Toshiba Qosmio G30 HD-DVD laptop review

The Toshiba Qosmio has become something of an institute, as there really is nothing in its price class or styling. It’s aimed at the high-end media enthusiast, so you’ll find a stunning 17-inch Super-TFT panel that is so bright and clear it makes DVDs really come to life. There’s even a digital TV tuner built-in for when you want to watch and record your favourite television shows.

Backed by Harman/kardon speakers and a solid sounding subwoofer, you can get away without having to add surround-sound speakers.

Toshiba’s thinking behind these features is simply: it needs to look and act like the TV and DVD player it’s aimed to replace. True, you won’t want it as the sole TV in the house but for the bedroom or as a second system, it’s a winner.

There are cheaper versions of this model available, with prices starting at £1799 (inc. VAT) but we managed to get our hands on the top of the range just to see how impressive it really is.

Powered by an Intel Core Duo T2500, this 2GHz dual-core processor really packs a punch and backed by 1024MB of DDR2 memory and twin 120GB hard drives, you really can’t ask for more from a high-end system at present.

The second hard drive can be set up to handle RAID to make incremental backups of your main drive, so there is no fear of losing any you’ve saved on there.

What really makes this machine stand out from anything else on the market is the use of HD-DVD optical drive.

Naturally is a Toshiba drive, the Toshiba Tri-Format DVD/HD-DVD player and true, it’s only a player but we won’t start to see rewriter versions until later in the year.

For now, it comes bundled with a Hi-Def viewer. We couldn’t get our hands on any full length films but the DVD of trailers we were supplied with gave a great representation of what we can expect from future movies, which is simply breath-taking and once you’ve experience Hi-Def there really is no going back to standard movies.

Graphics are courtesy of the Nvidia GeForce Go 7600, which is a mainstream offering and the only “non” top-of-the-charge component on offer here. You can get great a great gaming experience out of this card and it handles everything well, it’s just there are faster cards around.

It’s not all fun and games as the chassis weighs 4.7kg and you really feel that weight when holding it for a short time. So, you won’t be taking this machine on the road with you but it’s not intended to be, as we can make allowances there. The same goes for the battery life. We managed a little over 2 hours, so you can watch more movies but don’t plan on getting through any sequels too.

Verdict

Yes it's expensive but the type of person who is going to buy the Qosmio isn't looking for a budget machine, they are looking for the best in components with no compromise and as far as we’re concerned, the Toshiba Qosmio G30 scores on every level.