We've long admired Toshiba's Qosmio range, as it has produced some of the best desktop replacement systems we've seen. Feature-packed and cutting edge, the Qosmio G50-115 (£1076 inc. VAT) is a case in point, although look elsewhere if you want an integrated Blu-ray drive.

The most noticeable thing about this laptop is its size – it's one of the largest machines we've seen. Part of this is due to the huge 18.4-inch display, which is a pleasure to use. It's bright and colourful, and great for watching movies on.

Unfortunately, it lags behind the other laptops when it comes to sharpness, with a lower resolution of 1680 x 945 pixels. Although still sharp enough for displaying several windows at once, you won't be able to watch films in full high-definition (HD).

Multimedia monster

Using the same graphics card as the Sony VAIO VGN-AW11Z/B, multimedia capabilities are impressive. The latest games run at a decent resolution, although it didn't fare quite so well in our benchmark tests. Despite this, it makes a competent home media centre, aided by excellent usability.

Touch-sensitive buttons below the screen let you control DVDs easily, and a remote control allows usability from the comfort of your sofa. Speakers by audio company Harman Kardon also offer better sound quality than the average laptop.

Build quality is impressive. The glossy plastic chassis is attractive and robust, but is also a magnet for fingerprints. Despite the powerful specification, the chassis remains cool at all times. Thick hinges hold the huge display firmly in place, and create a feeling of solidarity.

Comfortable keyboard

A major benefit of the huge chassis is the equally large user interface. The keyboard is one of the most spacious we've seen, and the keys are tapered at the edges, so it's easy to type without mistakes.

Since Toshiba's HD DVD format has been replaced with Blu-ray, it's no surprise to see the omission of a Blu-ray drive. You can still watch regular DVDs, however, with upscaling technology offering sharper than average image quality. You can also burn files to blank DVDs and CDs.

Plenty of features are also included, such as a digital TV tuner and two 250GB hard drives. A mid-range Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 4096MB of memory provide enough power for even the most intensive applications, and we found the system ran smoothly at all times. Surprisingly for a machine of this size, the Toshiba lasted for 233 minutes on a single battery charge.

There's a lot to like about this machine, not least the great comfort, power and large screen. It's just a shame it doesn't support full-HD playback, and the lack of a Blu-ray drive also lets it down.