Priced at a reasonable £899, the Qosmio F50-10Z offers a wide range of multimedia features. It also houses Toshiba's new Quad Core HD processor, a chip separate to the main CPU that aims to boost video performance -- something we
Aesthetics were clearly high on the agenda for Toshiba when designing the Qosmio F50, but the glossy black and silver chassis looks and feels just a little tacky. A bewildering array of lights adorn the already over-the-top chassis -- thankfully one of the touch-sensitive buttons lets you turn the unnecessary ones off . Harmon Kardon speakers, controlled by an old-fashioned dial, manage to produce deep and rich, if not incredibly loud, audio.
The keyboard is sturdy and features very little flex, but the glossy coating is way too slippery for extended periods of typing -- a prime example of style over substance. Various ports are dotted around the chassis, including four USB (one of which doubles up as an eSATA port), one mini-Firewire, a multi-format card reader and an aerial socket for the hybrid (analogue and digital) TV tuner. There's also an HDMI output, though to make full use of this you'll need to add a Blu-ray drive, as only a standard DVD rewriter is included.
With a resolution of 1,200x800 pixels, the bright 15.4-inch widescreen display is good for 720p HD video, but not 1080p. True HD aside, Toshiba makes much of its Quad Core HD processor that's housed within the Qosmio F50. This aims to provide extra oomph when video editing and watching films, as well as let you control the laptop by using hand gestures via the built-in webcam.