Hands-On: Toshiba Qosmio X500 Packs Core i7, Less Flames

Toshiba's new multimedia monster, the 18.4-inch Qosmio X500, wil rock your world--subtly. You don't get the flame graphics that adorned its predecessor, which we think is a good thing. And yet under its somewhat tame exterior resides Intel's new quad-core Core i7 processor and Nvidia's new GeForce GTS250M graphics chip with a full gigabyte of video memory. Not bad for less than $1,500.

Check out our video walkthrough of the understated (you might even say elegant) design below, along with a rundown of the very powerful specs.

Less is More

In lieu of any emblazoned graphics, the notebook's black lid instead bears a subtle pattern and the red Qosmio logo, printed in a font that seems oddly retro compared to the hot specs. Those red accents continue on other parts of the chassis, from the rimming on the side of the notebook, to the touch buttons and the twin speaker grilles above the keyboard. The lid's black pattern, meanwhile, matches the palm rest.

The touchpad, which has a nice, textured feel, also supports multi-touch gestures, which we hope the trackpad's spacious size will make easy to master. When I had the chance to get hands on, I was impressed with how tactile and roomy the buttons were (there's also a fingerprint reader wedged in between them).

The keyboard includes a number pad, and a matte coating that felt comfortable to touch.

Impressive Specs

In addition to a Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce GTS250M graphics, the Qosmio X500 comes with Windows 7 Ultimate, a fast 7,200-rpm hard drive and speedy DDR3 RAM. Awesomely, you can configure it to have an SSD alongside the hard disk. The 18.4-inch display is available with either 720p or 1080p resolution. On the multimedia front, this rig has a Blu-ray drive (a first for Toshiba),  Harman/Kardon speakers, Dolby Home Theater audio, and HDMI output.

The X500 series will be available beginning October 22, when Windows 7 begins shipping. We're excited to get our hands on one to test out. Until then, enjoy the video walkthrough.