Toshiba Qosmio X300

Eye candy? Snazzy styling and GPU grunt for gamers

The maximum resolution when connected to an external screen is 2048 x 1536, so full-HD is possible if connected to an HD television. There’s no Blu-ray drive though, as Toshiba are still a bit touchy about the whole ‘Blu-ray versus HD-DVD’ business. The standard-definition 8x DVD±RW and On/Off switch for the 802.11n WiFi appear on the front edge – we prefer having the optical drive on the side, but that’s not a major problem.

Toshiba Qosmio X300-13W

Heavy breather: sizeable air intakes keep this Tosh cool

We were, however, a bit more concerned about the two air-intake vents on the base of the unit, which suck in air to cool the CPU before pumping it out of the large air vent on the back of the unit. Toshiba’s manual points out the obvious risk of sucking in dust and debris through the base of the unit, and warns you that blocking the air-intake vents could cause the CPU to run more slowly or even shut down altogether in order to prevent it overheating.

That’s a bit worrying – especially when using our padded Belkin Cushtop for testing at home. To be fair, the Qosmio didn’t overheat or cause any problems during our tests, but we can’t help thinking that having those two intakes right on the base of the unit is offering up a hostage to fortune.

X300 prices start at about £1200 for the X300-11S model, which has a Core 2 Duo processor running at 2.4GHz, as well as 4GB of RAM and 320GB hard disk. We tested the top-of-the-range X300-13W, which comes in at £2250 with a 2.53GHZ Core 2 Extreme.

Toshiba Qosmio X300-13W

Top of the class: two 512MB GPUs and a 12Mb level 2 cache feature in flagship models

We should mention that Toshiba’s web site is a mess, and that the prices and specification for the X300-13W vary from one web page to another. In fact, one page currently lists the X300-13W as being on special offer at £1949, although Toshiba told us that they weren’t sure how long this offer might last. It took us several days to confirm the correct price and specifications with Toshiba, so we’d recommend double-checking everything with their telephone sales staff before placing any orders.

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