on September 10, 2013
As made apparent by the multiple other reviews, this laptop model has inherent issues with the wi-fi card. Toshiba is aware of the problem and continues to ship these laptops without fixing the card. The wi-fi connection will drop continuously. Like another reviewer stated, I also was promised a callback from elevated support. A call I never received. The fact that they are shipping these laptops with foreknowledge of the issue indicates questionable ethical practices by Toshiba. I am sending mine back; I'll find a more reliable and trusted manufacturer to buy a laptop from.
UPDATE: This is a known issue with the Intel Centrino N-2230 Wireless Adapter Toshiba uses and Windows 8. My hunch is they initially built this notebook to run on Windows 7. There are numerous brands and models all experiencing the identical issue. There appears to be a fix. I have been running flawlessly since instituting the fix. It involves rolling back the driver to a previous version. You can find instructions on Intel's forum here:
Look for a post posted by the guy with the username "bjbakker"
I am updating my rating to 4 stars. The computer is elegant and super fast. I would give it 5 stars, but I'm not happy with Toshiba's handling of the situation. I should not have to do all this detective work to get to the bottom of the problem, but I'm happy now.
on November 24, 2013
OK let's get this out of the way. Out of the box, there is a WiFi issue that (according to reviews and message boards) Toshiba has no fix for. I noticed it within about 10 minutes of finishing the Windows setup. Toshiba tools claim there are no new drivers, and so does MS update. If you manually download and attempt to install new wifi drivers, they will say they are not authorized for this system. I installed a third party driver update tool (if this doesn't get removed, I use Driver Genius Pro) and it found video, audio, chipset and network driver updates. Problem solved. This took me about 15 minutes.
Next I went into Toshiba tools and removed all of the extra gestures on the touch pad and removed the fn key requirement to use the F keys. Last I did the windows 8.1 pro w/media upgrade. Of course I did much more, but that was all specific to my needs. If you are curious, I upgraded it to 32GB of RAM, replaced the 1TB drive with a 980GB SSD and installed second 980GB SSD. Yes it has room for two add on drives.
Once I made these changes, the machine is a pleasure to deal with.
Once I finished installing all of my work programs (full Microsoft, Adobe and Autodesk suites), I installed Steam and Origin, and installed a number of games. Again, I don't know if they will be deleted or not, but notables are - Tomb Raider, GTA IV, Call of Duty BO2, Borderlands 2 and Bioshock Infinite. I have since played all of these games a few minutes each at highest video settings, and none of them have even stuttered. I am very pleased. On to reviews of hardware.
The screen is sharp and crisp, with very dark blacks while maintaining excellent contrast. The colors are rich but don't seem over-saturated. My only complaint about the screen would be that it is not touchscreen (not required but is an emerging standard available on $300 laptops now), and the screen is extremely glossy, which can lead to some glare issues with bright back lighting.
The sound coming from the Harmon Kardon speakers is rich and surprisingly deep. High notes are crisp, and bass is true and steady, with no cracking even at max volume. You won't want to be at max volume for long though, as the speakers easily fill a room.
They keyboard is well lit, and the red color, while flashy, does a good job at not being a distraction. The throw is relatively short, but springy, so that minimal effort is required to type, but not to the point of easily pressing keys accidentally.
The DVD/Blu Ray works well, and is relatively quiet. My biggest annoyance with the laptop is the button for the DVD is easily pressed, which results in unwanted ejection. There doesn't seem to be a way to disable the physical button, and it's annoying to the point that I am considering ordering a blank and removing the drive unless it is needed, which would be a rare occurrence.
The power pack is my last annoyance. While it is a big, heavy pack, that is normal for a laptop of this size and with these specs. What is unusual is Toshiba's choice in connectors. The laptop is the male, with four pins, and the connector recedes into the laptop with ease. The problem lies in the fact that is is a very short and stubby connector, and this leads to the connector constantly falling out when you are using the laptop as a lap-top, as opposed to sitting on a desk. There's really no way around this issue, and it's a surprising failure of Toshiba's quality control to allow something like this to ship.
General look and feel of the laptop is solid, and well built, with a look that has a little flash of red chrome that hides it's true power. My fear is that the red chrome will chip and peel over time, but I like the look.
Overall this is an excellent laptop, fast and capable, with a great balance of price to features, and for those like myself who demand even more, it's able to take more drives, more memory, and eventually - a faster 4th gen i7. A few failures at Toshiba prevented this laptop from being a shining star.
on August 28, 2013
I quite like this computer, and able to compare it to the last years version of this, the Qosmio x875-Q7390. This computer is lighter, seems more power efficient with the Haswell processor. I continue to like the 17" Qosmio for the following - big great display, blu-ray, good sound. At this size I use both laptops by setting them on the bed or on my lap. They do not leave the house that much, which would be troublesome with a laptop this size.
I like bigger because in my mind it is a better experience, rather than to be squinting into a 13" screen. I would rather hassle with carrying a bigger unit around to get the better experience when using it. I love the bright screen, the numerous ports, big speakers. Each person needs to decide portabilty versus experience. I am the type of person who would love to trade my Samsung S3 for the Galazy Note 3, so I like a bigger screen. Both laptops need to be plugged into the wall as battery life is not that great. However I must say that the A7298 has much better battery life. It really appears that the Haswell chip is better. Both computers are fast to start and also shut down quickly. The 7298 is cooler and vents the heat to the side.
Both have Windows 8, which I barely notice because I use the desktop app, which to me looks exactly like Windows 7. This may be a Toshiba app which is included. To me the specs on both are excellent for the price. I looked at other manufacturers for screen size/resolution, blu-ray, graphics card, processor, memory. I continue to be impressed by Toshiba in terms of the clarity of their website and all the features packed into the unit. It appeared very good compared to Dell, HP, ASUS, etc. When I buy a computer I intend to use it for at least 4 years, so do not mind paying a little more. I do not think both computers will be obsolete anytime soon. This computer and its predecessor are great for web surfing, music, movies. I connect both to my TV via HDMI output so I watch YouTube on my TV which is great.
The only issue is I would be careful with Toshiba quality. I have had to return a Q7290 (the predecessor to the Q7390) and my first Q7390 for being completely defective. The Q7290 would not start, and the first Q7390 had a defective graphics card diagnosed by Toshiba support. I also had another Qosmio custom machine, with similar construction specs, have to be returned about 4 months ago for a defective wifi card. The Wifi would keep losing connection with the router. Toshiba support could not fix this. It appears as if a number of others have also had the same problem. I am not a tech person so I do not know where this problem arises, but it appears that resetting the network adapter fixes this temporarily.
My current Q7390 also has this issue sporadically - this is fixed by resetting the network adapter, something that takes about 10s. But it is still a hassle, and Toshiba support did not really help me. So basically half the computers I have bought from Toshiba have had some serious problems.
The good news is that at least the A7298 has not had this issue. The bottom line is that this computer has a nice 1080p screen, blu-ray, fast processor and other specs, nice sound, and is light. It is really a wonderful machine that has improved from the 2012 computer line from Toshiba. Incidentally one thing which I really enjoy about both my computers is the fact that the track pad also is a button. This allows me to web surf many times with just one hand. This little thing really makes a difference - I especially notice this when I am using a laptop that does not have this. For example if you move to a hyperlink you have to then move your hand to another button; but with this Qosmio pad you can just push it down once the arrow is over the link. This was extremely important to me.
I recommend buying this machine directly from Amazon, and to use it thoroughly in the first month to make sure that there are no problems. I would pay more from AMZN to have the peace of mind that I can return the unit without a hassle if there are problems. I have had only good experience in returning costly electronic items to AMZN, the most customer-friendly retailer I have ever worked with.
Especially make sure that the Wifi works properly. Overall I am happy to own this machine and the Q7390.
on December 11, 2013
OH My I thought..what a cute little brick when I saw the power cord. LOL They certainly sent along a miniature power generator, but one can't complain when you understand the power behind it. Now I have to say, I still can't figure out the logic behind the design and fit of the "short male" connection of the plug that goes into the laptop. I think it's a tad bit "easy" considering the weight of it. But that's just my personal opinion. It's a good connection but I'm thinking with the weight of it, you may over time run into problems with the cord. "I"m just saying".
Over all... This is impressive. It's a good desktop replacement in that you have speed and ample storage I don't see running out of room any time soon. The screen clarity is a beauty. The feel to the keys are natural and the full keyboard is certainly a plus. All the photos I have seen online give the appearance of a "pinkish" color when in fact, this is RED. The design is almost like a brushed Grayish looking Aluminum with RED trim. VERY NICE. The photos don't do it Justice. All the keys are back-lit and the Qosmio name on the front of the Notebook also light up when the Laptop is in use, giving it a very sleek classy look. The Touch pad is flawless and you can adjust the settings to delay, for the person that has a habit of inadvertently pressing the pad while typing. I thought the pad was malfunctioning until I discovered it was set to respond on a delay. GO FIGURE!
I'm not too fond of Windows 8 but that's because it's new to me, there's a learning curve and I keep making my screen disappear but . No need to blame that on the computer. It's Operator error. So overlooking that, I recommend this computer because not only can you keep every window open that you are working on while managing others without it slowing you down, it has the ability to split the screens to do one thing on one side and perform another operation on the other side. Now that's multi-tasking. All of these functions are adjustable in the settings. Being able to charge my cell phone while my computer is sleep is a bonus. One thing I didn't see in the specs is that this DOES have a memory card reader in the very front of the laptop, on the base. I do appreciate that the versions of Adobe® Premiere Elements and Adobe® Photoshop® are the full versions not trials like some software start-up program are and the Blue-ray is not just a player but a burner. The graphic card is dedicated and can handle everything I have done to it. I've heard others complain of wi-fi issues but I have not had that experience. My computer came with windows 8.1 already installed so there was no need for an upgrade so perhaps those issues were addressed already. I do not have any complaints or issues with wi-fi, overheating, or lag. In fact, this is one of the best computers I've had in a LONG TIME!!
on December 19, 2013
Some of the hardcore overclockers out there may not be impressed, but they will certainly be spending more money.
The GPU of this unit is somewhat thermally limited by the cooling ability of the laptop design, according to my testing, but it isn't really that much of an issue. Basically what happens is that when the GPU temperature reaches 80C the GPU will clock itself down to reduce heat to a safe level, so if you run a benchmark like FurMark then you'll notice it run at it's full 800+Mhz clock rate for about 10 seconds until the temperature reaches 80C and then you'll see it slow down to avoid generating to much heat. Fortunately the slowdown only translates into a FPS loss of about 10% or so, which for me isn't really enough to notice.
I bought a cooling pad for mine and found that with the cooling pad this issue is almost eliminated anyway. Further I found that it didn't make any difference if the fan in the cooling pad was on or off, and also found that if I simply set the laptop on top of four standard six-sided dice (about 1/2" cubes) then this had the same effect as using the cooling pad! So simply giving the laptop a 1/2" air gap on its underside is enough to improve the cooling. With a cooling pad or other air gap the GPU will still reach its maximum temperature but the GPU will only have to slow down slightly to avoid exceeding it. (The FPS loss vs. perfect cooling is only maybe 3%.)
Even with no cooling pad (I haven't been using one even thought I bought one) the laptop doesn't really feel that hot to me when playing games. (They seem to have located the heat sinks away from where your hands are most of the time.) But absolutely any laptop with a Nvidia 770M+ or similar higher-end GPU is going to get hot due to the laws of physics. The heat has to go somewhere and unless a laptop has a fan that blows like a jet engine (and likely sounds like one) it's not going to be able to get rid of the heat fast enough to keep the thing perfectly cool.
- The sound on this thing is better than I expected, rather good for a laptop. They seem to have done a pretty good job with that.
- The solid-state drive is super fast. Almost everything seems to load almost instantly.
- I don't like Windows 8 that much and wish there were a Windows 7 "downgrade" option. At least it comes with 8.1 which fixes some issues with the Windows 8 user interface.
- 16GB is plenty of RAM for gaming, and the 3GB of video RAM is great
- Toshiba's vendor support utilities aren't as bad as I was afraid that they'd be. They're good enough, basically.
- I have not had the wifi disconnection problems that others have experienced.
- I've been playing a lot of Borderlands 2 lately at maximum resolution with no issues.
The only thing I don't really like about this is they keyboard, but that's kind of a random personal preference sort of issue. (Lots of people have some complaint or the other about their laptop's keyboard.)
Overall I'd say this laptop is a pretty good deal for those who want a gaming laptop for less than $2000. If you keep searching you might be able to find a better deal, but it would be tough and even then you probably won't do much better than this right now.
UPDATE: Here is a Futuremark 3DMark test for this laptop: [...]
UPDATE 2: Everything still works perfectly. I've been playing Skyrim with the high-res texture pack DLC and nvidia's settings profile and no noticeable FPS drop 99% of the time even with no cooling pad. The 3GB of VRAM is great for game like this with high-res textures (that need to be stored in VRAM and thus require a lot of it), and so far the 770M seems more than enough for anything I want to do.
on December 9, 2013
This has replaced my desktop which was really fast with quad, linked, DVI monitors. The processing speed is all there. It rips through HD 1080p renders. I did add another SSD drive because I thought there was a single spinner and I now expect the performance of the SSD drives (since they were in my desktop). Surprise, I went to replace the 256GB SSD that came with the system- NO DRIVE! It is built in! That leaves the 1TB spinning drive and an OPEN SATA slot.
So the OS is on the 256GB SSD "Drive", there is a 1 TB spinner and I added a 512GB SSD drive. Almost 2TB!
I picked up the Anker USB3.0 Dual display docking station and I am running three 1920x1080 monitors, Gigabit Ethernet and sound system through it and it has soild throughput for external USB 3.0 drives.
The dedicated video processor was absolutely a must for me. It is not quite as good as some top end Nvidia cards out there but it is solid.
Battery life is ok. I do have the extra drive in my system. Word docs and spreadsheets will not hit it hard. Wifi and Bluetooth along with rending Adobe After Effect files and listening to music? You will be looking for an outlet in about an hour. You can watch a Blu-Ray movie and still get that document done before your screen goes dark. You could actually pull the 1TB spinner out to save battery power.
Speaking of dark, the backlit keyboard is great. I will never go back.
Webcam is clear and has good color if lit well.
Full size keyboard is great.
Downside: That giant screen and all this stuff has made my bag a lot heavier. The power adapter is a "brick". But power takes power and I wouldn't go back.
Other downside: Windows 8 or 8.1
on August 10, 2013
Have only had this a little more than a day, but so far it is as advertised. Light for its size, speedy, clear display.
One thing to watch out for before you install anything to the regular HDD(D: drive); Toshiba has setup that drive to use automatic disk compression, which may slow things down depending on your app and I/O needs. It's easy enough to disable, but is best disabled before you put stuff on that drive.
For anyone curious, I've looked up how to pronounce Qosmio, popular opinion seems to be Kos-mi-o. The name may be a bit ponderous, but the laptop isn't so far.
on October 29, 2013
This is my second Qosmio, and I LOVE the improvements they have implemented over the past two years. The buttons are far more user friendly, and I love the metal body vs. the old shiny plastic.
I also love how this unit is not near as heavy as the older Qosmio's and is much sleeker in design.
While I am not a big Windows 8 fan as to appearance, it blows older Windows away when it comes to bootup/shutdown speed and switching between programs/windows. Also, there is a simple "Classic Shell" program that gives you the look and "feel" of Windows 7 or earlier.
The sound and screen definition are outstanding, and the speed of everything exceeds all my expectations! I could not be happier with the overall appearance and functionality of this unit! I am official loyal Qosmio user! A+
on December 22, 2013
I have had this laptop for about a month now and it runs great. I got exactly what I wanted when I bought it: fast browsing, decent gaming, quick file transfers,etc.
However there is something that concerns me. Everytime I power the laptop or move it , or even sometimes when i plug it in or plug it off, there is a beeping noise coming from the bios possibly. There are 4 short beeping sounds every time, which I havent been able to figure out their reason.
This happened since the first day I opened the laptop and I thought I could find out what it was but I still haven't.
I am definitely not happy about the beeping and I will contact toshiba about it. Even if it's not defective and it's part of a built-in software, this feature is very annoying to say the least, and there is no apparent way on how to turn it off.
Edit: About a month after my initial review, I am getting Blue Screens more and more often.. Definitely something is defective. I am very disappointed that not every part works as it should. I don't thin I can return it being in the other side of the world either.
on December 13, 2013
Nothing was wrong with the so called WiFi problem. I used the Ethernet cable to connect to the internet and installed every update that the update required or recommended. After said and done I disconnected my Ethernet and tried out the WiFi. It worked like it should no issue at all.
This laptop was definitely an upgrade from my Intel duo core. It loads ridiculously fast. It took me a while to figure out how window 8 works with their metro look.
I did had an issue with the function key, because I use the F keys for gaming but for this laptop it is reverse. The F1-F12 key are programmed to change the brightness, volume and etc. It was an easy fix. All I had to do was go to the boot menu and change the program for the function key.
Overall it is a huge upgrade to what I had and I love it.