Introducing the Toshiba Qosmio F755-3D290

Way back in the dark ages of CES 2011, we were able to lay hands on and play with some interesting new technology from Toshiba. They had a prototype notebook on hand that was capable of glasses-free 3D similar to the Nintendo 3DS, but with a bigger screen and the ability to track head movement and adjust viewing angles accordingly. Yet the release of this 3D notebook has been an unusually quiet one. Is the 15-inch Qosmio F755 a sound design, or is there a reason why it's been unceremoniously dropped into the marketplace?

The kind of glasses-free 3D that Toshiba employs in the Qosmio F755-3D290 has thus far been mostly confined to handhelds, like the odd 3D smartphone or the aforementioned Nintendo 3DS. Toshiba even includes a reasonably impressive piece of head-tracking technology that will shift the 3D viewing angle as long as the webcam can see you, at least once you've configured it. So why did Toshiba more or less sneak this one onto the market?

Toshiba Qosmio F755-3D290 Specifications
Processor Intel Core i7-2630QM
(4x2GHz + HTT, Turbo to 2.9GHz, 32nm, 6MB L3, 45W)
Chipset Intel HM65
Memory 1x2GB Samsung DDR3-1333 and 1x4GB Samsung DDR3-1333 (Max 2x4GB)
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M 1GB DDR3
(96 CUDA cores, 672MHz/1344MHz/1.8GHz core/shader/memory clocks)
Display 15.6" LED Glossy 16:9 1080p, capable of 720p glasses-free 3D
Hard Drive(s) 750GB Hitachi Travelstar 5K750 5400-RPM SATA-II HDD
Optical Drive Matshita BD-RE (UJ240ES)
Networking Realtek PCIe Gigabit Ethernet
Atheros AR9002WB-1NG 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
Audio Realtek ALC272 HD Audio
Stereo speakers
Mic and headphone jacks
Battery 6-Cell, 11.1V, 48Wh
Front Side SD/MS/xD card reader
Right Side Mic and headphone jacks
2x USB 2.0
Optical drive
Left Side VGA
Exhaust vent
USB 2.0
USB 3.0
Back Side Kensington lock
Ethernet jack
AC adaptor
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
Dimensions 15.3" x 10.5" x 1.5" (WxDxH)
Weight 7.5 lbs.
Extras 1.3MP webcam
Keyboard with 10-key
SD card reader
USB 3.0
Glasses-free 3D
Warranty 1-year standard warranty
Pricing Starting at $1,299
Our model: $1,699

You'll forgive me for my unprofessionalism, but the best word I can think of for the Toshiba Qosmio F755's configuration is "wonky." When I reviewed Toshiba's all-in-one, the DX735, I praised Toshiba for being able to produce a balanced system configuration that was well-suited to its intended purpose, but the F755 in any of its three shipping configurations is the polar opposite.

The bright spot of the F755 is the Intel Core i7-2630QM. The i7-2630QM and its successor the i7-2670QM are, in my opinion, the price/performance/power sweet spot of the mobile market right now. The F755-3D290 configuration employs the i7-2630QM, which is a fast quad-core processor with Hyper-Threading, able to turbo up and provide plenty of juice on two cores, but also capable of being fairly frugal with power consumption. Best of all, the i7-2630QM is reasonably inexpensive and shows up in notebooks across the board. OEMs like it, and I certainly wouldn't ever be unhappy with it.

Unfortunately things wind up being pretty screwy everywhere else. Why just 6GB of DDR3 instead of an even 8GB, especially with prices where they are? Why the dismally slow 5400-RPM hard drive, borderline unforgivable in a $1,700 laptop? Why Atheros's slow wireless solution instead of one of Intel's more capable ones--or at least give us something with support for two spatial streams and 5GHz radios? All this, and then a Blu-ray rewriteable drive? A Blu-ray reader would've sufficed.

Users planning on enjoying 3D Vision with the Qosmio F755 are going to be disappointed on two fronts. The first is the anemic NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M. The 540M is fine for gaming at 1366x768 without 3D, but 3D Vision is very demanding on graphics hardware and the 540M just isn't going to cut it. Fortunately that doesn't matter, because while Toshiba advertises 3D Vision support for the F755, it just plain doesn't work. I actually checked other reviews and they all ran into the same problem; when you click "Enable 3D Vision" on the laptop, it does nothing. I've read that NVIDIA and Toshiba are working together on a 3D Vision driver for the F755, but it hasn't materialized yet...three months after the laptop's release.

Finally, to add insult to injury, the F755 is not Optimus enabled. No intelligent switching between the Sandy Bridge IGP and the GeForce GT 540M, and battery life suffers tremendously as a result. Small wonder the notebook arrived with little fanfare.

A Design Out of Time


View All Comments

  • Denithor - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    The 3DMarks are also very consistent across the review units. The GT 540M-equipped notebooks all pretty much line up, with 3DMark06 being the only odd man out, boasting a substantially higher score than the others. This should hopefully offer some confirmation that NVIDIA's Optimus is almost all upside.

    Thinking that's supposed to be a laptop model?
  • eio - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    looks like there are some serious bugs with the software stack...

    but technically this is one of the most advanced glass-free 3D screen out there, and should provide much more natural & comfortable 3D effect on real 3D content, which could easily beat anything on the consumer market, even the professional market.

    it's a pity that it isn't functioning properly in the test.
  • Matrices - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    I don't know why anyone feels they need an IPS laptop unless they're doing graphics work that requires full color accuracy. The best TN desktop screens provide very good image quality - much better than what was available 2 years ago, and viewing angles are usually less of an issue with laptops.

    Some laptop screens are good. The Dell 15" that's currently out has an RGB+ option and it looks amazing. The Alienware screens look good if you're OK with glossy.
  • Braumin - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    Drab washed out screens with a really obvious change of color depending on how you hold it is good image quality?

    The screen quality is one of the top reasons I just ordered a Thinkpad X220 - IPS screens are just miles above the garbage TN panels everyone is using now (except Apple).

    The one thing you use more than anything on a laptop is the screen (more than even the keyboard) so why would you not want a good one?
  • GuinnessKMF - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - link

    How does the 3D fair in regards to eye strain? I have an Evo 3D phone and it's horrible to look at in 3D mode. Myself and everyone I've shared it with has said "that's cool looking but, it hurts my eyes" The videos are better than pictures, but I much prefer the way active lense 3D treats my eyes.

    People talk about being uncomfortable with glasses on for 3D content, in my experience the glasses are much better than the glasses-free version.
  • eio - Thursday, November 24, 2011 - link

    the screen on this toshiba laptop shall give much less eye strain than other glass-free 3D screens, and also less than the ones with glasses, if it is functioning.

    because this screen has an array of adjustable lenticular micro lens on top of the LCD screen, and it will actively adjust the light path to fit with your view point, which is captured by camera in real time.

    the down side is it can only be used by one people, since the screen cannot fit with 2 pair of eyes simultaneously. what's why this technology is used on laptop prior than TV

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