by Kevin O'Brien
The Qosmio X305 is the flagship gaming notebook sold by Toshiba, with configurations including dual graphics cards, dual storage drives, and the latest Intel quad-core processors. With a stylish design and great surround sound speakers the Qosmio notebooks walk the fine line between consumer notebooks and super high-end custom gaming notebooks. In this review we cover all aspects of the X305 to give you the information needed to make an informed purchase.
Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q725 Specifications:
Build and Design
The Toshiba X305 gaming notebook is one of the larger models we've seen in the office, with the rear of the notebook peaking at 2.5” thick including the feet. Its wedge shape amplifies the height at the rear, making the notebook look twice as thick going from front to back. The X305 is designed to handle a quad-core processor and dual graphics cards which need extra room to get proper cooling ... not to mention fitting the components themselves. To put its size into context, the dual-screen Lenovo ThinkPad W700ds is only 2.1” thick. Overlooking the thickness, the design is stylish and gives you the impression that this is definitely not a standard notebook. The glossy trim, flame paint job, and translucent red plastics really help to get that point across. The paint job could have been more detailed with more realistic flames, but that might have been cost prohibitive with the production process.
Build quality is average, and perhaps should have been better in certain areas. The back cover of the display shows a significant amount of flex due to a large empty space between the lid and screen panel. When holding the laptop with one hand from the side (if your hand is big enough) the lid compresses and squeaks quite a bit. Better support might have resolved this problem and given the lid a much more durable feel. The keyboard was another area that could have been much better. The support beneath the center of the keyboard was fine for heavy typing, but typing near the bottom corner of the keyboard resulted in a "popping" sensation making the keyboard move around.
The 17” glossy display faired very well throughout my testing; which happened to include quite a bit of gaming. The display was bright enough to be clearly visible in a bright office setting while still showing dark shadow detail in games. Colors were vivid and saturated; something you really want on a gaming display. I didn’t notice much lag with the LCD refreshing, but that can be very subjective depending on who is looking at it.
Viewing angles were average with color and brightness drop-off in steep vertical angles. Color inversion was not as much of a problem with horizontal viewing angles so you can share a movie with someone sitting next to you. For comfortable viewing I had the screen set to 90% brightness while in the office and lowered it to 60% at my home with dimmer lighting. My only complaint with the screen is the relatively low resolution of 1680 x 1050, instead of having a WUXGA 1920 x 1200 resolution seen in similar gaming notebooks.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The X305 uses a full-size keyboard with a number pad to take advantage of all of the real estate on its large 17” gaming notebook frame. The keyboard was comfortable to type on with little pressure required to activate each key. Key action is smooth with a mild metallic rattle when fully pressed, ranking average in terms of noise. Some keys towards the bottom left corner would make a louder popping sound, as mentioned in the build section, due to limited support in that area.
Another writer in the office didn’t like the narrow spacebar which was shortened to make way for the full-size keys around it. I personally didn’t have any trouble using the keyboard since I hit the right-center part of the button when typing.
Toshiba included what appears to be an Alps touchpad on the X305 based on the fact that Alps drivers were preinstalled on the system. Windows Update saw it as a Synaptics model and installed drivers as such, causing some confusion over what type of touchpad it really is. The Synaptics drivers had very limited settings, missing all sensitivity options, so it could have just been an error from Windows Vista. The touchpad didn’t seem that responsive and required a heavier touch to accurately move across the display. The surface texture provides a bit of traction without making your finger stick ... something you appreciate after hours of gaming. The large touchpad buttons were easy to trigger and gave shallow feedback when pressed.
more than 100 focused websites providing quick access to a deep store of
news, advice and analysis about the technologies, products and processes crucial
to the jobs of IT pros.
All Rights Reserved, Copyright 2000 - 2013, TechTarget | Read our Privacy Statement