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Toshiba Qosmio G30-102 review

Great performance and excellent usability

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Our Verdict

It's certainly bulky, but that's hardly a surprise with all the multimedia treats the G30-102 comes with

For

  • HD DVD drive

    Large memory and hard drive

    Well built and comfortable to use

Against

  • Portability is virtually non-existant

Toshiba's Qosmio has made a name for itself as the king of Media Center laptops - thanks to a design crammed with multimedia features, an excellent screen and good all-round usability. The Qosmio G30-102 (£1799 inc. VAT) continues this trend, adding an HD DVD drive.

In terms of screen quality, it's on a par with what you'd expect at this price. All of them are vibrant, and images never look less than stunning. The Toshiba's is one of the better ones, however - the crisp resolution getting the best out of DVDs and other media content. Although the Super-TFT coating does reflect in direct sunlight, it's very good in all other conditions.

The midrange Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 graphics card means you'll be able to play the latest games, edit media content, carry out office tasks and watch DVDs.

Speed-typing

It's also a very comfortable laptop to use. The large keys are tapered at the edges in a similar fashion to a regular desktop PC. This makes it easy to type at speed. Like the rest of the machine, the keys are of a high quality, and firmly attached. A range of hotkeys makes it easy to control your movies, although they're not as comprehensive as some we've seen.

This is a very sturdy machine. However, at 4.8kg and 53mm in depth, it's one of the most bulky laptops we've tested, and is definitely a desktop replacement machine. While it doesn't reach the three-hour average, battery life is reasonable for a laptop this size, lasting for over two-and-a-half hours.

The Toshiba uses an Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 chip. Running at 2GHz, this is a rapid machine. There's a more-than-decent 2048MB of memory helping applications to run without lag. The Toshiba has two hard drives, offering 200GB of storage space. Because they're RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks)-compliant, you'll be able to automatically back up all your files to the second disk.

The HD DVD drive means you'll be able to watch high-definition movies, and speakers by premium audio company Harman Kardon provide enough sound to watch films without having to plug in external speakers. Toshiba's Qosmio Engine even lets you watch movies without having to boot Windows. An integrated digital TV tuner is also included.

As a home entertainment system, the Qosmio G30-102 is excellent. It excels when it comes to performance and features, and the keyboard is one of the best we've seen. Only the bulky chassis is starting to look dated. Philip Barker