As an AV machine, there’s a wealth of connectivity. At the front you’ll find a switch to turn the Wi-Fi on or off and the infra-red receiver is located there. This picks up the signals from the supplied remote, an improvement over last years model that required an external dongle. The remote is a customised Windows Media affair which looks better than the standard one.
On the right there’s actually an S-Video in port, and two sockets for an infra-red transmitters to control an external set-top box. There’s a small port for composite in, available via a supplied adaptor.
On the left there are two USB 2.0 ports, two PC Card slots, a mini FireWire port, and line out, SP/DIF out and a headphone jack while at the rear you’ll find an Gigabit Ethernet LAN port, another two USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI socket. S-Video out is also located are the rear as is the connector for the combined analogue/digital TV Tuner. This proved to be off excellent quality picking up a record 73 Freeview channels from the TrustedReviews office aerial, though many of these are radio stations. Scanning took only a few minutes and best of all picture quality was as good as it gets from Freeview.
All of this is powered by a Powerful Core 2 Duo processor – a T7200. This is two cores running at 2GHz with 4MB of Level 2 cache. Pretty impressive. There’s a healthy 2GB of RAM supplied and also two hard discs – both 100GB. These are only 5,400rpm but didn’t feel slow thanks to being set up in RAID 0 configuration. However, this does mean that you have two points of potential failure for your data. If you want more security you can set it up and RAID 1 mirroring but you’ll halve your capacity.
Graphics are handled by a decent GeForce Go 7600. It doesn’t qualify this as an all out gaming machine but you’ll be able to play recent games, though you’ll struggle to do so at the screen’s native resolution, as you can see from our testing.
Software supplied includes Norton Internet Security, Microsoft Works and Microsoft One Note. Office is supplied only as a trial.
As a whole the Toshiba is an impressive machine. Its feature list and choice of components is good but what raises it up is its integration. It really does feel like an entertainment powerhouse. The only omission is an integrated twin digital tuner. A greater problem is that there is some degree of gambling on HD DVD as a format that will still be here in a couple of years. You can always change the drive in a desktop PC, but you’ll be stuck with it in a notebook. It’s also not bad value considering that Sony and Hi-Grade are asking for the same or more for their Blu-ray media centres without a display.
Packed to the gills with connectivity and features, the Qosmio is a true entertainment powerhouse. It’s powerful enough for work and play, while HD DVDs looks great on its 1,920 x 1,200 resolution screen. It’s expensive, but this could be all the computer you need.