Although tablets and ultrabooks garner most of the attention in the PC world, few classes of systems have as much flair as gaming rigs, where hulking, ostentatious designs typically outweigh concerns for portability and affordability. Even mainstream vendors are getting in on the action, and the Windows 8-equipped Toshiba Qosmio X875-Q7390 ($1,949.99 list) is no exception. Its beefy chassis packs a slew of cool features, like a Blu-ray burner and an exceptional 1080p display that supports 3D technology. Unfortunately, its woefully short battery life holds it back from midrange gaming laptop glory. It’s an option worth exploring, but better choices are out there.
Design and Features
The Qosmio X875-Q7390′s hulking plastic chassis weighs 7.60 pounds and measures 1.7 by 16.5 by 10.7 inches (HWD), so carrying it around—even without the two-pound power brick—nearly constitutes a legitimate form of exercise. Hernia-related fears aside, the Qosmio X875-Q7390′s lid and palm rest are appealingly decked out in “black widow styling,” which is Toshiba-speak for textured aluminum that’s almost entirely black save for red accents around the keyboard, touchpad, and speaker grilles.
The Qosmio X875-Q7390′s generously-sized tiled keyboard features an integrated alphanumeric keypad and, despite its slightly shallow key travel, offers a comfortable typing experience. Its red backlighting makes for a cool visual effect that gives the Qosmio X875-Q7390 the edginess that goes hand in hand with gaming laptops. The touchpad, meanwhile, provides excellent tactile feedback while fluidly supporting Windows 8 gesture controls.
The Qosmio X875-Q7390 biggest draw is arguably its 17.3-inch 1,920 by 1,080 display, which brims with rich color reproduction and deep, inky blacks. Naturally, video playback looks fantastic, especially when you toss a Blu-ray disc into the Qosmio X875-Q7390′s Blu-ray burner. What truly sets the Qosmio X875-Q7390′s display apart from other systems in its class, however, is its 3D display. To enable this feature, simply use the Nvidia control panel to establish an IR connection between the display and the included pair of Nvidia 3D glasses.The end result will impress even the most jaded of gamers. I myself had a healthy amount of skepticism about this feature until I tested it out with a Jurassic Park 3D on Blu-ray. Within moments, dinosaurs and humans alike jumped off the screen with such eye-popping detail that calling it “dazzling” is an understatement.
Audio is pumped out at fairly loud volumes through the Qosmio X875-Q7390′s dual Harmon Kardon speakers beneath the display. Although “Idioteque” by Radiohead didn’t quite rattle the windows, Thom Yorke’s ominous warbling was nonetheless loud enough to fill up a medium-sized room.
Port selection on the Qosmio X875-Q7390 is also quite good. Alongside the Blu-ray burner, the right side houses dual USB 3.0 ports and an Ethernet port. On the left side you’ll find audio jacks, another pair of USB 3.0 ports, a memory card reader, and VGA and HDMI-out ports.
Although the Qosmio X875-Q7390′s four USB 3.0 ports offer plenty of space for external hard drives, that may be entirely unnecessary thanks to the system’s generous offering of dual 5,400rpm 1TB hard drives. As was the case with the Samsung Series 7 Gamer, though, gamers must first confront a formidable pile of preloaded software upon initial setup. These programs range from useful (Microsoft Office Trial) to needless bloatware (WildTangent Games; scattered desktop links), with a mountain of proprietary software (Toshiba BookPlace, Disc Creator, and the like) and trial versions (30-day trials of Norton software, including Internet Security, Online Backup, and Anti-Theft Online Banking). Toshiba covers the Qosmio X875-Q7390 with a one-year warranty. That’s fairly stingy for a gaming rig, especially when compared against the competition. By contrast, the current Editors’ Choice for midrange gaming laptops, the Asus G75VW-DH72, is covered with a two-year warranty.
The Qosmio X875-Q7390′s combined 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM processor and 3GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M GPU, along with 16GB RAM, made for an admirable—though not class-leading—performer in our benchmark tests. Although its PCMark 7 score of 4,547 points fell slightly short of the class-leading Alienware M17x R4 (4,598 points), it nonetheless topped the rest of its class, including the Asus G75VW-DS71 (2,893 points). Its Cinebench R11.5 score of 6.34 points, meanwhile, was outflanked by both the Asus G75VW-DS71 (6.44 points) as well as the Alienware M17x R4 (6.86 points). The Qosmio X875-Q7390′s admirable performance extended to its multimedia tests, where it displayed an exceptional capacity for content creation. It completed our Handbrake video encoding test in 37 seconds, only one second short of the Asus G75VW-DS71 (36 seconds). Moreover, the 3 minutes 40 seconds it took for the Qosmio X875-Q7390 to cycle through the dozen or so filters in our Photoshop CS6 test was on par with the Asus G75VW-DS71 (3:32).
As far as high-end gaming goes, the Qosmio X875-Q7390 was able to cross the 30 frames per second (fps) playability barrier in medium-quality settings but its frame rates lagged when the settings were maxed out. In Aliens Vs. Predator (54fps in medium quality;18fps in high quality settings) was eclipsed by the Asus G75VW-DS71 (55fps and 18fps, respectively). Likewise, the Qosmio X875-Q7390′s performance in Heaven (42ps in medium quality; 16fps in high quality settings) once again fell short of the Asus G75VW-DS71 (70fps and 28fps, respectively). The Qosmio X875-Q7390′s performance in 3DMark11 (4,905 points in Entry-level mode; 921 points in Extreme mode) couldn’t quite match that of the Samsung Series 7 Gamer (5,572 points and 1,134 points, respectively) or the Alienware M17x R4 (9,023 points and 2,086 points, respectively).
It’s no secret that gaming laptops aren’t renowned for stellar battery life. Even with these lowered expectations, the Qosmio X875-Q7390′s removable 47Whr battery yielded dismal results, lasting a meager 51 minutes in our battery rundown test. At this point, it doesn’t even matter that the Asus G75VW-DH72 (3:02) lasted much longer than the Qosmio X875-Q7390. What does matter, however, is that the Qosmio X875-Q7390 couldn’t even last for a single hour without being plugged in. Just to be sure, I re-tested the Qosmio X875-Q7390. Once again, it clocked in at under an hour. The fact that I was able to run a battery test on the Qosmio X875-Q7390 twice before my lunch break confirmed the worst: Unless users stay near a power outlet or spring for a bunch of extra batteries, they won’t be going anywhere with the Qosmio X875-Q7390 any time soon.
There’s plenty to like about the Toshiba Qosmio X875-Q7390, like its cool design, abundant storage capacity, and, of course, its superlative 3D display. At the end of the day, however, performance is the paramount consideration when it comes to gaming laptops. That, along with battery life, ultimately conspire against the Qosmio X875-Q7390 and prevent it from snagging the Asus G75VW-DH72′s title as Editors’ Choice for midrange gaming laptops. Still, its content creation abilities and incredible display alone make it worth checking out, and we nonetheless recommend doing so.
BENCHMARK TEST RESULTS:
Check out the test scores for the Toshiba Qosmio X875-Q7390
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8|
|Graphics Card||Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M|
|Processor Speed||2.4 GHz|
|Primary Optical Drive||Blu-Ray Disc|
|Screen Size||17.3 inches|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||2000 GB|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc