Toshiba Qosmio G15-AV501
One of two new installments in Toshiba's Qosmio line of mobile entertainment laptops, the $2,999 G15-AV501 offers a bit more oomph than the inaugural model, the . With more powerful components and all of the added benefits of , the Qosmio G15-AV501 looks to play the part of laptop, TV, DVD player, personal video recorder, and gaming machine, all at once. Also check out the brand-new, 15.4-inch wide-screen .
Upside: The G15-AV501 represents the high end of the Qosmio lineup. Most significantly, it features a gigantic, 17-inch WXGA display that's big enough to do nicely as your primary TV and movie screen; it's a serious step up from the Qosmio E15's 15-inch, standard-aspect panel. Another major improvement is the move to Nvidia's GeForce FX Go 5700 graphics chip, with 128MB of dedicated video memory--enough to make this laptop a prime-time gaming contender. The G15-AV501's other upgrades, while nice, represent baby steps: a slightly faster, 1.8GHz Intel Pentium M 745 processor and a 100GB hard drive (compared to the E15's 80GB). Also featured, of course, is, which gives you greater freedom in capturing, editing, managing, and playing your digital content.
Downside: We're psyched that Toshiba got wise and gave the Qosmio G15-AV501 a big-time, wide-aspect screen. We're less psyched that this screen features a somewhat wimpy, 1,366x768 native resolution, which affords considerably less screen real estate than many other laptops with comparably sized displays. The 17.1-inch wide-screen panel on the , for example, has a 1,920x1,200 native resolution that makes for a truly large and crystal-clear viewing area.
Outlook: This time around, the Qosmio appears somewhat less gimmicky, and we think that with the G15-AV501, Toshiba has made some important corrections to the original Qosmio design. Still, battery life and computing performance will ultimately determine whether this laptop is a true digital Swiss Army Knife or another four-in-one product that offers four times the mediocrity. Check back soon for a full review of the Qosmio line.