Toshiba has been making their Qosmio line of entertainment notebooks for years, but it’s only recently that they decided to shift their sights from the entertainment crowd to gaming. Sure, you could say that the Qosmio line has always been capable of serious gaming, but while they did have the specs to run the latest games, it’s only now that they’ve decided to actively cater to the gaming scene. The Qosmio X770 is one of the three new notebooks that they’re offering for the gaming crowd (the other two being the F750 and the F750 2D) and is the subject of our review for today.
Like any good gaming notebook, the Qosmio X770 is big. It’ll take up about 413 x 274 x 28mm worth of space, and registers a backbreaking weight of 3.34 kilos. It’s equipped with a 17.3-inch full HD display that’s capable of 3D via NVIDIA’s 3D Vision solution. The whole notebook is treated with Toshiba’s new Fusion X2 Finish which the company says repels smudges and prints better than gloss designs. While we weren’t a fan of the somewhat gaudy design (web speaker grills, really?) we would have to agree on the whole repel fingerprints part of the equation.
Being an absolute behemoth of a notebook, the X770 has enough room for a full size keyboard, complete with a keypad on the left. There’s a whole manner of ports and plugs for those who need them: 4 USB ports, HDMI out, Ethernet, audio and D-sub. A Bluray disc player is also included. There’s a touch sensitive shortcut bar near the hinge that allows you to do a variety of things like turn the 3D effect on/off, control the volume, play media, turn off WiFi and so on. The keyboard feels good and has good travel, though some keys feel a bit mushy to the touch. The keyboard is also illuminated, so people who game with lights off won’t have to type by touch.
Hardware-wise, the the X770 is a beast. Under the gaudy black and grey hood purrs an Intel Core i7-2630QM processor that’s running at 2.0@GHz. Graphics is provided by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX560M (1.5GB GDDR5 VRAM) mated with 8GB of DDR3 memory. Storage is done by way of a 1TB, 7200RPM HDD and audio is provided by a pair of Harman Kardon speakers with a built-in subwoofer.
To properly gauge the performance of the Qosmio X770, we’ll be using 3D Mark 11 to get a rough estimate of the notebook’s number crunching abilities. We’ll also be trying out a few games including Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, as well as the open beta of this year’s highly anticipated shooter, Battlefield 3.
We tested the X770 against 3D Mark 11 using the performance preset (1280 x 720) and got a score of P2245, which is pretty decent, but was far from what we were expecting given the device’s specs and capabilities. Gameplay tests with both Need for Speed Hot Pursuit and the multiplayer beta of Battlefield 3 yielded better results – with Battlefield 3, the Qosmio X770 managed to nab an average of 26 FPS with everything on high and the resolution set to 1920 x 1080, which is actually pretty good, considering the game is still in beta, and we were using unofficial NVIDIA drivers (more on this later). Need for Speed Hot Pursuit fared better, with the device registering an average of 60 FPS with the resolution on 1920 x 1080 with the settings on high.
It’d be obvious by now, but if you haven’t guessed yet, battery life is dismal. You’d be lucky to get more than an hour’s worth of performance with this particular device. Again, mobility isn’t the point of this device – performance is. Audio performance is top notch, with the built-in subs adding an extra oomph to engine revs in Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, and explosions in the Battlefield 3 beta.
With the device scoring high marks in gaming performance, there still are a few issues that need to be addressed, with two being the most important when it comes to gaming notebooks: driver support and bloatware. Like many other notebooks, the X770 uses a non-generic version of NVIDIA’s GTX560M GPU, which means that the X770 won’t accept driver updates from NVIDIA’s site. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but since the X770 is a gaming machine, drivers updates are critical – both NVIDIA and ATI frequently comes out with updates to their drivers that improve game performance, so it’d would make sense to make driver updates as painless as possible. You can still do driver updates (without waiting for Toshiba to come out with their official drivers), though you run the risk of breaking a few features along the way (Stereoscopic 3D, etc.).
Bloatware has always been an issue with Toshiba notebooks, but that doesn’t mean that they get a free pass with it. Seriously, nothing is worse than buying a high-end machine and gaming with it, only to be taken out of the action by a pop-up because you haven’t updated such and such.
When it all comes down to it, should you buy the Qosmio X770? If you’re the type that wants to drop in and play games, the X770 might not be the device to get, especially since you will have to jump through quite a few hoops to get the right drivers running. But if you’re the sort who doesn’t mind mucking around to make things work, then the X770 should be right up your alley. Of course, that’s assuming you’re willing to pay Php 129,990 for it.
Full 3D HD performance
No direct update from NVIDIA for drivers
Has quite a bit of bloatware
Though the Qosmio X770 is Toshiba’s first real stab at the lucrative gaming market, and to be fair the company has done quite a few things right. If you’re a fan of Toshiba and have the cash to drop, then you might want to consider it.
- Screen Size: 17.3-inch Full HD
- Memory: 8GB DDR3
- CPU and chipset: Intel Core i7-2630QM (2.0@GHz)
- Physical Dimensions: 413 x 274 x 28mm
- Warranty: 1 year on parts and labor