The Qosmio stands out with its bright, bold 17.3in screen, which provides 1920 x 1080 resolution for high-definition video and gaming. Its Harmon Kardon speakers are a cut above average too – in fact they’re quite possibly the loudest speakers we’ve ever heard on a laptop. But it does seem odd, given those strong audio and video features, that the Qosmio just includes an ordinary DVD drive rather than Blu-ray (Toshiba can’t still be sulking because Blu-ray beat their own HD-DVD format, surely?). See Group test: what's the best high-end laptop?
The Qosmio is solidly built, with a large, comfortable keyboard and an unusually large trackpad, which makes a pleasant change from the cramped trackpads on some of its rivals. A 17in laptop is never going to be particularly portable, but at 3.4kg the beefy Qosmio is just somewhat lighter than the Alienware M11x or Asus G75VW.
Battery life is about 2 hours and 40 mins with the GeForce graphics card and, of course, you can switch to its integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics if you need to squeeze some extra life out of the battery for web browsing and other routine tasks.
We’ll admit that we weren’t expecting too much from the Qosmio when we saw its spec sheet, as its £1199 price tag only includes a relatively modest dual-core i5 processor, along with 8GB of memory and a 1TB hybrid drive that includes a small 8GB solid-state module. However, the i5 processor gets good support from a GeForce GTX 670M graphics card with 3GB of video memory that produces quite respectable results in our tests.
Stalker and Hard Reset are both perfectly playable at 1920x1080 and with high quality settings. Batman: Arkham City pushes it a bit harder, but is still playable at 27fps with 1920x1080 resolution and high quality settings, and you can bump that past the 40fps mark if you drop down to 1280x720 and medium quality.
That might not satisfy hard-core gamers who want the latest high-def DX11 eye-candy, but it’ll be more than adequate for casual players who enjoy the occasional evening of gaming action. There’s also a model called the X870-11R that provides a 2.3GHz quad-core i7 for just another £100, which might be worth considering if you’re looking for a lighter – and cheaper – alternative to the hulking 17in Alienware M17x.