Toshiba's Qosmio Goes on a Diet

The first thing I noticed about the refreshed Toshiba Qosmio is that it's not insanely enormous like its predecessors were. The Qosmio X775 has shed a lot of weight from the last generation and lost an inch off of the screen. The result: it's nearly four pounds lighter! Most of the extreme gloss is gone, replaced by textured glossy surfaces that at least don't pick up fingerprints, and a sort of "Coca-Cola Can" red-and-gray coloration has taken over for the black-and-red of prior models.

What you'll notice just starting from the lid is the "Fusion X2 Finish" that's a glossy plastic heavily textured enough to not be prone to fingerprints. The two-toned red and gray is different and liable to strike some users well and others not so much, but I think we can all agree it's a massive improvement from the last generation. The shell also feels much less bulbous than before and indeed, it's a bit more akin to the design of the new Tecra R850 than the other consumer notebooks in Toshiba's lineup.

That comparison holds up when you open the Qosmio X775. The keyboard isn't the irritating glossy flat-style keyboard that the other consumer Toshibas have; it's again that chiclet style from the Tecra and Portege. This time, though, it's backlit a sinister red in line with the rest of the backlighting on the system. I'm a fan of the coloring and it makes the most sense when the Qosmio is open, where the red-into-gray gradient appears again above the keyboard. My only complaint there is that the keyboard backlight just doesn't stay on long enough, at least by default. The rest of the inside is textured the same way as the lid.

Of course there's a glossy black bezel around the screen, and I think this is because Toshiba engineers knew I'd be reviewing the Qosmio. The nicest thing I can say here is that it doesn't look out of place compared to the rest of the notebook, but I'll counter that by saying Toshiba needs to just get rid of the gloss. I've said it before and it bears repeating: no more gloss. The other vendors have largely moved away from it, Toshiba; it's time for you to follow suit.

I do wish the keys in the keyboard were a matte plastic, but given their contours and the overall shape of the keyboard I'm not too bothered by it. On the flipside, Toshiba continues to have one of the smartest keyboard layouts in the industry, with a fully standardized 10-key and every key you'd need accounted for in a smart place. The touchpad is also very easy to use and I had no trouble with it, though the action on the mouse buttons is just a little bit stiff.

The big takeaway with the new Qosmio is that as a gaming notebook, it competes squarely against the other 17.3" monsters in the market where before it was just a massive desktop replacement. Shedding a third of its girth while maintaining performance was a big win for Toshiba; I just wish their styling would be less ostentatious.

Introducing the Toshiba Qosmio X775 Application and Futuremark Performance
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  • arvee - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Nice to see two drive bays, a must-have feature for me now. But 2 RAM slots? What?

    You guys really need to take a look at the MSI GT780 for a review. I got one a month ago and am (mostly) in love, it was an easy decision to skip past the ASUS for this baby. My only complaint is about the keyboard but I suspect it may be particular to me and I have I'll be sending it back to them to check it out when I have time.

    Apart from the excellent specs on the MSI compared to the competition, I love the look of it because I'm not much of a gamer, more of a power user and I don't need awkward looks when I take it with me on business trips.

    -- Rod
  • randinspace - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    About the keyboard on your MSI laptop: it's NOT just you, their build quality just sucks... Fortunately humans are adaptable creatures and I've somehow gotten used to the keyboards ridiculous unresponsiveness after a few months with the laptop I have that was made by them.
  • arvee - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    The GT780 has a custom keyboard made and branded by Steelseries, they're using it as one of their major selling points. I am slowly getting used to it but shifting from the *beautiful* das keyboard on my desktop is quite an adjustment!
  • fgmg1 - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    What is up with the off-center touch pad? I used a couple laptops with the touch pad centered around the space bar (with a number pad) and found it very difficult to find my way to and from the keyboard and touch pad.

    Maybe I'm old fashioned and like my touch pads aligned center of the screen, but I kept fingers kept falling to the left (or off) of the touch pad. Perhaps my movements were strictly keyboard-to-touch pad and back; I was just using the notebook as a normal user, browsing the web and such.

    Either way, I was able accommodate, though throughout the process it felt somewhat unnatural. I almost felt as if I should shift my body slightly left for the keyboard/mouse -- which I did.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    The idea is that if you're typing, you'd have your palms resting to the left and right of the space bar, and you wouldn't want them on the touchpad. It looks a little odd, by my personal experience is that if the touchpad isn't directly below the space bar, I repeatedly brush it while typing -- that can suddenly move the cursor so I'm typing somewhere else, which is very annoying.
  • Paedric - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Would it be possible to have the GPU temperatures?
  • Meaker10 - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    They can contain castrated Nvidia cards, 128bit mem buses (instead of 192bit) and the associated ROPs are gone too.

    I am now running a 16F2 barebone (GT683R based) and IMO offers the best value proposal. It comes with an attractive list of features:

    15.6" form factor.
    2 HDD bays (plus optical)
    4 mem slots.
    1920x1080 screen
    Good speakers
    Good cooling (that does not draw air from below so you can use it on your lap)
  • Darkstone - Thursday, August 18, 2011 - link

    That is not true. All asus models i can find have 1.5GB or 3GB of memory. This means a memory bus with a multiple of 3. Thus, 192 bit.
  • Meaker10 - Friday, August 19, 2011 - link

    Oh look, all 15" models come with 2GB of ram.
  • jabber - Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - link

    Sorry but was it a 16yr old that designed the styling for that?

    If I pay that much money for a laptop then I want it to look a little grown up at least.

    Just a mess.

    And all those horrible stickers all over it. Horrid! Yes I know they can be peeled off but they make windows laptops look a mess in the showroom.

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