The Toshiba DX730 offers a Full HD 23-inch screen and a Blu-ray drive, making it instantly appealing to film fans. The top of the line model we tested is running on an Intel Core i5 processor and 6GB of RAM, for which you'll be required to shell out around £850, although less powerful versions are available.
Design and build quality
Many all-in-ones come out of their packaging looking very much like a standard PC monitor that you wouldn't dream of putting pride of place in your living room. The DX730, though, is more reminiscent of a real TV. Not a beautiful TV like some of LG's new models, admittedly -- more like a cheap TV from the early 2000s.
You probably won't want to make a big song and dance about it whenever anyone comes round, but you won't feel you have to hide it away in a dusty old study either. The surround is entirely black plastic -- pretty much par for the course -- but the three-point base looks sleek enough to be considered attractive.
With a 23-inch display, it's hardly small, so don't expect it to sit quietly out of the way, but it's a good size to act as a secondary screen in your living room, and it's ideal as a media machine in a student's bedroom.
The casing feels sturdy and doesn't offer much in the way of the creaks and clicks that betray cheap construction. The whole things sits firmly on the base, so as long as you put it on a rigid table or desk you needn't worry about it toppling over, spilling your tea everywhere.
There's not much to see on the front, except for the webcam at the top, but on the sides you'll find two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port for hooking up your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, an SD card reader, Ethernet out and headphone and microphone jacks.
You also get a Blu-ray player, which is a particularly handy addition if you intend to use the DX730 as a media machine. On the same score, a very generous 2TB hard drive is plenty of room for all the TV shows, movies, photos and music you could want.
A wireless keyboard and mouse are also included to let you get straight on with your work. Neither are exactly what I'd call premium, and if I was going to live with the DX730 for a while, I'd upgrade to something more luxurious. They're inoffensive enough though, and fine if they'll only be on show when you've got work to do.
If you're going to be using the DX730 for watching films, you're going to want a screen that can display your videos at their best. Luckily then, it's rather good.
With a full 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution, it's perfectly capable of playing back your high-definition Blu-ray discs. Standard definition content still looked crisp and sharp. My copy of Alice in Wonderland (the one with Johnny Depp in it) on Blu-ray looked particularly good, which only added to the overall creepiness of the film.
Toshiba makes TVs of course, and I've been impressed with the displays on its laptops -- such as the Qosmio X770 -- so I'm glad to see it hasn't cheaped out on the display here. It's both bright and vivid.
The horizontal viewing angles are good, meaning you don't have to sit rigidly in front of the screen in order to get the best view. If you've got your mates round and they're all sitting in different places, they should all be able to see what's going on. That guy sitting on the window sill is going to have to move though. Why's he up there anyway?
The whole screen is touch-sensitive, so you can navigate around Windows by poking and swiping, as well as by using the mouse. It's fairly responsive, but it's nothing like as accurate as using an iPad or Android tablet. Tapping on large Windows icons is easy enough, but trying to hit smaller icons like the minimise buttons is a much trickier task. It's good enough to at least load up some videos without getting out your mouse.
Inside the black shell is an Intel Core i5-2450M processor, clocked at 2.5GHz, along with 6GB of RAM -- fairly decent specs for a mid-range PC. I was expecting some good results, although I wasn't preparing my eyebrows to raise in surprise.
As I suspected, my eyebrows remained static -- the results were good, but not mind-blowing. I ran the PCMark05 benchmark test and was presented with a score of 8,636, which is pretty good for this level of machine. It's roughly the same score achieved by the HP TouchSmart 520, which packs a similar lineup of specs for about the same sort of price.
The DX730 offers an extra 2GB of RAM over the HP though, bringing the total to a healthy 6GB overall. In my time with the machine I found it to be nippy and responsive. Programs loaded quickly and navigating around Windows was swift and free of annoying lag.
The 6GB of RAM meant that multi-tasking was handled well. Even with numerous tabs open in the Chrome web browser and other programs working in the background, I still found it was easily capable of playing Blu-ray discs without issue. If -- like me -- you tend to leave your computer working hard while you chill with a movie, the DX730 is well suited for your multi-tasking tastes.
There's no dedicated graphics card stuffed inside the DX7430, instead using the built-in HD 3000 graphics. You therefore shouldn't expect it to run games like Battlefield 3 or Skyrim at ultra settings with a decent frame rate. The graphics ability it does have is more there to help out with playing back HD video.
It has enough grunt to play older titles such as Half Life 2, but you'll need to dial the settings down quite a bit in order to get a playable frame rate. If gaming is your highest priority for a computer, you really shouldn't be looking at all-in-ones -- instead, check out the Alienware X51. It doesn't have a built-in monitor, but it's small and awesome for games.
The DX730 comes with Windows Media Centre on board to make accessing your media -- either stored on your hard drive or in the Blu-ray drive -- quick and easy using the supplied remote. It also lets you use it as a regular TV if you plug an aerial into the back.
The Toshiba Qosmio DX730 isn't the prettiest computer you could buy, but it's not exactly ugly and with a bright, Full HD screen, decent components and a Blu-ray drive, it could make an excellent second PC for a family living room or as a main media computer in a student's bedroom.