The Toshiba Qosmio G30 (£2199 inc. VAT) is the fourth generation of this machine and isn't so much a reinvention as a refresh of what we've come to expect from the line.

The theme of the Qosmio is to be the heart of your home entertainment setup, so you'll find a stunning 17-inch screen and Harman/Kardon speakers to give plenty of sound quality. To make things easier, the Qosmio Engine is a Linux kernel that allows you to boot into media mode without having to worry about Windows.

All stand for HD DVD

However, what is really grabbing the headlines for this model is its use of the next-generation high-capacity storage format, HD DVD. Interestingly, the Qosmio is the first device to offer support in the form of the Toshiba Tri- Format DVD/HD-DVD drive.

Used in combination with the Super-TFT panel images really come to life and have stunning detail. As with the introduction of all new optical drives, this is a read only drive, with the rewriter becoming available later this year.

While HD DVD may be the main draw, its hard to ignore the other components of this laptop. To this end, you'll find an Intel Core Duo T2500 handling things with ease.

This 2GHz dual-core processor is supported by 1024MB of DDR2 memory and twin 120GB hard drives, the second of which is set up to handle RAID to save incremental backups of your main drive, which is as state-of-the-art as you'll find in any system. When it came to performance, there was little to complain about, with the system scoring a MobileMark 2005 score of 248.

The Qosmio has never been a gaming machine, so you'll find the GPU tends to lean towards the mainstream rather than the high-end and the inclusion of the nVidia GeForce Go 7600 is no exception. It's a competent card, as reflected in the 3DMark 2003 score of 9333.

The build quality is excellent throughout, with plenty of support and strength in areas. The keyboard is of a good size and well-spaced and sits neatly in the middle of the mainboard for a more comfortable positioning.

Heavy

Typically, this isn't a lightweight machine and with an overall weight of 4.7kg, is a real desktop alternative. With a battery life, under test, of 200 minutes, you'll be able to carry this machine outside and watch a DVD on the lawn, for example, but you won't want to carry it for long distances.

HD DVD may be there to grab the headlines, but we remain suitably impressed with the Toshiba Qosmio G30. It's a winning formula that simply keeps getting better.