To make up for all that, I did have some fun playing with the touch-screen controls. Touch controls still seem to be a bit of a gimmick on desktop PCs, but they can be a quick alternative to using the mouse when performing simple tasks like launching a web browser or flicking through a batch of photos.
Touch control configuration
I also like the fact that Toshiba’s Flicks software allows you to customise the touch controls for tasks such as stepping forwards or backwards through a series of web pages. However, typing on a virtual keyboard when you’re trying to do a Google search or enter a web address isn’t particularly comfortable or efficient. I’m afraid that Windows in its current form simply isn’t well suited to touchscreen operation.
Rear sockets include HDMI and TV aerial connectivity
Going back to the mouse and keyboard, I found that the DX730 felt smooth and responsive when resorting to these options, and the clarity of the screen was a particular strong point. However, you could argue that the DX730 is a little underpowered for a desktop machine in this price range. It’s actually configured more like a laptop – perhaps no surprise there, Apple has been doing this with iMacs for years – as the Qosmio relies on a mobile CPU and Intel's HD 3000 integrated graphics. While it all works well enough, at this price I’d expect a discrete graphics card at the very least.
On-screen touch controls for Windows Media Centre functions
Even so, the machine’s PCMark 7 score of 2680 was perfectly respectable and outperformed a number of the Core i5 laptops that we’ve tested recently. The latest 3DMark graphics test-suite wouldn’t run on the Intel integrated graphics, but the DX730 did manage a passable 30fps when running Far Cry 2 so it can handle a spot of casual gaming if it needs to. And, of course, there’s the HDMI-input option if you want to plug a games console into it as well.
Next page: Entertaining options
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.