Review: Toshiba-Qosmio G45-AV680

First, let’s admit we all love thin electronics. Phones, TVs, notebooks. Especially notebooks – what with yesterday’s announcement. But sometimes, you just want a computer with a little more power and a little more screen space. Something that feels like it can survive a fall down a flight of stairs and then blow away a Doom 3 benchmark.

Toshiba’s G45 tries valiantly to be such a notebook but it ends up coming short in a few keys areas. There’s trouble from the start: 2 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, and nVidia 8600M GT reads like a line up for a mid-range desktop replacement. Meh. Specs like these were cool back in 2007. And while the G45 does have two hard drives (160 GB each), you won’t see any performance gains since they aren’t in a RAID configuration. To be fair, the G45 does sport some next-gen components, like a -cough- HD-DVD ROM drive and HDMI out port. But for a laptop designed with media hogs in mind, the specs left us largely unimpressed.

Despite these lackluster internal specs, the G45 is unabashedly gorgeous outside, with an all-white base and keyboard punctuated by silver dials and media keys that are reminiscent of ones found on high-end audio receivers. In fact, it’s the audio capability of the G45 that makes it stand out, thanks to its Harman/Kardon speaker system. Two speakers flank the 17-inch (1920 x 1200) screen while another pair is stashed in the base along with a subwoofer. That’s a 4.1 setup for those counting. On a more grave note, our review unit was plagued with dozens of stuck pixels. And while only noticeable up close or on dark backgrounds, the defect would prevent us from recommending the system to the mediaphiles it’s designed for.

  • RAM Size: 2 GB
  • Clock Rate: 2 GHz
  • Hard Drive Size: 160 GB (x2)
  • Screen Size: 17 inches
  • Screen Resolution: 1920 x 1200 pixels
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