of the X500 range marks this machine as one intended for high definition entertainment and gaming. This explains the more garish design, with Toshiba's now ubiquitous pinstripe patterns joined by red highlights around the lid, the body and on selected items such as the speakers and touchpad buttons. This won't be to everyone's taste and the X500 certainly divided opinion in the office, but to Toshiba's credit this model is an improvement on the outrageous X300 that preceded it and is more subdued than many competing offerings. Toshiba’s insistence on glossy interior finishes is less praiseworthy, so you’ll constantly need to wipe away fingerprints and grease to keep the X500-10T looking at its slightly gaudy best.

Thankfully the tile-style keyboard is semi-matte and, as we’ve come to expect from Toshiba, a pleasure to use. Key travel is shallow but well-defined, layout and spacing are ideal, and the large chassis has allowed Toshiba to add a full number pad. Best of all, the keyboard is clearly backlit in white, making it a doddle to use in the dark. It's a bit odd, though, that Toshiba hasn't opted for red backlighting to match that of rest of the system.

To the left of the Qosmio’s keyboard reside a physical power button and Toshiba’s standard set of touch controls, which are identical to those found on the Satellite P500 laptop. These include a green-backlit 'Eco' button for activating the power saving mode, as well as the usual variety of multimedia buttons - all of which are backlit in red. These touch buttons are nicely sensitive and dim briefly to indicate a successful press. They also produce a horrible loud beeping noise when touched, which thankfully can be switched off using the 'Toshiba Assist' software.

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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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