For almost a year now, I've been actively hunting for a replacement for my trusted HP zd7000 notebook. This built-like-a-tank 17" workhorse has served me so very well over many years. Sadly, it has slowly been getting more and more problematic as well, especially during the last few months. Finally, two weeks ago, it gave up on me completely and just died.
I had to get a replacement notebook, I had to get one just as good, and I had to get one ASAP.
What notebook available today is worthy as a replacement for my zd7000??? You will know that I am incredibly fussy when it comes to notebooks, especially the ones I keep for my own use. It could only be another 17", one with a similar great keyboard, audiophile-quality speakers and very good performance. It had to be something that I would not only enjoy for work and pleasure, but last me just as many years.
Welcome my brand-spanking-new Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q708. You will remember I looked at this exact notebook back in November, and was extremely impressed by it's performance and capability. Back then, it was overpriced at a ridiculous $4200. How much did I pay for mine? $2919.99. And that's with a $80 17" notebook case thrown in for free.
Waiting for IT prices to go down can be a hit or miss opportunity. You may find that a new model is released and what you want to get has been discontinued, or the price you're hoping to see never materializes. The cheapest I ever found this notebook for sale was $3700 online, a price that was still above the $3300 "realistic" figure I mentioned Toshiba should have been selling it at. Clearly, the many months wait was worth it this time, since at below $3000, this machine is an absolute steal, and with the free carry case and Windows 7 coupon thrown in, I could not resist any longer.
With it's amazing 5-speaker harman/kardon sound, 17" 1680x1050 display, full keyboard, SSD drive, SLI graphics and a quad-core CPU, this machine is more than just a nice upgrade from my HP zd7000, but a worthy replacement for what I have been used to for so long. I'll be doing a lot of great things with my new Qosmio X305-Q708, both for work, and especially for fun.
Will I be upset now when Windows 7 and Clarkfield hits the shelves? Not too much. I can safely assume that any notebook released with a quad-core Clarksfield, GTX280M inside and Windows 7 Ultimate will be far north of $3000. I would then wait another 8 months for those prices to fall? Had my zd7000 held up longer, I probably would have waited till the end of this year. But with my primary work tool gone, I had no other option than to buy, and the pricing for this very impressive Toshiba was right on, at the right time.
What about that desktop system that I gave a hint about earlier of acquiring? While it certainly would have been better bang-for-the-buck, unfortunately, I had no time on my hands for a build-it-yourself job, nor did I want to waste time on any fix-it-yourself issues that come along with such a rig. Buying prebuilt did not seem attractive either because the component choice was mediocre to my own components list and there was no immediate, big discount available. Maybe in the future when I have more time on my hands I will build or buy a desktop, but for now, the notebook stays.
So say hello to my little friend, or to be more specific, the 9-pound, 230-watt, 17", 5-speaker, flame red, A/V, gaming and processing behemoth I shall now be using as my workhorse when I'm busy, and my entertainment device when I'm not.