Toshiba Qosmio DX730 PC TV combo
Touchscreen desktop entertainer
Toshiba’s Qosmio laptops regularly appear in our hardware reviews but the new Qosmio DX730 is a bit of a departure. In fact, it’s not a laptop at all. It is, according to Toshiba, the very first desktop PC that they’ve ever released here in Europe. And it’s a pretty good one at that.
Touching idea: Toshiba's Qosmio DX730
As you might expect with Toshiba’s background in consumer electronics, the DX730 very much puts its emphasis on entertainment and multimedia. The all-in-one unit provides a bright, sharp 23in touch-screen display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, as well as a hybrid analogue/digital TV tuner. An HDMI input is included too, so you can plug in a games console or set-top box. There’s also a rather nice set of custom-designed Onkyo speakers built into it, complete with a separate subwoofer.
Prices start at £699 for the DX730-100 model, which includes – shock horror – a 2.1GHz Intel Pentium B950, along with 4GB RAM, 1TB hard disk. For £799 you can step up to the DX730-101, which swaps the Pentium for a 2.2GHz Intel Core i3-2330M. On test is the top-of-the-range DX730-102, priced at £999, which runs a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430M and also throws in a Blu-ray player and 6GB RAM.
Windows Media Centre-savvy remote is among the peripherals
The slimline system is neatly designed, with the screen and wireless mouse and keyboard all finished off in the same glossy ‘precious black’. I wasn’t wild about the keyboard, though, as the keys lie very flat and low and don’t feel very responsive. The sideways-mounted tray-loading Blu-ray drive is also a bit dodgy – it’s fiddly to insert disks, and the plastic tray mechanism feels rather flimsy.
Those are relatively minor flaws, though, and I was more irritated by the morass of bloatware that awaits you when you turn the PC on for the first time.
Virtual keyboard: for when those Bluetooth batteries go flat
There’s a variety of programs and notifications that appear on the initial startup, and some of them linger afterwards too, making regular appearances to remind you to register the anti-virus software or start making a back-up. I particularly hated the customised iGoogle page on Internet Explorer, which replaces the normal clean and simple Google home page with a page full of rubbish.
Next page: Making contact
The software bundle is a problem
Possibly not so much on this system, but a friend of mine bought a cheapo toshiba laptop the other day and brought it to me for fettling.
Out of the box it was broken - windows 7 is fine as plain install but with the toshiba crapware installed it took over five minutes to boot to desktop and then a further 30 mins to stop auto installing stuff - three of which then auto started and then promptly crashed, freezing the screen in the process.
If I wasn't so tech savvy I would have taken it back as broken. It took me over four hours with PC de-crappifier, CC cleaner, and Windows update to get *most* of the stuff off and it's still not quite as quick as I know it should be - but of course they don't supply the media for a clean W7 install.
WAYYYYY overpriced for what it is!
But christ why has it taken so long to integrate a PC into a telly? This should have happened along time ago!
Not true for a long time...
"It’s actually configured more like a laptop – perhaps no surprise there, Apple has been doing this with iMacs for years "
All new iMacs come with 4-core Intel I5s (up to 3.1 GHz), with discrete Radeon graphics and up to 16GB memory. This isn't a laptop with a built-in large screen.
Actually it's been done a lot
For example there was the Siemens FD 204, which had both a complete TV and a complete PC in one case, you had a button to switch the monitor between both modes. The problem was it was overpriced.
Such combined PC-TVs are a fairly small market. And that market is probably only going to get smaller now that you can simply buy separate PCs you can screw onto the VESA mount on back of your TV or monitor.
Not the first desktop
Toshiba have in the past done a range of desktops, some of which where sold in the U.K. One can start off with the Equium 7000 series based on the NLX chassis released in the late 1990's. A quick Google and you can still find web pages on the Toshiba Europe website about them.