At first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking the Toshiba Qosmio F750-10Q is just like any other laptop. It has a 15.6-inch screen, a flashy design and packs some decent components under the hood. This machine has an ace up its sleeve though -- it can show all your 3D content without you needing to wear silly glasses.
The F750-10Q can be yours now for £1,299.
Design and build quality
The F750-10Q seems to have borrowed its looks from Acer's Ferrari-branded laptops. The outside shell is a deep red with a wavy, perforated effect. It makes quite a statement and will certainly help the F750-10Q to stand out against the plethora of black laptops clogging up meeting rooms. Whether you actually like it or not depends on how you feel about bold, red things. If you're big into all things rouge then the F750-10Q will definitely float your proverbial.
The plastic shell didn't offer much flex under our Hulk-like poking, nor did it give off too many creaks when we opened and closed the lid. This all makes the F750-10Q feel like a generally well-constructed machine.
The keys on the F750-10Q aren't the isolated type we like so much, which in itself isn't much of a problem -- they're pleasingly wide and comfortable to type on -- but it's certainly not the most attractive keyboard we've seen.
The trackpad can be found left of centre. It's smaller than we'd like to see on a machine on this size, which isn't great if you regularly find yourself scrolling through long documents. It doesn't support multi-touch input either so there's no two-finger scrolling or pinch-to-zoom. It has a rough finish though that makes it easy to slide your finger around. Above sits a little button that allows you to disable the trackpad if you often accidentally move the cursor while typing.
The plastic on the wrist-rest has been given a carbon fibre effect which, together with the deep red lid, feels very butch.
Measuring 380x38x254mm, and weighing 2.9kg, the F750-10Q isn't the most backpack-friendly machine around -- better to leave it securely at your desk, rather than risk a hernia.
Audio specialist Harman Kardon has provided the speakers, so we were hoping for some ear-splitting noise. The sound -- and volume -- is definitely an improvement over the pitiful efforts we usually hear from laptops but it lacks the warmth you'd find with a dedicated subwoofer. If music is on your agenda, you'll really need a proper set of speakers or some good headphones.
Everyone needs a party piece. For us, it's swallowing loose change. For the F750-10Q, it's displaying 3D content without requiring you to wear any ridiculous specs.
Rather than using active-shutter glasses like normal 3D laptops, which show different images to your left and right eyes to achieve a 3D effect, the F750-10Q tracks your eyes' position using the webcam, and then sends two different images to each eyeball simultaneously. It's also capable of displaying 2D content at the same time as 3D. This means you can be working on a normal document and have a 3D video open in a separate window.
Although you don't need to put glasses on when you want to watch 3D material, the eye-tracking system means that only one person can see the 3D effect at a time, so don't get your mates around for a 3D film fest. You also have to maintain a fairly fixed position in front of the laptop. The webcam will track slight movements of your bonce, but don't try lying down comfortably to watch a film or you may see a distorted image.
When we were sat correctly, the demo material we saw delivered a decent 3D picture -- decent, but not fantastic. There was still a noticeable double image at times as the camera fought to get a lock on our faces.
We chucked in our copy of the animated delight Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs and sat back for some 3D fun. The 3D effect was certainly noticeable and at times was quite fun. For the most part though, double images were creeping in and our eyes were clearly doing a lot of work to re-focus the image. This resulted in an unpleasant viewing experience and not one we'd sit through for a full-length movie.
You can play your 3D Blu-ray discs on the F750-10Q and output them to a compatible TV using the HDMI port though, so if you're wanting a stronger 3D experience, pop on those daft glasses and settle down with a brew.
The 3D is certainly a fun novelty, but that's all it is for the time being. Even if the 3D effect was flawless, we don't think it would be adding much to the overall experience, and it's a long way from being perfect yet. You're therefore paying a fair old helping of dosh for a novelty that in every likelihood isn't going to get used that much -- like one of those robot dogs.
Eventually, you'll be able to use the 3D system for games. That will be great for first person shooters and racing games especially. It's going to need a graphics software upgrade from Nvidia though and that isn't scheduled until sometime in December.
Without the 3D effect, you're still left with a 15.6-inch screen and a great 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution. It's very clear but the bright backlighting can often leave black levels a little shallow, resulting in pictures that don't quite pop as much as we'd like.
Inside the F750-10Q is a 2GHz, quad-core Intel Core i7-2630QM processor with 6GB of RAM. That's a meaty offering so we immediately threw our benchmark tests in its face.
On the Geekbench test, the F750-10Q managed to achieve a very respectable 11,067. By comparison, the super-speedy MSI GT680 gaming laptop achieved a score of 7,713 and we were very pleased with how that performed.
General tasks on the GT 540M GPU were handled with aplomb. There was no noticeable slowing down even when we booted up numerous programmes and web browsers at once. It breezed through encoding video too, taking only 11 minutes to encode our 11-minute 1,080p video into H.264 -- which, if you didn't notice from the similar numbers, is in real-time.
There's also a beefy Nvidia GeForce GT 540M GPU with 2GB of VRAM inside. On the 3DMark06 benchmark -- which tests how well a computer handles the polygons in gaming -- the F750-10Q gave a score of 8,202 which is pretty impressive. It's not pushing the limits of some of the dedicated gaming machines -- the MSI GT680 achieved 13,997 on the same test -- but it's got plenty of sauce to tackle fairly recent titles so long as you dial the settings down a bit.
The F750-10Q is designed as a desktop replacement, not the sort of thing you'd regularly be taking around town. That's a good job as the battery only managed to last 31 minutes in our battery test. That's one of the worst battery performances we've seen.
The Toshiba Qosmio F750-10Q certainly makes a bold visual statement with its blood-red shell and macho carbon fibre effects. But while the hardware under the hood offers a powerful punch, we're not convinced about the machine's 3D system just yet.