Toshiba Qosmio X775-Q7170: Is 'Entry-Level Desktop Replacement' an Oxymoron?


Turning the keyboard light on doesn't just light up the keyboard; it also lights up a strip across the top of the touchpad and six of the seven touch buttons located above the keyboard. I admit that the red lights look pretty cool when the entire machine lights up.

Aside from the full-size keyboard with ten-key number pad, the Qosmio's keyboard deck contains a large touchpad (with two discrete buttons and an on/off switch), and seven touch buttons (Eco Mode toggle, Wi-Fi toggle, Keyboard Light toggle, Play/Pause, Mute, Volume Down, and Volume Up). On either side of the touch buttons are two Harman/Kardon stereo speakers (Toshiba also supplies a bottom-mounted woofer for extra audio kick).

The keyboard's Chiclet-style keys are smallish, but they provide good feedback and are less stiff than smaller keys tend to be. The touchpad has a slightly rough texture, which seemed to trip up the smoothness and precision of my typing. The touchpad's large buttons are composed of shiny plastic and feel a little flimsy, as though they might break within a year. Since this is a desktop replacement, I suggest using an external mouse.

The Qosmio X775-Q7170 offers a generous selection of ports, considering that a large battery, fan, and optical drive occupy most of the back end. You get four USB ports (three USB 2.0, and one USB 3.0 with Sleep and Charge), VGA- and HDMI-out, gigabit ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks, and a lock slot. You'll find a memory card reader on the front of the machine.

This desktop replacement sports a glossy, 17.3-inch LED-backlit display with a native resolution of 1600 by 900. The screen generally looks good, with bright colors, good contrast, and decent off-axis viewing angles, but it falls short of full HD, and that fact is noticeable on such a large display. You can distinguish individual pixels, which makes content--including images, video, and text--look slightly fuzzy. At the desktop replacement level, this is definitely a bummer.