Notebookcheck

Review Toshiba Qosmio X500-121 Notebook

Florian Glaser, 07/01/2010

Let the games begin. The X500, an 18.4-inch desktop replacement, has already found its way into our editorial office before the review even began. Toshiba recently updated the graphics card, insisting on scrapping the planned GeForce GTS 250M and including a GeForce GTS 360M as standard, which we naturally put through its paces.

Toshiba Qosmio X500-121

At the moment only three models of the Qosmio X500-series are more or less available in stores. The model that we have tested, the Qosmio X500-121 has a recommended price of 1649 Euros (street prices are circa 1600 Euro) and is equipped with a spacious eight GB of RAM (2x 4096 MB DDR3-8500) as well as two hard drives with a total capacity of 640 GB (2x 320 GB, 5400 rpm).

Moving a rung down the model ladder puts 100 Euro in your pocket; the Qosmio X500-12D lowers the available RAM to a still respectable 6 GB (1x 4096 MB + 1x 2048 MB) and the hard drive capacity moves down to 500 GB. A notch below this is the Qosmio X500-111 with 4GB of RAM and a 320 GB hard drive, though we would no longer recommend this model since the GeForce GTS 250M is inferior to the GeForce GTS 360M in the newer models.

Common to all models is the quad-core processor from Intel, the Core i7-720QM with a clock speed of 1.6 to 2.8 GHz. Adding to all of this, Toshiba chose to outfit the X500 series with a Blu-Ray drive that can burn Blu-Rays in addition to DVDs. Also of note is the 18.4-inch display with a resolution of 1680 x 945 pixels. In every instance the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium is the default OS choice. The notebook comes with a 24-month warranty which includes international Bring-In-Service as well as an on-site pickup service for Germany and Austria.

As we tested an identical Toshiba Qosmio X500 a few months ago, we will not be diving into detail about the chassis, equipment and input devices. For those interested in reading about these points in more, check out our original review of the Toshiba Qosmio X500-10V.

Display

The 18.4-inch display rendered in 16:9 format has a rather unusual native resolution of 1680 x 945. Surprisingly, this resolution is supported by the majority of current games and provides a sufficiently large work surface upon which two windows can be opened and used at the same time.

165
cd/m²
165
cd/m²
165
cd/m²
171
cd/m²
183
cd/m²
169
cd/m²
156
cd/m²
176
cd/m²
167
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 183 cd/m²
Average: 168.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: (Konst.) 183 cd/m²
Black: 1.31 cd/m²
Contrast: 140:1
Color space
Color space

In comparison to the Qosmio X500-10V, Toshiba uses a different panel of the type SEC324B in the Qosmio X500-121. This panel sets itself apart from the previous model with an improved average brightness (168.5 to 148.4 cd/m²) and a similar illumination value (85 to 80%). With numbers like these the "old" display can be put safely to rest with values sub-par to its replacement.

We will start with the black values, which range from a very good 0.23 cd/m² to an average 1.31 cd/m². Dark areas which are mostly present in games and film do not appear as a dark black but are rather gray in appearance. The largest point of criticism is the disappointing contrast, which dropped from an excellent 710:1 to nothing more than 140:1. Color and brightness graduations are not particularly differentiable with values like these. To compound this problem the colors are generally lacking a certain naturalness and intensity; a lighter yellow tinge, especially when using Office applications, would have been more appealing to the eye. All in all the picture quality is neither worthy of a desktop replacement nor a notebook in the price range of 1600 Euro.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use

The display isn't exactly suited to outdoor use. The reflective display surface leads to strong reflections in situations where there is moderate sunlight; this makes the picture being displayed hard to recognize. In interior rooms where the notebook is positioned opposite or under windows distracting reflections are a certain possibility.

A final word on the viewing angle: though the picture stays relatively stable even at wide horizontal angles, vertically the color tone and illumination quickly changes. The limitations on the vertical viewing angle are very extensive, so much so that even when one has found an optimal seating position the viewable part of the display still drifts into gray shades.

Viewing angle Toshiba Qosmio X500-121
Viewing angle Toshiba Qosmio X500-121

Performance

Turbo Boost
Turbo Boost

In contrast to the graphics card, nothing has changed with respect to the processor. Intel's entry-level quad core Core i7-720QM still stands at the ready for the tasks on hand. The clock frequency of the 720QM isn't anything astonishing at 1.60 GHz, but the performance of the current Core-series is still convincing thanks to the efficiency of its design. With help from Turbo-Boost Technology the clock frequency is automatically raised up to 2.80 GHz when system demand from running applications could use the extra power. Contingencies for the Turbo-mode are that all four cores cannot be utilized at once and that the cooling system is not under undue stress.

A further feature of the Core i7-720M is the Hyperthreading-Technology. This technology supplements the four physical cores with four virtual cores so that the CPU is able to process up to eight physical threads at once. In applications optimized for parallel computation Hyperthreading can lead to a noticeable speed increase, though games will hardly profit from such technology. The maximum electrical consumption, at 45 Watts, isn't exactly low but there again the 774 million transistor chip with 1024 KB L2 cache and 6144 KB of L3 cache isn't exactly concerned with saving energy.

When it comes to the RAM, Toshiba upped the ante and outfitted the Qosmio X500-121 with a total of 8192 MB DDR3-RAM (1066 MHz) in the form of two 4096 MB modules. Thanks to the 64-bit variant of Windows 7 Home Premium the entire amount of RAM is available for use. This amount of RAM should not present a bottleneck even in years to come, as even the most demanding games currently out there do not require more than 4096 MB.

5.4
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
7
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
7.3
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
6.8
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6.8
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
5.4
HWiNFO
HWiNFO

Toshiba fulfills an overdue update to the graphics system by upgrading the GeForce GTS 250M to the next-generation GeForce GTS 360M. Both graphics cards have 96 unified shaders as well as 1024 MB of video RAM of the GDDR5 variety. Thanks to the GDDR5-RAM the narrow 128-bit memory interface doesn't present the same performance bottleneck that DDR3-RAM did at high resolutions. The 40nm finishing process has also remained the same as has support for DirectX 10.1. Buyers will have to do without support for more advanced DirectX 11 graphics, as can be found on ATI's current cards as well as Nvidia's brand-new Fermi architecture (GeForce GTX 480M).

The uprated clock rates of the GeForce GTS 360M are certainly palpable compared to the GTS 250M. The core is clocked at 576 MHz instead of the old 450 MHz (+126 MHz), the memory at 1800 MHz instead of 1600 MHz (+200 MHz). The shader clock has been raised from 1080 to 1436 MHz (+356 MHz). Above all the increased clock rates should allow the GeForce GTS 360M to distance itself from the GTS 250M.

The Qosmio X500-121 had the 197.16 graphics drivers pre-installed. For the purposes of staying current we decided to use the newest version (257.21), which was just released before we reviewed the notebook.

System info CPUZ CPU
System info HDTune (HDD 2)
System info HDTune (HDD 1)
System info HDTune (HDD 1)
System info GPUZ
System info CPUZ SPD
System info CPUZ Memory
System info CPUZ Mainboard
System info CPUZ Cache
System info HDTune (HDD 2)
System information: Toshiba Qosmio X500-121

Among other programs, we test the application performance with the 64-bit version of Cinebench R10. The Core i7-720QM scores 3748 points in the Single-core rendering test while the Core i7-620M, currently the fastest dual-core CPU, scores 4259 in the same test. In the multi-core rendering test the Core i7-720QM scores an excellent 10207 points over the Core i7-620's score of 9074 points.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
3748 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
10207 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
4441 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
27.75 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.96 Points
Help
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage5441 points
Help

For the graphics benchmarks we wanted to limit the comparisons with the competition to the most current 3DMark Vantage. With a good 5333 points, the GeForce GTS 360M sets itself apart from the Radeon HD 5650 (3450 points, Deviltech Fire DTX) and the GeForce GTS 250M (4371 points, Toshiba Qosmio X500-10V) and aligns itself more closely with the GeForce GTX 260M (5686 points, Alienware M15x) and the Radeon HD 5850 DDR3 (5691 points, Acer Aspire 8943G). Against the flagship Radeon HD 5870 (8044 points, Acer G73JH) and the GeForce GTX 480M (9277 points, Clevo D901F) the GeForce GTS 360M just can't hold its ground.

Note: apart from the Clevo Barebone are all notebooks powered by Core i7-720 processors.

3D Mark
3DMark 0326366 points
3DMark 0516879 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
9865 points
3DMark Vantage5333 points
Help

Two hard drives each with a capacity of 320 GB (5400 rpm) provide a considerable total capacity of 640 GB. The values recorded by HDTune prove that these HDDs have passable performance. The average transfer rates of 51.6 and 54.8 MB/s respectively are unimpressive, as good hard drives will put up numbers of 70 to 80 MB/s. Toshiba has divided the primary hard drive into two partitions of around 149 GB, while the secondary hard drive was left with one 298 GB partition. When the storage space at hand isn't sufficient, data can be stored externally with help from the Blu-Ray/DVD burner.

Toshiba MK3263GSX
Transfer Rate Minimum: 23.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 71.4 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 51.6 MB/s
Access Time: 18.7 ms
Burst Rate: 77.6 MB/s
DPC Latency Checker
DPC Latency Checker Toshiba Qosmio X500-121

Conclusion: Performance

The performance in applications has us absolutely taken. Intel's Core i7-720QM, thanks to modern features like Hyperthreading and Turbo-Boost, offers not only a high degree of future proofing but also qualifies the quad-core machine to tackle anything that you can throw at it. The GeForce GTS 360M is not in any way inferior to the processor; when measured in 3DMarks the graphics card is roughly on the same level as the older GeForce GTX 260M. The only fault that we can find is that the equipment lacks the support for DirectX 11.

Gaming Performance

Wie wir testen - Leistung

In order to best approximate the performance of the GeForce GTS 360M and minimize the influence from the CPU, we have carried out the gaming tests at very demanding settings at a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Here the GeForce GTS 360M is competing with a colleague from its own house (GeForce GTX 260M) and the opposition from ATI (Radeon HD 5730 & Radeon HD 5850 GDDR5). Unless otherwise specified, the indicated results are from the following notebooks: mySN XMG6, mySN MG7.c and the MSI GX640.

Modern Warfare 2

A frame rate of 34.0 fps makes Modern Warfare 2 playable at 1920 x 1080 with very high details and 4x anti-aliasing (AA). With a frame rate like this the GeForce GTS 360M ahead of the Radeon HD 5730 (25 fps) but behind the GeForce GTX 260M (40.0 fps) and the Radeon HD 5850 GDDR5 (46.7 fps).

CoD Modern Warfare 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080all on/max vsync off, textures extra, 4xAA34 fps
 1366x768all on/high vsync off, high textures, 4xAA53.1 fps
 1024x768all on/med vsync off, normal textures, 2xAA61.3 fps

Bad Company 2

In Bad Company 2 the performance differences of the individual graphics cards are less noticeable. The GeForce GTS 360M (21.6 fps) and the GeForce GTX 260M (23.2 fps) at full-HD resolution, high details, 4x AA and 8x AF are similarly quick. With the Radeon HD 5730 and its meager 16.3 fps it wouldn't be the first choice to put on graphics duty, where in comparison the Radeon HD 5850 GDDR5 (30.8 fps) runs at least halfway decent.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080high, HBAO on, 4xAA, 8xAF21.6 fps
 1366x768high, HBAO on, 1xAA, 4xAF40.2 fps
 1366x768medium, HBAO off, 1xAA, 1xAF52 fps

Metro 2033

When dealing with the extremely demanding Metro 2033, the wheat is separated quickly from the chaff. Since even high-end graphics cards show difficulties at high details and DirectX 11, we decided to forgo a test at 1920 x 1080. At a resolution of 1600 x 900, high details, AAA (analytical Anti-aliasing) and 4x AF turned on the situation doesn't really look any better. The GeForce GTS 360M isn't able to hang on with a disappointing 17.9 fps, though the Radeon HD 5730 fares worse at 14.8 fps.

Metro 2033
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1600x900High DX10, AAA, 4xAF17.9 fps
 1360x768Normal DX10, AAA, 4xAF32.1 fps
 800x600Low DX9, AAA, 4xAF42.2 fps

Anno 1404

Strategy and construction games are not as demanding on hardware as most Ego-shooters are. At our benchmark resolution of 1280 x 1024, very high details and 4x AF Anno 1404 runs at an average 39.1 fps. The Radeon HD 5730 fluently spits it back at 38.9 fps and the GeForce GTX 260M (Alienware M15x) does so at 49.5 fps. Lastly the Radeon HD 5850 GDDR5, at a rate of 57.3 fps, is the cherry on the top of the performance list.

Anno 1404
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1280x1024very high, 0AA, 4AF39.1 fps
 1024x768low, 0AA, 0AF122.6 fps

Risen

At 1920 x 1080 resolution the nameless hero of the role-playing game Risen isn't able to move through the atmospherically thick island world; at high details and 4x AF the frame rate in our test averaged 23.2 fps. With the Radeon HD 5730 the gameplay slows further to 18.4 fps, but with the GeForce GTX 260M (26.9 fps) and the Radeon HD 5850 GDDR5 (29.1 fps) Risen plays at a much more respectable pace.

Risen
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080high/all on, 0xAA, 4xAF23.2 fps
 1366x768all on/high, 4xAF33.4 fps
 1024x768all on/med, 2xAF45.7 fps

Shift

The realistic racing game running at full-HD, high details and 4x AA requires some potent hardware. Luckily the Qosmio X500-121 can deliver on this requirement and provide the user with a largely fluent 32.0 fps. The GeForce GTX 260M (39.1 fps) and the Radeon HD 5850 GDDR5 (40.1 fps) guarantee a more playable experience. The Radeon HD 5730 ends the race at 21.0 fps.

Need for Speed Shift
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080all on/high, 4xAA, triliniarAF32 fps
 1366x768all on/high, 4xAA, triliniarAF53.1 fps
 1024x768all on/med, 2xAA, triliniarAF63.2 fps

Dirt 2

We decided in the name of fairness to avoid comparing the performance of the GeForce GTS 360M with ATI's graphics bench, as this generation of Nvidia's hardware does not support DirectX 11 features. At a resolution of 1920 x 1080, very high details and 4x AA the rally game hangs just above the critical mark of 25 fps at 27.8 fps. The GeForce GTX 260M edges out the competition here with 35.3 fps.

Colin McRae: DIRT 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Ultra Preset, 4xAA27.8 fps
 1360x768High Preset, 2xAA50.2 fps
 1024x768Medium Preset, 0xAA80.9 fps

Crysis

Will the sequel to the undisputed graphics benchmark arrive in 2010? This is surely the question on the minds of many fans of the series, though for the time being we will have to be satisfied with the first chapter. Despite its age the resource-intensive Crysis is still a force to be reckoned with. At 1920 x 1080 resolution and very high details the integrated benchmark ran at a crawl; the GeForce GTS 360M reached only 9.9 fps in the GPU test. The Radeon HD 5730 (8.5 fps), GeForce GTX 260M (12.2 fps) and Radeon HD 5850 GDDR5 (16.2 fps) were also similarly overwhelmed.

Crysis - GPU Benchmark
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Very High, 0xAA, 0xAF9.9 fps
 1024x768High38.5 fps
 1024x768Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF62.4 fps

Conclusion: Gaming Performance

After our comprehensive benchmark suite was through, we arrived at a few different conclusions regarding the GeForce GTS 360M. All current games can be played fluidly in their native resolution of 1680 x 945 with high details turned on, though very demanding titles like Crysis or Metro 2033 will have to make do with lower settings. As such, the GeForce GTS 360M positions itself above mid-range graphics cards like the Radeon HD 5670/5730 and GeForce GT 330M/GTS 250M and somewhat higher than the Radeon HD 5850 DDR3.

Against high-end graphics cards like those on the level of the GeForce GTX 260M or the Radeon HD 5850 GDDR5 the GeForce GTS 360M looks somewhat impotent in comparison. All in all we would characterize the gaming performance of the Qosmio X500-121 as good to very good since even demanding players should also be satisfied with the power on tap. For absolute performance enthusiasts the GeForce GTS 360M is too weak and buyers should look to the respective Radeon HD 5870 or the GeForce GTX 285M/GTX 480M for the firepower that they need.

low med.high ultra
Crysis - GPU Benchmark (2007) 62.438.59.9fps
Crysis - CPU Benchmark (2007) 60.534.59.4fps
Anno 1404 (2009) 122.639.1fps
Colin McRae: DIRT 2 (2009) 80.950.227.8fps
Need for Speed Shift (2009) 63.253.132fps
Risen (2009) 45.733.423.2fps
CoD Modern Warfare 2 (2009) 61.353.134fps
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (2010) 5240.221.6fps
Metro 2033 (2010) 42.232.117.9fps

Emissions

System Noise

During typical Office and Internet applications the Qosmio X500-121 is lightly to reasonably audible. In 3D applications the cooling fan is clearly audible, though in games it is mostly drowned out by the sound effects. Under full stress the cooling system becomes a little louder, though at no point is the notebook distractingly loud. After a period at full stress the cooling system needs a short amount of time to come back down to the lower speeds at which it normally operates.

The main problem here is the optical drive which when accessing data makes a very apparent whirring and buzzing noise, drawing nothing but attention to itself. When playing back a DVD or Blu-Ray there is a light whirring that can be heard; the hard drives (even at idle) produce a consistent though not disruptive clicking sound. All in all, we would describe the noise pattern as being passable.

A further tip: the AC adapter that came with our test system produced an unnerving whistling noise; potential buyers should only hope that this was a single isolated case and that it is not indicative of normal operation.

Noise Level

Idle 34.7 / 35.1 / 35.3 dB(A)
HDD 35.3 dB(A)
DVD 39.7 / dB(A)
Load 38.4 / 41.6 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)
Temp. Idle
Temp. Idle
Temp. Stress
Temp. Stress

Temperature

One would think that in a larger 18.4-inch chassis there would be ample room for an elaborate and suitable cooling system: unfortunately, thanks to the thermal profile of the processor on hand these assumptions are invalid. While the Core i7-720M CPU, at 55°C, doesn't exactly remain cool while idling, it heated up considerably to 100°C during our long-term stress tests with Furmark and Prime95. This kind of heat was enough to trigger the Intel TJunction feature (maximum temperature). The result? The processor will return to its standard frequency until the desired temperature is achieved. Since games do not stress the system in the same manner as the dedicated tests do, this sort of situation should not worry the average user. Furthermore, there wasn't anything during the benchmarks that was conspicuous or striking. The graphics card remained comparatively cool at 44°C at idle and 74°C under stress.

Moving on now to the chassis surfaces. The Qosmio X500-121 stayed comfortably cool at idle with surface temperatures of 32.4°C and underside temperatures of 34.1°C. What we liked most about this was that the palm rest only warmed up to a hair above 30°C. Apart from this the thermal pattern under full stress is considerable, measuring 56.1°C at the surface and 52.5°C on the underside. With numbers like these it would not take long for users to become uncomfortable.

Max. Load
 40.2 °C56.1 °C37.9 °C 
 31.5 °C37.2 °C34.0 °C 
 27.3 °C29.1 °C30.2 °C 
Maximum: 56.1 °C
Average: 35.9 °C
45.2 °C48.6 °C52.5 °C
30.1 °C46.1 °C31.8 °C
25.2 °C29.6 °C28.9 °C
Maximum: 52.5 °C
Average: 37.6 °C
Power Supply (max.)  52.8 °C | Room Temperature 21.5 °C

Loudspeakers

Sound quality has always been one of the preeminent weak points on many notebooks and in this respect the Qosmio X500-121 has broken tradition in a most pleasing way. The two large loudspeakers above the keyboard possess both a usable maximum volume and a mostly balanced sound image. Bass is also at hand, though it is rudimentary. In direct comparison to a purpose-built stereo system there are a few typical "notebook phenomena" that the Qosmio does not escape: the sound itself is somewhat tinny and hollow. Despite this, connecting the notebook to an external stereo isn't necessary and one would do fine using the integrated system for daily use.

Battery Life

Readers Test
Maximum Battery Life (Readers Test)
Classic Test
Minimum Battery Life  (Classic Test)

Toshiba endowed the Qosmio X500-121 with a performance-appropriate and voluminous 87Wh battery, promising a good runtime, though the energy-hungry components make its installation necessary in the first place. Under ideal conditions in the form of minimum brightness, maximum energy-saving options and low CPU-load the Readers Test from Battery Eater showed a maximum of 3.5 hours. If one is surfing via WLAN with maximum brightness and moderate energy-saving options on, the battery life sinks to just about three hours. Blu-Ray playback disappoints with little over an hour and 42 minutes of life. Under stress (Classic Test from Battery Eater) and with maximum brightness and deactivated energy-saving options the session ends after a brief 71 minutes.

Summed up the battery life is neither disappointing nor impressive and fits in well when looking at the wider picture of battery life in desktop replacements like this.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 28min
WiFi Surfing
2h 48min
DVD
1h 42min
Blu-ray
1h 42min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 11min

The energy consumption is, if anything, modest. 28.6 - 33.1 Watts at idle and 119.6 - 151.6 Watts under stress are on the same level as similarly equipped notebooks. Only the 1.7 Watt consumption in standby-mode is a bit high, as a majority of previously-tested notebooks do not consume more than a Watt when in this state.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.2 / 1.7 Watt
Idle 28.6 / 31.0 / 33.1 Watt
Load 119.6 / 151.6 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         

Verdict

Toshiba has largely achieved a worthy desktop replacement with the Qosmio X500-121. On the positive side it has excellent performance in applications as well as good gaming prowess; the luxurious connectivity, integrated Blu-Ray burner and respectable loudspeakers are only further jewels in its crown. As such the notebooks is a solid mix between gaming machine and entertainment platform.

Input devices, battery life and the noise pattern are in order though they are not the best that they could have been. Though one cannot complain with the temperature at idle, under stress the chassis surfaces simply become too warm thanks to the extremely hot processor reaching temperatures in the neighborhood of 100°C. A further point of criticism can be leveled on the high-gloss finish which is unreasonably sensitive and makes the notebook quite susceptible to looking dirty. After a short time the dust and fingerprints are all too apparent.

What disappointed us the most was the display. The colors were relatively weak and poorly differentiated, the pitiful black values and limited vertical viewing angle make dark areas look gray by comparison. Games and films both take on a dismal appearance.

We leave you with the following: those not disturbed by the average display quality will find a powerful and well-equipped notebook in the Qosmio X500-121.

Toshiba Qosmio X500-121
In Review: Toshiba Qosmio X500-121
In Review: Toshiba Qosmio X500-121

Specifications

Toshiba Qosmio X500-121

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel PM55
:: Memory
8192 MB, 2x 4096 MByte DDR3-8500 (1066 MHz)
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 360M - 1024 MB, Core: 576 MHz, Memory: 1800 MHz, Shader frequency: 1436 MHz, GDDR5-VRAM, 257.21
:: Display
18.4 inch 16:9, 1680x945 pixel, SEC324B, 46.70 cm, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
Toshiba MK3263GSX, 320 GB 5400 rpm 2 hard drives with total 640 GB capacity.
:: Soundcard
Conexant Cx20583 @ High Definition Audio - Controller
:: Connections
1 Express Card 54mm, 4 USB 2.0, 1 Firewire, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Infrared, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 eSata, Audio Connections: Headphones (incl. SPDIF), microphone, Card Reader: SD, MS, MS Pro, MMC, XD,
:: Networking
Atheros AR8131 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller (10MBit), Realtek RTL8191SE Wireless LAN 802.11n PCI-E NIC (b g n ), 2.1 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
MATSHITA BD-MLT UJ240ES
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 42 x 442 x 294
:: Weight
4.6 kg
:: Battery
87 Wh Lithium-Ion
:: Price
1600 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 1 Megapixel (1280 x 800) mit Gesichtserkennung, Handbook, 180 Watt AC adapter, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
Imprinted on the outer lid is an Oosmio-logo.
Imprinted on the outer lid is an Oosmio-logo.
The properly-dimensioned keys are exceptionally smooth.
The properly-dimensioned keys are exceptionally smooth.
After a short time, fingerprints are apparent on the keyboard.
After a short time, fingerprints are apparent on the keyboard.
The touch pad is unsuitably distanced from the palm rest.
The touch pad is unsuitably distanced from the palm rest.
The small status lamps light up red or orange when indicating activity.
The small status lamps light up red or orange when indicating activity.
Fingerprint scanner sits between the touch pad buttons.
Fingerprint scanner sits between the touch pad buttons.
Warm air is directed to the backside where it exits out of the chassis.
Warm air is directed to the backside where it exits out of the chassis.
Infrared-receiver, WLAN/Bluetooth and 5-in-1 card reader.
Infrared-receiver, WLAN/Bluetooth and 5-in-1 card reader.
RJ-45 Gigabit-Lan, eSATA/USB 2.0 und USB 2.0.
RJ-45 Gigabit-Lan, eSATA/USB 2.0 und USB 2.0.
HDMI, Firewire and Blu-Ray/DVD-burner.
HDMI, Firewire and Blu-Ray/DVD-burner.
The ExpressCard-slot can block the optical drive when in use.
The ExpressCard-slot can block the optical drive when in use.
Headphones (incl. SPDIF), microphone and 2x USB 2.0.
Headphones (incl. SPDIF), microphone and 2x USB 2.0.
VGA, AC power and Kensington lock.
VGA, AC power and Kensington lock.
This multimedia strip on the side can thankfully be deactivated within the Bios.
This multimedia strip on the side can thankfully be deactivated within the Bios.
The sound quality on offer is above average.
The sound quality on offer is above average.
The loudspeakers are from Harman/Kardon.
The loudspeakers are from Harman/Kardon.
The high-gloss surfaces are very sensitive to smudging.
The high-gloss surfaces are very sensitive to smudging.
The left side is stocked with various ports.
The left side is stocked with various ports.
The available connectivity is very well optioned.
The available connectivity is very well optioned.
The maximum angle at which the display can be opened is disappointing.
The maximum angle at which the display can be opened is disappointing.
Three panels can be removed from the bottom of the notebook.
Three panels can be removed from the bottom of the notebook.
RAM and hard drive are able to be exchanged without any issues.
RAM and hard drive are able to be exchanged without any issues.
Two fans are responsible for the waste heat from the CPU and GPU.
Two fans are responsible for the waste heat from the CPU and GPU.
The large battery is located in the base of the chassis.
The large battery is located in the base of the chassis.
More than three hours of run time are available under optimal conditions.
More than three hours of run time are available under optimal conditions.
The X500-121 has capacity of eight GB DDR3-RAM (two modules each with 4096 MB).
The X500-121 has capacity of eight GB DDR3-RAM (two modules each with 4096 MB).
The chassis can accommodate two hard drives.
The chassis can accommodate two hard drives.
Two HDDs each with 320 GB come as standard.
Two HDDs each with 320 GB come as standard.
The 180 Watt AC adapter is large if it is anything.
The 180 Watt AC adapter is large if it is anything.

Similar Notebooks

Devices with Same Screen Size and/or Weight

» Review Toshiba Qosmio X500-10V Notebook
GeForce GTS 250M, Core i7 720QM
» Review Acer Aspire 8940G Notebook
GeForce GTS 250M, Core i7 720QM
» Review Acer Aspire 8935G Notebook
Mobility Radeon HD 4670, Core 2 Quad Q9000
» Review Acer Aspire 8920G notebook
GeForce 9650M GS, Core 2 Duo T9300

Devices from the same Manufacturer

» Toshiba Satellite Click 2 Pro P30W-B-104 Convertible Review
HD Graphics 4400, Core i5 4210U, 13.3", 1.982 kg
» Toshiba Satellite L70-B-130 Notebook Review
Radeon R9 M265X, Core i7 4710HQ, 17.3", 2.87 kg

Links

Compare Prices

Pro

+Excellent performance in applications
+Good gaming performance
+Great sound quality
+Blu-Ray burner
+Prolific connectivity
 

Cons

-Sensitive high-gloss surfaces
-Very warm under stress
-Disappointing display (contrast, black value and viewing angle)

Shortcut

What we liked

The Core i7-720QM together with the GeForce GTS 360M ensure that games and applications run at their peak.

What we missed

The high-gloss chassis surfaces are very sensitive, quickly smudged and easily dirtied.

What amazed us

In the face of being a desktop replacement the display isn't suitable: the vertical viewing angle is very limited and the black values as well as the contrast are disappointing.

The competition

18.4-inch desktop-replacements like the Acer Aspire 8940G, the Acer Aspire 8942G, the Acer Aspire 8943G or the mySN XMG8.c

Rating

Toshiba Qosmio X500-121
12/05/2010 v2
Florian Glaser

Chassis
82%
Keyboard
78%
Pointing Device
76%
Connectivity
87%
Weight
49%
Battery
72%
Display
62%
Games Performance
88%
Application Performance
88%
Temperature
70%
Noise
74%
Add Points
80%
Average
76%
79%
Gaming *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Toshiba Qosmio X500-121 Notebook
Author: Florian Glaser, 2010-07- 1 (Update: 2013-06- 6)