|Toshiba Qosmio X505-Q896 Laptop Review|
|Home Theater Media Servers Home Theater/Media Center PCs|
|Written by Mike Flacy|
|Tuesday, 16 November 2010|
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Toshiba includes a program called Media Controller for transferring media around your network. Do you have some ripped files on your laptop that you want to move to the Playstation 3 in the family room? Just send them over with Media Controller without having to use a FTP program, it’s all drag and drop. For consuming video, I used Windows Media Center to output all Blu-ray, music, pictures and ripped movies to my various displays. It worked very well for navigating through my files with a Media Center compatible remote (I use the Gyration GYR4101CKUS Air Music Remote) and Toshiba automatically includes the launch buttons for both the DVD & Blu-ray player applications that come with the PC.
However, getting to my actual Blu-ray content was vastly faster on the Qosmio X505 than any of the players in my home. I don’t believe the drive loaded the content any faster, but rather the speed of the data being processed was superior in all fronts. I always try to only watch specific scenes from movies, but got sucked into The Dark Knight again, which looked fantastic from the internal Blu-ray drive. Even with the bloated BD-Live titles, I was getting to the actual movie in half the time it took on an above average Blu-ray player. You can turn the main screen off as well to only display content on your preferred screen. I did see the slightest bit of lag time between the laptop screen and the HDMi output, but that’s to be expected when sending massive amounts of data to the screen. While I used a sound system most of the time, the Harman Kardon speakers are easily the best built-in laptop speakers that I’ve ever heard. They are incredibly crisp, have a solid midrange and carry over a small room like a bedroom. There’s also Dolby sound processing built in, so you have the ability to use a virtual 5.1 headphones setup if you want to watch a late night movie without disturbing your significant other.
The Toshiba Qosmio X505 is also a powerhouse when it comes to gaming. I threw recent games like Fallout: New Vegas and Call of Duty: Black Ops at the graphics processor and it didn’t even blink an eye. It was cranking out the full 1080p resolution with full graphics options on and it was a silky smooth experience. It can handle multitasking with ease as well. Last week, I was listening to (and partly watching) Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen on Blu-ray while surfing the net, working in Photoshop, typing up a new Word doc along with a variety of other minor applications running. It also recovers from Sleep mode faster than any laptop I’ve ever owned, typically taking about a second to return to an operable state.
What are your thoughts on using a laptop for both HTPC media and generaluse?