Laptop Review: Toshiba Qosmio X770 gaming notebook

The 17in Qosmio X770 has lots of character on the outside and packs serious hardware on the inside, including a 3D-capable screen and graphics adapter. Running an Intel Core i7-2630QM CPU, 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M graphics adapter and two hard drives (500GB and 750GB), the Qosmio X770 is certainly built with one purpose in mind: gaming. It's a configuration that is able to tackle the latest games and the notebook's large form factor allows lots of airflow to cool all of these components easily. But it's the outside of the laptop that will immediately grab you or push you away.

Design and build quality

The design choices for the Toshiba Qosmio X770 can only be described as dubious. I am sure there are people out there that will fall in love with its design, but while using this device extensively for my review, one of the only real factors to spoil an overall gratifying experience was the shape of the chassis and, what I think, is a comical colour scheme.

Starting on the outside, the chassis is made up of heavy plastic and has a curved design. The heavy plastic feels both cheap and out of place in a high-end performance notebook — it feels much like a budget notebook, which is a true shame considering that its asking price matches that of companies such as Alienware and ASUS (Republic of Gamers). The top of the lid has been finished with a grainy design that gives the device some texture, and which does well against fingerprints and scratches. However, in most other high-end devices, soft-touch or fingerprint resistant matte materials are used, which also add to the overall aesthetic quality of the device.

The back of the device is lined with a red stripe, which fades into the gun metal silver that covers the rest of the notebook / Mitac bp-8089 . The overall weight of the device is over 3kg and this is average compared to other 17.3in devices. This weight makes the Qosmio X770 more of a workstation than a mobile device; it's both too heavy and too large to carry around (on a regular basis) any distance greater than a living room or flight of stairs.
When it comes to build quality, the Qosmio doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. There is no imminent threat of the laptop falling apart, but by simply applying pressure with two fingers around the keyboard areas and the lid, I was able to reveal many points that flex quite heavily. In particular, the areas behind the screen and either side of the keyboard almost morphed under the pressure.

The bottom of the device has a subwoofer (which has a grille design that channels the Sega Dreamcast console) and, as is the growing trend with gaming notebooks, there is only one compartment that can be opened. You have the ability to upgrade or swap the RAM and hard drives with ease. If you want to replace parts such as the Wi-Fi adapter, you will have to go through the top of the laptop and remove the screws underneath the keyboard.

The 8-Cell battery sticks out of the base at the rear of the notebook, propping it up so that much needed airflow reaches the hottest components of the device when they're under load. This design gives the notebook an incline of about 20 degrees, which adds to a rather pleasant typing experience.

The edges of the notebook include a DVD/Blu-ray combo drive, microphone and headphone jacks, VGA, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, an SD card slot and four USB ports (one which is USB 3.0).

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