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Toshiba Qosmio G45-AV680

>> Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Toshiba Qosmio G45-AV680 goes for a two tone look, with a black lid offset against a white interior. The glossy plastic finish is attractive, even if we generally prefer the matte look, but can be seriously fingerprint prone. A huge silver Qosmio logo sits on the back of the lid, so this isn't the laptop for those who would rather not broadcast their brand preference to anyone nearby.

At a little more than 10 pounds and 17 inches wide, this is a huge system, rivaling other bulky 17 inch laptops we've seen lately, such as the Alienware m9750. Hauling it, even from room to room, is a pain, but home theater laptops like this aren't meant to be moved very often. Like the Alienware m9750, the Qosmio G45 moves the optical drive bay to the front, making it easier to access unless, like us, you had the system sitting on a laptop stand with rubber feet that partially block the front panel.

Conversely, the HDMI output, important if you want to use the built in HD DVD drive with a plasma or other big screen external display, is on the rear panel, which can be hard to access.

By way of comparison, most laptops have the optical drives and video outputs on the side panels. While desktop replacement laptops often have a lot of quick launch and media control buttons, we have yet to see one with as many options as the Qosmio G45.

Besides the usual array of touch sensitive media control buttons above the keyboard, there is a large, silver colored volume jogwheel to the left of the keyboard and an AV control wheel, which uses a four way rocker switch to control media functions, to the right. The controls are fun to use, but we found the blue backlighting annoying, until we found the button to turn it off (it's on the row of buttons above the keyboard).

The laptop's multimedia functions are rounded out with a basic external USB TV tuner and a Media Center remote control. The remote is useful, but we've had plenty of experience with PC TV tuners and have yet to find one that's ready for prime time. Toshiba is going for a first with the Qosmio G45, making it the first U.S. laptop to feature a recordable HD DVD drive.

While Toshiba is nice enough to throw in a single recordable blank disc, we agree with the common assessment that the HD DVD or Blu-ray format wars are far from over, and can't think of too many reasons why you'd want to tie yourself into just one next gen format at this point. We'd gladly trade the HD DVD drive, recordable or not, for $500 or so off the price.

At least the screen is up to the task of playing back high definition movies. The 17 inch LCD display offers a 1,920x1,200 native resolution, which is enough to display the full 1080p resolution of HD DVD discs. That's a feature lacking from some other laptops with high definition optical drives, including the Sony VAIO FZ180 and the HP HDX.

2 comments:

Mishuk January 15, 2009 at 9:19 AM  

nice attractive, very much needed posts. Gave u ssssmiles.also expect ssssmiles to http://tourabroad.blogspot.com/2008/11/darpa-teams-up-with-arteriocyte-to.html .Thank u. surely tell me when u need smile.go ahead.

top celebrity January 15, 2009 at 10:20 AM  

nice laptop... but it must expensive

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