Manage your financials along with your frags with the Qosmio X500
Gaming laptops are generally big and heavy and don’t offer much in terms of battery life. Where they do shine is allowing you to carry your gaming rig with you. Now when we are expecting a gaming laptop to drop in, we usually think it would be an Alienware or an ASUS, so we were a bit intrigued when Toshiba called us asking if they can send their Qosmio for review. Our response was- hell yeah!.
Looking at the specifications, the Qosmio fits right at home with the bad boys of mobile gaming. Its based on the quad core Intel Core i7 CPU running eight threads at 1.60GHz along with 8GB RAM and a GeForce GTS 360M with 1GB dedicated frame buffer. That is enough to put most desktops to shame. However, Toshiba doesn’t stop there. The Qosmio is equipped with a beautiful 18.4” screen with full HD 1920×1080 resolution and a Bluray drive and quality harmon/kardon speakers to enjoy movies in full glory.
Storage is the only area where I think Toshiba could have improved upon. Even though the unit features two 500GB drives, they run at 5400RPM. Ideally, Toshiba should have replaced one of these drives with a 128GB SSD. For communications, you have the built-in wired Gigabit Ethernet along with the older 802.11b/g Wi-Fi standard. I wont be surprised if this gets bumped up to 802.11n specs though the lack of Bluetooth is a bit of a mystery.
The Toshiba Qosmio is certainly big and heavy but with its black body and red outlines, it looks pretty good. The left side of the keyboard has touch buttons to navigate your media as well as volume controls and a nice big power button. On the left side, you have a Gigabit network adapter, an eSATA and a USB port, a four pin Firewire port as well as the optical drive and a PC Express slot.
The front is mainly clean with the exception of a memory card reader and a wireless switch. Some LEDs also reside on the front for charging, disk activity etc. The right side has the power connector, VGA output, two more USB ports and audio input and output.
The huge size of the Qosmio allows for a full sized keyboard along with a nicely sized keypad below which sits the trackpad. The keys are a bit too glossy and slippery for my liking but then, so are the ones in many gaming keyboards such as the Razer Lycosa. Also, the multi-touch and gesture enabled trackpad is a bit small in size but considering that this laptop is mainly for gaming, you will connect an external mouse to it. Thankfully, Toshiba adds a button that quickly enables/disabled the trackpad.
The 18.4” Full HD TruBrite screen with an 8m response time is pretty impressive to say the least. While it has a bit of gloss factor, thankfully its nowhere close to what you see on an Apple MacBook Pro. The viewing angles are also better than most laptops we’ve tested of late and the slight glossiness certainly causes the colors to look pretty sharp. Playing games on the screen of this Qosmio is as equally impressive as watching Blu-ray movies using the Blu-ray drive.
The following are benchmarks for the Qosmio compared to the Sony VAIO Z11 which, while not a gaming laptop, is as close to one that we have in our office at the moment
Although the CPU and 3D performance on the Toshiba Qomsio X500 is much better than the Sony, the dual SSD drives on the Z11 destroy the Qosmio under hard drive benchmarks and thus effect overall system performance.
As expected, battery life on the Qosmio isn’t the greatest- it never is on gaming laptops. We managed to get about 90 minutes on it. Interestingly, the laptop never really got too noisy- something most gaming laptops are dreaded with. Running intensive benchmarks did make the fan come on but again, it wasn’t too noisy. Also, the only area that gets pretty warm is right on top between the speakers- an area you wont be accessing frequently. Toshiba has done a good job designing the cooling of the Qosmio X500
In summary, the Toshiba Qosmio X500 is an incredibly powerful laptop with a gorgeous screen which could’ve been a lot better had Toshiba equipped it with an SSD. At AED 9,099, the (US$2500), the Qomsio X500 is decently priced for a gaming laptop with such specifications.