First look: Toshiba Qosmio F50-10Z
While we have seen a trickle of Centrino 2 laptops arriving in the PC Pro Labs of late – the Sony VAIO FGN-FW11ZU and Advent 5511 are two of the more recent examples – the new Toshiba Qosmio F50-10Z has to be one of the most exciting, at least based on first impressions.
The keyboard, for instance, is surrounded by a chrome border which extends to the pair of unusually-shaped mouse buttons, and the panel of touch-sensitive controls above the keyboard glow white, rather than the more reserved blue we’ve seen from Dell’s XPS laptops.
Audio is provided by a pair of harmon/kardon speakers – similar to those in the Toshiba Satellite P300 – and volume is altered by a circular control just below the keyboard. Predictably, it’s chrome-covered and bordered with bright white light. There’s also a huge Qosmio logo that arches its way across the lid, as if you didn’t know that this extroverted notebook had been designed, from the ground up, to entertain.
A peek under the hood reveals a list of specifications that are just as exciting as the garish chassis. A trio of Centrino 2 components – a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo P8400 processor, Intel 5100 WLAN chip and PM45 chipset – get the Qosmio off to a good start, and an Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT mobile graphics chip certainly provides a bit of a 3D boost. There’s also draft-n wireless and a DVT-T TV tuner.
The most intriguing component in this new Qosmio, though, is the Quad Core HD chip that, in theory, should vastly improve watching standard-definition DVDs, making detail sharper and colours punchier – like a half-way house between DVD and HD, then. The technology also claims to use gesture control, in conjunction with the built-in 1.3mp webcam, to let you control movies – so pausing, fast-forwarding and rewinding films without having to use a remote control or the touch-sensitive panel that sits above the keyboard.
So, will the Quad Core HD and its upscaling really make a difference when we’re watching DVDs? And will gesture control actually work – instead of leaving us flapping around in front of a laptop looking extremely silly? We’ll be giving the Qosmio a full evaluation in the Labs to see if this really is one of the finest – and best-featured – entertainment notebooks we’ve ever seen, so check back soon for our full review.