Ali The format was has actually been good


The format was has actually been good. Media costs are lower than expected and player pricing is lower in the case of HD DVD I think things are progressing nicely. And quite honestly Im disappointed with Universal, Fox, Buena Vista/Disney, Lions Gate, MGM and Columbia and any other studio that has chosen sides. Let the consumer decide. There is some fine viewing to be done on this laptop. Too bad its makers didnt fix the HD-DVD features before bringing it to market The answer to one of the most burning questions in digital entertainmentBlu-ray or HD-DVD?will be determined at least in part on your computer screen. Backers of each technology are rushing to market with machines that play their respective brand of disk while handling a full range of computing tasks. Recently we looked at the Blu-ray camps notebook, the Sony SNE Vaio AR Premium, and judged the video quality from the Blu-ray disk excellent, but probably not good enough to entice Ali people to shell out 3, 500 for that alone see, 6/19/06, Sonys Pretty, Pricey Picture. Having spent time with the notebook from the other campToshibas HD-DVD capable Qosmio G35-AV650were again impressed with the quality of the video and again wondering if the price is worth the added HD-DVD features at this stage of the game. AT THE MOVIES. Like the Vaio, the Toshiba TOSBF Qosmio is a desktop-replacement class machine that boasts a huge 17-inch screen and weighs in at a hefty 10 pounds. Its one of the machines I consider portable, but not really mobile. Since a big part of the reason for considering the Qosmio is watching videos, let me start there. For watching movies on a large-screen notebook PC, the Qosmios screen is simply the best Ive seen in this product class. There are no dead zones where the image is darker around the edges; the brightnessoften low on rival machinesis suitably high; and images from even standard definition DVDs are crisp, fluid, and excellent. The sound is great too. The machine boasts a pair of powerful Harmon Kardon speakers embedded in the body just below the screen and, when turned up to maximum volume, they will fill a small room adequately. HD FALLS SHORT. As usual, Toshiba is kind enough to put a silver volume control to the right of the keyboard, making it easy to change the sound on the fly without needing to muck about with a mouse or search for a hard-to-find volume button. Its in areas like thisas well as the placement of media controls along the top of the keyboardbuttonswhere Toshibas expertise in the consumer electronics business shines through. But when it comes to taking advantage of HD-DVD capabilities, the Qosmio comes up short. First, we tried out a demo disk supplied by Toshiba that had trailers and other content. It looked great, and once video playback began, it went without a hitch. But loading up the disk didnt go as smoothly. I wasnt able to get the HD-DVD to play automatically on insertion. And after opening the play program manually, it took half a minute before play began. The demo disk also didnt have one of HD-DVDs cool new features: the ability to pull up and click through the title menu at any time during playback without stopping the video. So I popped in another HD-DVD I had lying around, Enter the Dragon. Although it worked most of the time, I had trouble getting the title menus to pop up during playback. Worse, I wasnt able to click any of the menus at all with my cursor and was forced to use the keyboard. Perhaps of even greater concern is that some HD-DVDs failed to play properly. KEYBOARD ISSUES. We understand these problems stem from the bundled WinDVD HD for Toshiba software, rather than the drive, and software upgrades aimed at improving performance are available from Toshiba. Still, were left with the impression that the Qosmios HD-DVD features werent quite ready for prime time. And unlike the Vaio, the Qosmios drive is read-only, so you wont be doing any recording though at 2, 999, its priced about 500 less than the Vaio. Nor was I impressed with the keyboard. The keys are flat-topped, so as I typed, my hands lost their bearings a bit, yielding lots of typos. This is strange because Toshiba has so often excelled at producing notebook keyboards. As with other machines in its class, this one runs Microsofts MSFT Windows XP Media Center Edition, so it serves as a repository for all of your digital music and video files. It will also connect to your TV set-top box to display Ali record your favorite shows. WHATS INSIDE. Its got a sizable 200 GB worth of hard drive space to handle pretty much whatever you want to store. Of the machines in this class tested so far, this isnt the biggest storage capacityFujitsu still reigns supreme there with 320 GBbut it beats Dells DELL XPS M17

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