Quantcast Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q850 (US) - my take

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  1. #1
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    Default Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q850 (US) - my take

    After waiting approximately 4 weeks, my new Qosmio X505-Q850 arrived at my doorsteps a couple of days ago. Unfortunately, I was out-of-town and had to wait another week before I finally got my hands on it. The specs can easily be obtained from Toshiba Direct. Here are my first impressions:

    The package it gets shipped in is very compact (I know some people were interested in this in order to estimate shipping costs overseas) - 22.5"x14"x4.75", just a bit more than the laptops dimensions to add some styrofoam padding. Inside, a very high-quality looking laptop awaits. The lid does not have any latches, and while it will flex when you grab it on one side only, it does not do this in a flimsy way. Apart from the laptop, you will only find the power cable and transformer (long cable is a plus) a "read me first" sheet and a small resource guide. You have to create recovery DVDs yourself - it is not that big a deal but I wonder how much (little) Toshiba safes by not providing the usual convience of system recovery disks directly.

    The black with gray squares background pattern is great, the red - I use this computer for work - I can live with although you may get comments on it Too bad no other color scheme is available, but it's not the wild fire etc pattern of previous models.

    The screen has a higher luminosity than any of my other laptops (which includes a Sager 9262 with a high quality screen) , but I have not found a quantitive value for its brightness. The resolution is 1920x1080 (1080p), not 1920x1200 as Toshiba Direct says. [Unfortunately the quality of the pictures I took is not very high and one cannot make out the difference in the photo, so at this point I have no photos attached - maybe I update at a later time]

    I did play some with the color and font size settings - default font size is 125%, at 100% many fonts looked distorted, 110% custom setting works for me (cleartype of course).

    The only area that gets warm is close to the screen - the palm rest and keyboard stay nicely cool, which I cannot say of most of my other laptops.

    Talking about the keyboard, as others have commented, the key travel is short, and the space bar is relatively narrow, but neither should be an issue for most people - after a short time adapting to it, I prefer it over the other laptops keyboards. And to have it backlit, makes it practical when working late nights and adds to the coolness factor of the Toshiba.

    The media touch buttons on the left I touched a couple of times by accident, mostly the mute button, depending on ones hand position this can be more or less of a problem. The sound they make is easily turned off in the bios.

    Startup time is quite fast: 33.7 sec to login prompt, 37.0 seconds to desktop. Shutdown I measured at 14.1 seconds. Going to sleep took 5.3 sec, waking from sleep 4.9 sec.

    Wether this is due to the SSD or Windows 7 or both, I cannot say at this time; what I did notice was that certain software development programs (although I expected them to be CPU bound) started 5-10% faster from the 7200rpm Hitachi HTS723232L9A360 than from the Toshiba SSD (Toshiba THNS064GG2BBAA). When I find time I will investigate this further. Application startup is very fast (some comparisons will follow).

    The CPU is set to "turbo" mode by default in the bios, which means 1.73 GHz if threads execute on all four physical cores (and the machine is not in eco mode), and 2.8 GHz if only a single core is kept busy - of course the task manager shows 8 cores, because these cores are capable of hyperthreading. In the few tests I have run so far, the i7 720M runs on multi-threaded applications at about 65-70% of the speed of a 2.83 GHz Q9550 CPU.

    When I did a download race over the wireless N connection between 3 laptops, the Toshiba won although its connection center showed fewer bars than one of other laptops. Some people in this forum and one online review commented that the connection is poor - this is not the case for me.

    The only issues I have at this time have to do with Windows 7 - PCmark06 blue screened and there is no printer driver for my networked HP OfficeJet L7580 printer.

    Other software that I suspected may have problems is running just fine, which includes my Windows Home Server client - important to me, because it backs my box up every night.

    I also got the Toshiba carrying bag - it is positively huge. The X505-Q850 looks "small" when you stow it into this bag. The Toshiba weighs quite a bit less than my Sager 9262 (albeit not a lightweight of course), and although its wider, I consider it considerably more mobile.

    For my work, I plan on upgrading the CPU (but do not know whether the bios supports the i7 920M which is rated at 55W as contrasted to the i7 720 and 820 which are both rated at 45W) and the SSD (to an Intel?). The i7 920M would help me a lot because it runs at 2.26 GHz in turbo mode when all four cores are busy, which equates to a .5 GHz (or ca. 30%) improvement over the 720M.

    I have not had time to run many benchmarks yet - some of the stuff I tested so far was very specific to my work (e.g. j2ee server startup times), but since I am playing an occasional warcraft or unreal tournament, I plan on adding some graphics benchmarks when I find a little spare time.

    The Toshiba X505-Q850 is a great laptop for me - an excellent compromise that offers a large, high resolution, quality screen, a relatively fast CPU (which I hope I will be able to upgrade), fast disk drives and for such a large desktop replacement good mobility.
    M6600 i7-2820 1080p 16GB 2x256-CrucialSSD w7-64
    X505-Q850 i7Q720 1080p 6gb 250m windows7-64 ssd/7k320
    9262 (dead) q9550 wuxga 4gb 8800gtx vista64 2-wd7k320

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q850 (US) - my take

    I would like to see some pics, even if they are not that good you can edit them anyway. Nice review though, not a lot of people are reviewing, taking the time to do it, or take pics. I getting mine soon, i can't wait for it, how is the blu ray drive?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q850 (US) - my take

    Nice review!

    I bought a X305-Q708 back in August - couldn't wait for the X505, but I have to say I'm not disappointed.

    The side controls on the left of the keyboard would kill it for me, since I like to rest my pinkie there when using the A and Z keys for racing games. The digital volume dial on the X305 is far more convenient. I also have to admit that the GPU in the X505 has less muscle than the SLI combo used in the X305.

    I was very surprised that Toshiba took away the 5-speaker arrangement, but I really love the audio that the X305 can dish out. No other notebook sounds as good, and I've looked at (listened to) a lot of them.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q850 (US) - my take

    You can turn off the BEEP or the buttons as well in the bios. After a month, I never found a worthwhile use for them anyway.

    SLI is nice IF you have a game or app that actually takes advantage of it. I do miss my volume dial from my x205.

    Most important for me was the i7 processor and ram.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q850 (US) - my take

    I got it today too, amazing machine, so great, awesome, but so far the core i7 doesn't seem to be that powerful as the hype goes, the boot up time between this machine and a dell latitude E6400 is only about 5 seconds and converting a file was about 5-10 seconds difference but much more testing to do so. Amazing screen, its a lot lighter than i thought and way slim than i though too.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q850 (US) - my take

    The audio on this machine sounds amazing! Well probably why they took it out which is sad anyway is because of the economy, for years they have had machines that were really expensive due to sli. Cmon for 1,449, or 1,400 you can beat this deal and a blu ray drive standard awesome.

 

 

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