Toshiba Qosmio notebooks have always made it a point to provide users with an audio-visual entertainment experience like no other notebooks could. Although the range is unable to offer the full multimedia spectacle as those offered by 32-inch LCD screens that are backed by high-end audio peripherals, the latest Qosmio on the block, the G30, looks to have done a great job in fulfilling one’s audio-visual needs while offering just that little bit more than competing models.
The Qosmio G30 shares the same design as its predecessor: it has a large 17-inch TFT LCD screen, two round speakers at the corners, and a keyboard that still (oddly enough) does not span the width of the notebook. Although the keys are tuned for typing, Toshiba really should have made full use of the width of the G30 by offering a larger keyboard for a typing experience that's closer to a desktop keyboard. In a weird positioning of keys, the "Windows" key has been planted such that it is right at the top row of the keyboard rather than along the bottom row where the spacebar resides. The tilde key is also “lost” since it is found where the "Alt" key should be, and not in its usual position below the "Esc" key. There is also a slight proportional problem with the trackpad as it is too small for navigation in relation to the size of the screen.
The Qosmio G30 comes installed with Windows Media Center Edition and a remote control is standard accessory. The OS is extremely easy to use and users will soon find the Media Center remote a delight for quick and easy navigation through all the media features of the computer. Strangely, the G30 requires a separate IR receiver for the remote control even when it already features an IR port right in the front edge of the notebook.
This notebook provides an optical drive up front, but a second glance will have users sitting up in awe instantly because the Qosmio G30 has something that most home theaters owners still do not have: a HD-DVD drive. Though the Windows Media Center does not play HD-DVDs, it will acknowledge the presence of an HD-DVD movie when inserted and immediately launch the WinDVD HD player for playback. Gamers are not neglected as well because the G30 comes equipped with a hefty 256MB GeForce Go7600 that is beefy enough to run all the latest titles in stores at silky smooth frame rates.
Toshiba also brought in a lot of connectivity options through its array of input/output ports – VGA out, S-Video, and HDMI ports are all present, just in case your friends pop by to catch a movie with you. Additionally, composite inputs with left and right audio jacks are included, paving the way to a better auditory experience. Clearly, with all its power-hungry components, you would think that battery life of the G30 is going to be pathetically short, but much to even our own surprise, the behemoth of a notebook was able to manage a whopping 118 minutes of DVD playback time and a battery life rating of 152 minutes for general usage. Finally, the sound coming from the harman/kardon speakers is exceptional for a pair of embedded tweeters that end users will find satisfying.
The Toshiba Qosmio G30 provides an all-in-one entertainment showcase like no other. It is a television, a HD-DVD player, a formidable gaming machine, and a productivity device all rolled into one. This notebook even comes with a built-in fingerprint sensor for added data protection and privacy. Price is expected to be hovering at the USD$3,200 range, which is quite a sum for a notebook. And while format war between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray is still rolling, it is advisable to look beyond the optical drive and get this notebook based on its multimedia and feature merits instead.