Although you may want to move this laptop around, you probably wouldn’t take it with you on a cross-country trek. Toshiba’s newest Qosmio, the G45-AV680, is a great hulking laptop, weighing in at a hefty 9.9 pounds, with a glorious 17-inch 1080p widescreen. The system was given a much-needed design overhaul; in particular, it’s the first laptop with an HD DVD-R writable drive. Unfortunately, its high price tag is likely to scare off most would-be buyers.
The Qosmio’s high-definition experience is arguably the best in the media center laptop category. Toshiba’s software HD DVD player produces crisp, smooth, artifact-free image. The system’s HD DVD-R drive lets you burn and play back HD DVD content. And its four integrated Harman Kardon speakers. 1-bit amplifier, subwoofer, and Dolby 5.1 surround sound make the audio offerings the most powerful available in a laptop.
Toshiba skipped the integrated TV tuner, instead opting to include an external USD tuner and capturing device so that you can record TV content to the dual 160GB drives. Otherwise, the system is loaded with features, including five USB ports, a fingerprint reader, a FireWire port, and both an ExpressCard/34 and a PC Card slot.
The HD burning process lags behind its Blu-ray competition, occurring at a slow IX speed. And if you let Toshiba’s Disc Creator software verify the finished product, the process will take twice as long, since the program analyzes each file.
The Intel dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and discrete graphics card are set in stone on Toshiba’s Web site, but they are enough to handle most multimedia tasks and some 3D-intensive games (though not at a high resolution).
The Toshiba Qosmio G45-AV680 is not an economical way to score true 1080p content on your laptop. But if awesome surround sound and HD DVD burning capabilities are what you seek, this laptop delivers those goods and more.Toshiba Qosmio G45-AV680 Short ReviewsPrice range: $3,199 directCheck This Out:HP Pavilion dv9000: Grand NotebookThinkPad T61: Learn from NatureApple MacBook Pro 15-inch (LED)