Toshiba Qosmio X300-130

Toshiba’s Qosmio X300-130 holds a lofty price tag of US $2178 and the company reckons this desktop replacement ‘combines massive performance with ground-breaking style’. Is there substance to both of Toshiba’s claims?

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Toshiba Qosmio X300-130
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  April 14, 2009

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Key Specs

Display adapter: GeForce 9800M
Display screen: 17-inch
Internal storage: 2x 320GB
Memory: 4GB
Networking: Bluetooth, WiFi, Gigabit

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Toshiba’s Qosmio X300-130 holds a lofty price tag of US $2178 and the company reckons this desktop replacement ‘combines massive performance with ground-breaking style’. Is there substance to both of Toshiba’s claims?

On one hand we’d have to say no because in terms of style and aesthetics, the Qosmio X300 failed to strike a chord with the team. Our test sample boasts a black and red colour scheme (known as ‘Fire Shark’ by Toshiba) that while distinctive was just too ‘in your face’. This is made worse by the fact that the notebook has considerable bulky dimensions and is hefty in terms of its weight. If you look beyond the ‘in your face’ body however, there’s plenty to like under the hood.

The machine boasts a 2.8GHz Penryn dual-core processor and it is bolted to a motherboard that packs Intel’s PM45 Northbridge chip. Four gigabyte of DDR2 memory are also on offer and these strong core components told us straightaway that the machine would be something of a beast. That said Toshiba hasn’t chosen the best operating system (OS) for the job by going with the 32-bit version of Windows Vista Home Premium SP1. This is simply because a 32-bit OS won’t be able to use the machine’s full four gigabytes of memory due to limitations with 32-bit memory addressing.

Moving on, the Toshiba also boasts strong storage components in the form of two 320Gbyte hard drives and a dual-layer DVD writer. The only component we missed was a Blu-ray optical drive for HD movies.

As a gaming machine, the notebook has all the right stuff; the 17-inch LCD screen runs at a native resolution of 1440 x 900 pixels and it is fed by a nVidia GeForce 9800M GTX GPU with 1Gbyte of dedicated memory. This gives it serious gaming potential and we’re happy to say that the machine didn’t disappoint when it came to real-world benchmarks.

Running our DirectX 9 F.E.A.R benchmark on the Qosmio, it returned a butter smooth framerate of 149fps. Moving up to the more modern DirectX 10 benchmarks, Company of Heroes and World in Conflict returned results of 124.8fps and 32fps respectively. The notebook managed these results running all the aforementioned titles in ‘High’ detail at the notebook’s native resolution. The games looked great too because the screen offers a bright, well contrasted display that is ideal for high resolution gaming and photo viewing.

On the audio front the X300 is a star once again because it packs a Harmon Kardon four speaker setup and a dedicated subwoofer. As a result it returned crisp and, when cranked up, loud audio with no jarring or muddiness whatsoever. Bass is also quite strong and this means you can easily watch DVD movies or play games without having to deal with flat, lifeless audio.

Pros: Able to run DirectX 9 and 10 games at playable framerates, swift apps machine, oodles of storage, brilliant screen, strong audio system.
Cons: Not the right OS, overdone exterior, bulky.
Verdict: If you've got the cash, this notebook can tackle both apps and games with ease.

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