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Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q725 review: Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q725

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The Good Powerful Intel quad-core processor; 64GB SSD; great speakers; charges USB devices, even when off.

The Bad Gigantic; love-it-or-hate-it design; low-resolution display for a 17-inch gaming rig.

The Bottom Line The Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q725's high-performance components are just as fancy as its exterior--and its price tag won't let you forget it.

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7.3 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8
  • Battery 6
  • Support 6

On the outside, the Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q725 is identical to all the other recent X305-series models we've looked at, so if you can't stand the bold design, there's little chance you'll care what's inside. But, if you're down with shiny flame graphics, the X305-Q725 is loaded up with high-performance parts, including a quad-core processor, speedy DDR3 memory, and dual hard drives, one of which is a 64GB solid-state drive.

The combo makes for some peppy performance, though not record-breaking in any department, and at $2,699, it's a major investment. For raw performance, check out the $500 cheaper Asus W90Vp-X1.

Price as reviewed / Starting price $2,699
Processor 2GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q9000
Memory 4GB, 1,066MHz DDR3
Storage 64GB SSD; 320GB 7,200rpm HDD
Chipset Intel Mobile PM45 Express
Graphics 1GB Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTX
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)
Dimensions (WD) 16.2 inches x 12 inches
Height 1.7 - 2.5 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 17.0 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 9.3 pounds/11.5 pounds
Category Mainstream

Topped by a lid covered with two-tone flames and marked with "Qosmio" in inch-tall silver letters, the X305-series design isn't subtle. Inside, the display bezel is a deeper red, while the shiny black keyboard and deck are bordered with metallic red.

It's a big laptop, too, even for a 17-inch system. And even though the Qosmio's weight falls within our expectations for a desktop replacement, its 2.9-pound power brick does not; though the system is still technically portable, there's little chance you'll want to carry this very far from your desk.

A row of red touch-sensitive controls stretch across the top of the keyboard and include not only the expected media player launch key, playback controls, and mute button, but also a button to turn off the LED case lights, one to turn on the Web cam, and one to launch the included Dolby Home Theater software. As with the company's Satellite models, the Qosmio X305-Q725's keys are made of very glossy plastic that fits the overall aesthetic, but is so shiny as to be distracting and fingerprint-prone. Fortunately, the keyboard is comfortable; with your eyes closed it feels like any other full-size board. Because of the laptop's broad case, there's also room for a 10-key numeric keypad.

The Qosmio's wide touch pad could use a bit more height, but it is nevertheless functional for those few times you aren't using an external mouse, and we do like its textured surface. A glowing red stripe marks the top of the touch pad and can be disabled with one of the light-touch controls if you don't care for it.

The Qosmio's case features some additional small design elements worth noting. First, the tray-loading DVD drive is located on the laptop's front edge, which is either convenient or annoying, depending on where things pile up on your desk. Likewise, the headphone and microphone jacks, along with a handy volume wheel, are unconventionally located on the laptop's right edge. A hardware switch for the Wi-Fi radio is within easy reach on the front edge. Also, the back two corners of the keyboard deck, next to the speakers, glow red (and as with the touch pad stripe, these lights can be turned off). Finally, we appreciate Toshiba sticking the power input, video outputs, and modem/Ethernet jacks in the back so that fewer things stick from the sides when hooked up at a desk.

The 17-inch wide-screen LCD offers a 1,680x1,050 native resolution, which is lower than we like for this price, and a rarity for a screen this size--1,920x1,200 is the current high-end 17-inch default. The Toshiba display can't match the crispness delivered by higher-resolution models we've tested, and it's not ideal for 1080p HD content, but text and icons are still easy to read.

  Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q725 Average for category [desktop replacement]
Video VGA-out, HDMI, Webcam VGA-out, HDMI
Audio Stereo speakers with subwoofer, headphone and microphone jacks, S/PDIF out, built-in microphone Stereo speakers with subwoofer, headphone/microphone jacks.
Data 3 USB 2.0 (1 eSATA/USB), mini-FireWire, multiformat card reader 4 USB 2.0, mini-FireWire, multiformat card reader
Expansion ExpressCard/54 ExpressCard/54
Networking modem, Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth modem, Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Optical drive DVD burner with Labelflash DVD burner or Blu-ray

With four Harman Kardon speakers and a built-in subwoofer, the Qosmio X305-series remains one of the best-sounding laptops around, and could easily function as both computer and media center for the space-challenged.

All three USB ports feature Toshiba's Sleep-and-Charge technology, which means you can plug in and charge USB devices (iPods, mobile phones, and so on) even if the laptop is powered off, as long as it's plugged into an outlet.

The Qosmio X305-Q725 is a single, fixed configuration sold only in retail outlets. Its $2,699 price buys you a powerful quad-core mobile processor backed by 4GB of fast 1,066MHz DDR3 RAM (with 64-bit Windows Vista to take advantage of it), and both a 64GB SSD and a 7,200rpm, 320GB hard drive.

We didn't expect to see much of a difference in application or game performance from the SSD, but we did anecdotally notice that apps and games opened faster and file access did seem snappier than usual. Overall performance, however, didn't blow us away, keeping pace with similarly spec'd laptops. Gaming performance was predictably excellent, but no better than a couple of less expensive Gateway systems--the quad-core Gateway P-7808u and Gateway P-7805u FX.

Battery life is pretty poor at just 1 hour and 11 minutes on our video playback battery drain test. We don't usually expect such a monstrous laptop to last long on battery power, but it is worth noting that other performance desktop replacements, such as the Gateway P-7808u and Gateway P-7805u FX, can last far longer away from an outlet.

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