Toshiba Qosmio G35-AV650 17" Laptop (Intel Core Duo Processor T2500, 1 GB RAM, 200 GB Hard Drive, DVD SuperMulti Drive)
I had a lot of mixed reactions about this laptop. Most of the features were like... "oh it has this" shortly followed by "but wait, why?" You'll understand what I mean later on.
This laptop came out at a very bad time. Granted the Core Duo with 2.0GHz is a step up from the AV600 and has much better clock speeds, it could have still been upgraded to the 2.16GHz. Also, with the Core 2 Duo processor line coming out in the very near future, it's a wonder why Toshiba didn't wait. With a premium laptop, the latest and greatest is always welcomed.
Not bad. This laptop has two 100GB hard drives, allowing for 200GB of storage at a steadily quiet 5400rpm. The RAM however is very disappointing. Toshiba actually doesn't let you upgrade before you buy. What they do do is stick you with dual channel 512 sticks making 1GB total. Now, 1GB is pretty good for a casual laptop, but this is a PREMIUM laptop. 2GB would have been nice here. This laptop can actually be upgrades to 4GB, but I don't know how well it would run that, or if it would recognize all of it.
Pretty nice. TV tuner built-in, nice media reader. Card reader. Everything else is pretty standard. The media controls are pretty nice, and I like the added security and the shortcuts on the trackpad. Keys are nice size, and the screen is really nice and bright at 1920 x 1200 maximum resolution running at a possible 1080p (only 1080i externally though). The black is very sleek and the build is pretty decent. The AV650 is heavier than Sony's AR190, so that's also kinda disappointing.
As I mentioned before the processor is a 2.0GHz processor... but besides that being slightly disappointing, so is the graphics card. Very similar to the AR190, this device also has an nVidida 7600 GT. Now if you compare this device to the AV600, it's a step up from the 7300, than it sounds like a good jump. But when you compare it to Toshiba's P105, which is almost a grand cheaper, and has a 7900 GS, you have to questions Toshiba's motives. This is far from a gaming machine, but it is still a pretty powerful machine.
I also have some major gripes with the HD DVD features. For one, it's only readable. Unlike the AR190, you cannot directly burn onto the large capacity discs. Also, there are some hiccups in the viewing. And the software that runs some of its other features are pretty bad.
Not bad. A big improvement over the AR190. I got about 165 minutes from one charge on very demanding setting. On normal usage, I got 181 minutes, so I was happy about that. It does tend to get pretty warm, so I wouldn't recommend keeping this on your lap, because it gets hot, and it's heavy, so it's best to leave this on a desk.
It really is too early in the next generation gap to be dropping over $3,000 for high end media input computers, so I still say wait it out. I have already see price drops from various vendors on the AR190, and I will suspect he same will also happen with the AV650. This machine has a lot going for it, but I still say to just get something to hold you over. There are 19" SLI laptops out there for just a little more, so if you really want the ultimate computer, that's the way to go. I recommend the AR190 over this, and you can view that review that I wrote.