Gorgeous 1080p display; Powerful performance; Impressive audio; Sexy styling
Slight gaming frame rate issues; Undersized directional keys
The Toshiba Qosmio X75 is a gaming notebook whose raucous power, gorgeous display and sexy design will surely get your blood pumping.
Toshiba has unleashed the latest version of its Qosmio-series gaming rig, and this iteration is the best one we've seen yet. Packing a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M graphics chip, the relatively affordable Qosmio X75 ($1,769 as configured), can absolutely fly. Still, this rig has some serious competition from ASUS and Alienware. So should you be pwning noobz on this new Qosmio?
As with the previous generation, Toshiba has cloaked the Qosmio X75 in its Black Widow-style textured aluminum. The texture, which closely resembles a snake's trianglelike scales, coats everything from the laptop's lid to its keyboard deck. Fortunately, Toshiba has done away with the gaudy backlit Qosmio logo emblazoned across the center of the previous generation's lid. In its place, Toshiba chose to go with a more understated chrome Qosmio emblem situated in the lid's lower right corner.
Measuring 16.5 x 10.7 x 1.2-1.7 inches and weighing a hefty 7.4 pounds, the Qosmio X75 is slimmer than the ASUS G750JX-DB71, which measures 16.1 x 12.5 x 0.66-1.9 inches and weighs 8.8 pounds. The enormous Alienware 17, meanwhile, measures 17.9 x 12.9 x 0.7-1.9 inches and weighs a neck-straining 9.2 pounds.
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We were struck by how beautiful the Qosmio's display looked, providing razor-sharp text and vibrant colors. While watching a trailer for "The Wolverine," fine details were easily visible and colors seemed to jump off the screen and viewing angles were sufficiently wide. Next to the ASUS G750JX-DB71, the Qosmio's colors absolutely popped, especially the character Yukio's red hair. Still, the Alienware 17 offers the best color balance in this category.
With a brightness rating of 297 lux, the Qosmio X75's display easily outshined the ASUS G750JX's 240 lux rating, as well as the desktop replacement category average of 249 lux. Still, the Alienware 17 came out on top with a brightness rating of 307 lux.
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Keyboard and Touchpad
Thanks to its large dimensions, the Qosmio gets both a full-size keyboard and number pad. Unfortunately, the arrow keys located on the keyboard's left side are disproportionately small, which could cause a problem for gamers who use them to navigate while playing games.
In general, we found the Qosmio's keyboard to be comfortable to type and play games with. The flat chiclet-style keys were responsive and offered excellent feedback. Still, we usually like to see gaming laptops with traditional keyboard layouts, such as the Alienware 17, as it is easier to slide your fingers from key to key without any wasted motion.
The Qosmio's large 4.5 x 3.1-inch touchpad proved especially useful while gaming, as it allowed to pan across the screen without having to lift our fingers as much. Multitouch gestures including pinch-to-zoom, two-finger scroll and rotate worked without fail. Windows 8 gestures such as swiping in from the right to bring up the Charms menu also worked well.
With all of the high-end components Toshiba crammed into the Qosmio X75, you'd think it would generate enough heat to burn a hole in your desk, or at least torch your shorts. But to Toshiba's credit, it managed to keep the Qosmio's heat in check. After streaming a 1080p video on Hulu Plus for 15 minutes, the Qosmio's keyboard reached just 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the same as the laptop's underside. The touchpad was a bit warmer, reaching 86 degrees. The hottest point on the notebook, the area near its main fan, reached just 95 degrees. We generally consider temperatures of 95 degrees and lower to be comfortable. We noted the same temperatures when playing games on the notebook, with the exception of the area near the fan, which hit 110 degrees.
Ports and Webcam
Our configuration of the Qosmio X75 came strapped with a 2.4-GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-4700MQ Haswell processor, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD combined with a 1TB 5,400-rpm HDD. This laptop has so much firepower, it should be considered illegal in 29 states. We opened 10 tabs in Google Chrome, streamed an episode of "Breaking Bad" on Netflix and ran a security scan without noticing the slightest hint of slowdown.
Thanks to its 256GB SSD and 1TB 5,400-rpm HDD, the Toshiba Qosmio is both lightning-fast, while still offering enough storage space to save all of your favorite PC games. Because the Qosmio's Windows 8 and other important system files are stored on its SSD, we saw boot times of just 6 seconds. That blows the doors off of the Alienware 17's 35-second boot time, as well as the 31-second category average. The ASUS G750JX offered a strong test with its 11-second boot time, falling just short of the Qosmio.
The Qosmio X75 also offered impressive performance numbers on the LAPTOP File Transfer Test, copying 4.97GB of mixed media files in just 33 seconds at a rate of 154.2 MBps. That blasts past the category average of 121 MBps, but falls well short of the ASUS' 170 MBps and the Alienware 17's 182 MBps.
Despite falling behind the competition on the LAPTOP File Transfer Test, the Qosmio X75 turned it around on our OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro Test, matching 20,000 names to their corresponding addresses in just 3 minutes and 58 seconds. That easily passes the desktop replacement category average of 4:39, as well as the ASUS G750JX's time of 4:05 seconds. Still, the Alienware 17 came out on top with a time of 3:42.
Gaming and Graphics
How do those numbers translate into gaming performance? On the "World of Warcraft" benchmark with the graphics set to max and the resolution pumped up to 1920 x 1080, the Qosmio kept the action hustling along at 95 frames per second. And while that's much higher than the optimal frame rate of 60 fps, it's still below the category average of 101 fps. The ASUS G750JX, meanwhile, averaged 102 fps, while the Alienware 17 averaged 103 fps.
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On the more resource-intensive "BioShock Infinite," we recorded an average frame rate of 29 fps with the graphics on Ultra DX11 and the resolution set to 1920 x 1080. That's lower than the Alienware 17's 35 fps and the ASUS G750JX's 37 fps. Still, neither of the three notebooks could top the category average of 39 fps.
That said, when we kicked down the graphics to Very High, "BioShock Infinite" ran at a healthy 41 fps. The biggest difference between the Ultra DX11 settings and Very High is how the laptop renders particle effects and certain lighting aspects. If you're fine doing without those, you'll be more than happy running the game on Very High.
Toshiba estimates that the Qosmio's 8-cell battery will last for roughly 3 hours and 34 minutes on a single charge. But when we benchmarked the system using our LAPTOP Battery Test, which involves continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi with the display brightness set to 40 percent, the Qosmio's battery lasted for 4 hours and 9 minutes before calling it quits. That's also the same amount of time the Alienware 17 lasted on or battery test, and just 2 minutes shy of the desktop replacement category average of 4:11. The ASUS G750JX-DB7, however, lasted an impressive 4:57.
Software and Warranty
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Configurations and Value
If you're looking for a gaming rig, but want to save a few sheckles, you can opt for the $1,399 X70-ABT2G22. Equipped with a 2.4-GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-4700MQ processor, 12GB of RAM, a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M processor with 3GB of RAM and a DVD drive, it's nearly as powerful as our review unit, but for much less cash.
Want to go all out and get Toshiba's top-of-the-line gaming laptop? You can pick up the top-of-the-line Qosmio X70-AST2GX1, which includes the same components as our review unit, albeit with 32GB of RAM rather than 16GB, for $1,999.
An Alienware 17 with a similar configuration to our review unit would cost you roughly $2,024 and that doesn't include a Blu-ray recordable/ eraseable drive or a 256GB SSD. The ASUS G750JX-DB7, on the other hand, offers similar specs to the Qosmio, but costs $1,899 and doesn't come with a Blu-ray drive.
|CPU||2.4-GHz quad-core Intel Core i7-4700MQ processor|
|Operating System||Windows 8|
|RAM Upgradable to||32GB|
|Hard Drive Size||256GB|
|Hard Drive Speed||n/a|
|Hard Drive Type||SSD Drive|
|Secondary Hard Drive Size||1TB|
|Secondary Hard Drive Speed||5,400-rpm|
|Secondary Hard Drive Type||SATA Hard Drive|
|Optical Drive Speed|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M with Optimus Technology|
|Wi-Fi Model||Intel Centrino Wireless-N 2230 2x2 BGN + Wi-Di Capable|
|Touchpad Size||4.5 x 3.1 inches|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Microphone|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Lock Slot|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Headphone|
|Ports (excluding USB)||HDMI|
|Ports (excluding USB)||Ethernet|
|Ports (excluding USB)||VGA|
|Ports (excluding USB)||DC-in|
|Ports (excluding USB)||USB 3.0|
|Card Slots||3-1 card reader|
|Warranty/Support||1-year standard parts and labor warranty|
|Size||16.5 x 10.7 x 1.2-1.7 inches|