The Toshiba Qosmio F45: Stirring HD Fever

High-definition DVDs in laptops are the next logical step in HD technology’s conquest of the world. I haven’t quite figured out yet if the HD technology people have good intentions, or sinister ones, with their takeover of our TVs, our movies and now, yes, our portable computers. HD technology is coming at us so fast and furious it gives us little time to think beyond the primal urge to hunt and gather and buy.

The latest assault comes in the form of these new Toshiba Qosmio F45 Series laptops complete with HD DVD drives, priced especially low to guarantee that knee-jerk “I must have that” thought. Those sly chaps! The two new models are the AV425, starting at $1649, and the AV423, starting at $1299. The difference between the two models is primarily that the more expensive model comes with a T7250 Intel Core 2 Duo Processor (2GHz) versus a T5450 (1.66 GHz); a 300 GB hard drive versus 250; and an NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics chip versus an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100.

But back to the conspiracy. These Qosmios are HD in a couple of ways, which makes them all the more alluring. First, you can pop an HD DVD into the laptop itself and watch the stunning clarity in your favorite films-six times clearer than standard DVDs-on the notebook’s 15.4-inch display. If you don’t care what others will think of your HD obsession in the library, plane, or your other quiet location, then turn up the HD sound on the Harman Kardon speaks and the built-in subwoofer.

Or, my friends, truly succumb to the HD experience and plug the Qosmio into your home’s entertainment center via the HDMI port. The result is that the laptop’s Windows Vista Ultimate OS capabilities will power the resolution of your HDTV up to 1080i , as well as bump up the sound system. But beware. Once you walk down the HD path, it’s an exquisitely detailed yet slippery slope.

You buy one of these new, lower priced Qosmios, and you could soon find yourself dropping the $2,999.99 for the high-end Qosmio G45-AV680, with its 17-inch display and its HD DVD recordable drive. I must have that. For more detailed specs and the latest pricing visit ToshibaDirect.com.

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By Henrik Stigell – Laptopical

Monday, October 22, 2007