Exclusive Hands-On With the Qosmio G55: First Gesture Control Laptop

Toshiba is looking to redefine desktop replacement notebooks in a a big, big way, and we’re the very first to bring you a hands-on with the groundbreaking Qosmio G55, which will go on sale next month for $1,549. This 18.4-inch beast isn’t notable just for its futuristic good looks (a combination of a slick black chassis, LED illumination, and metal highlights), but because it’s the first notebook to boast a dedicated Quad Core HD Processor (powered by the same Cell Processor that runs the PlayStation3). This enables gesture control, blazing fast video encoding, and more. Read on for our first impressions. Hands-Free Media Control Thanks to the dedicated Quad Core HD processor, the G55 is the first notebook that lets users control music and video playback (Toshiba’s DVD player and Media Center), as well as PowerPoint, using just their hands-no remote or keyboard required. The webcam senses your movement from 3 to 10 feet away and the Quad Core HD processor interprets your hand motions in real time. This was, obviously, the most talked about feature when the Qosmio G55 arrived in the office. After getting some significant time with the control scheme, we can say that we’re quite impressed. After manually activating the gesture control software, we were able to launch the cult classic Xanadu (we were also able to pause and resume video, skipchapters, and even turnof the G55) by using only our hands (or fists since your hand really should be clenched as you move the pointer). The controls on this pre-production model can be a overly sensitive, and, frankly, extending an arm for a period of time can be tiring, but all in all it’s a really cool tool for controlling the media player and TV tuner software. It should be noted that stopping/resuming video requires you to have a flexible wrist as you have to raise an open palm to the screen in a “stop in the name of love” position. Editor Avram Piltch was able to get his hand into a near 90-degree position, which allowed him to pause/resume with ease. My stiff wrist not only left me unable to stop or resume Xanadu, but left me more than a little bit sore and a little frustrated that I couldn’t silence Olivia Newton John’s craptastic dance numbers on my own. Forming a fist allows you to move the cursor around the screen, and pressing your thumb down on top of your fist makes a selection. We did this to adjust the volume from across the room. Pretty cool. We think the motion control feature has a lot of potential for other types of applications, especially games. Fortunately, Toshiba says that it will be making an SDK available for the Quad Core HD Processor. Specs and Other Unique Features of the G55 The same Quad Core HD Processor that powers the gesture controls also increases video encoding and transcoding times by leaps and bounds (when it’s used in tandem with the bundled new Ulead DVD Movie Factory software), catalogs clips based on subjects’ faces, and even upscales standard-def movies to 1080i on the fly–when footage is outputted via HDMI. Unfortunately, gesture control doesn’t work with upscaling enabled. This 10.8 pound desktop replacement also offers a nice array of other high-end features at a price that you probably wouldn’t expect. Our test model includes Intel’s next-generation Centrino 2 technology (exact clock speed to be announced later), Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics (which is 30-percent faster than the GeForce 8600M GT), 4GB of RAM, dual 250 GB hard drives, stereo speakers and a subwoofer, FM tuner, an 18.4-inch (1680 x 945 pixel) display, and WIndows Vista Home Premium. In terms of ports, the G55 serves up plenty: Three Sleep-and-Charge USB ports (for powering gadgets when the system is in sleep mode or powered down), eSata/USB, FireWire, RGB, S/PDIF, a Bridge Media Card slot, an ExpressCard slot, and headphone and mic jacks. Not bad at all for $1,549. What’s On Deck We’re eager to dig into this this groundbreaking machine more thoroughly in upcoming days. Expect in-depth testing of the video editing, upscaling, and indexing features to see if they deliver on Toshiba’s promises. Stay tuned. [flq:9c27aea7fefb4490bdd87ff511a2a273]

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  1. Overgauss Says:

    Awesome a laptop with an Eyetoy built right in!

  2. Seshan Says:

    that price has to be wrong, theres no way you can get those specs for that price.

  3. mikael Says:

    It hurts my hands just to watch this!

  4. indy Says:

    TOSHIBA – Leading Innovation (by reinventing the wheel… erm… mouse/keyboard/remote control)

  5. Drew Says:

    A complete waste of time……..

  6. Barry Says:

    My god, hope they’re not actually thinking of releasing this crap to the public.

  7. website design Says:

    awful

  8. Elliott Says:

    what do you mean a waste of time? I have been wasting time waiting for days for my “high end” machine to encode my 1080 home video. Give me desktop version with this cell processor accelerated video encoding and I am in!

  9. refurbished laptop Says:

    a new innovation! so cute!

  10. Asif Yasin Says:

    Its really awesome innovation if no serious bug occurs…

  11. Gus O Davis Says:

    Now here they have a beautiful new laptop which they have ruined with the stupid clap on clap off bullshit. Take away the clappy bullshit and charge $3000 for the dam thing. What’s up with these nips anyway?

  12. Gus O Davis Says:

    Ok, they said my language is to colorful. So I’ll try again.
    Now here they have a beautiful new laptop which they have ruined with the clap on clap off software. They should take away the clappy clappy and charge $3000 for it. Japan getting weird these days.

  13. William Sommerwerck Says:

    I figured out what G55 stands for: “gesture” + five fingers on each hand.

  14. Gregg Says:

    Gesture control a BIG TURN-OFF! I’d much rather use a dedicated remote for speed and accuracy – this demonstration was PAINFUL to watch – like watching clunky video on a 386 IBM with Windows 3.1. I am very interested in this machine for the PlayStation 3 processor integration. I understand this system renders games and video editing at blazing speeds. Instead of this gimmicky gesture control, I’d rather see them offer LED backlight LCD. Also, speed tests with competing laptops would be a very good read. I’m inclined to cancel my DELL Studio system which is currently in production to get this instead – BUT WHAT IS THE REAL PRICE?

  15. mick Says:

    I’m interested in this as a DVD/HD Video player…

    http://www.dvdfllc.co.jp/pdf/HDDVD-Video_Req_Guide_V12.pdf

  16. Don Says:

    Check all around and the price is always under 2000 cdn. Bestbuy is going around 1500 and even Toshiba’s website news release indicates a price of around 1600.

    The Qosmio range as always been a high end system, only reason the G30 was so expensive was because of the HD DVD built in.

    Patiently awaiting this model. Actually, the only downside I find to the Qosmio line is the DVD is a front opening not a side opening, which aids in the use of laptop stands, and as a high end model it tends to get hot pretty dam fast.

  17. RK Says:

    That is the real price! Check Toshiba’s website:
    http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/cmod.to?coid=-36236&src=MAXG&cm_mmc=google_sem-_-direct-_-qosmio_g55-_-qosmio_g55&gclid=CPu_19aZ-ZQCFScuagod93sQrg

  18. Mike Says:

    “I’m interested in this as a DVD/HD Video player…”

    Sadly, this doesn’t do that. :(

  19. EP Says:

    You can get it cheaper here:
    http://store.toshiba.com/public/public/search/dsp_quick_search_results.cfm?category_code_id=687

    It’s an employee purchase site setup for American Express, but anyone can buy from it.

    For that matter, you can also get all kinds of Toshiba LCD’s for great prices also. 42″ for $982

  20. Carl Says:

    I’ve been waiting for mine since, July 28th, and looking forward to its arrival soon. I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but the G55- 802 is no longer available on, Toshiba’s website. I hope that’s no indication of an idea gone wrong.

  21. Scott Rayne Says:

    This is one awesome laptop! The graphics are awesome, the hard drive space is huge, it’s nice and fast, and it doesn’t get super hot like my acer. On the downside the keyboard is high gloss so it shows fingerprints instantly, it’s large and heavy (10.8 lbs) for a “portable” laptop. For my needs it was a perfect fit and I’m very satisfied! The gesture control… in my book it’s just a gimmick like the built in FM radio (really, who needs it?). I was also looking at a Dell Studio 17 inch but this was the better choice.
    Check out my video review if you wish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvdGtkmo7oE

    Good Luck!

  22. Nikki Says:

    This laptop is so awesome!I can’t wait to get my financial aid money so I can get one.I have an Acer Aspire 3680 right now and it is the worst computer I’ve ever used.So this time I’m just going to spend the money(It’s about $1200 on Amazon and $1300 at Walmart) to get a good computer that I know will work.And as for the gesture control…it’s pretty cool but I’d only see myself using the open palm stop and play feature if I’m watching a movie and want to get up to get a drink or something.

  23. Carl Says:

    I got mine a couple of days ago, 9/9/08 -and at first glance, it looks like the real deal. Sure, a lot of the specs speaks to hype and gimmicks, but the dual/250 GB-Hard drives, better than average graphic cards, not to mention the 18.4″ screen, coupled with the quad-core-duo processor, makes this [to me] worth the money. It’s quiet, and didn’t feel a-lot of heat coming from it whatsoever. Yeah, who needs a FM-radio in a Laptop, but that’s not enough to call this PC, junk. I do play games at times, but I’m not one of those, over-the-top-waste-my-time-all-day, game-playing type. However, when it came to work, this monster smokes, and to tell you the truth, that’s why I bought. It handled multiple programs, side-by-side without a problem. It works just fine for me…..

  24. EP Says:

    The newX305 is out. Only 1739.99 here:
    http://store.toshiba.com/public/public/products/details/dsp_product_details.cfm?product=X305Q706

  25. Anonymous Says:

    can anyone please tell me how to use it???? i have a qosmio g55, but i dont know how to run the gesture control,. plzzzzzz tell me,. thx

  26. mark Says:

    how can i use the gesture control??? i have qosmio g55 but i dont know how to use the Gcontrol plzzz help me!

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