Tag Archives | Toshiba

More and More iPadversaries: ViewSonic, Toshiba, Archos

A few weeks ago, I rounded up scads of current and upcoming tablets–ones from big companies, ones from little companies, ones that look a lot like the iPad, and ones with personalities all their own. It wasn’t the least bit shocking that my list was incomplete when I published it, or that it grows more out-of-date every day.

Gizmodo’s Gary Cutlack has a new post up about five tablets that weren’t among the thirty-two I wrote about. One’s the iPad itself (hey, it’s a tablet and it seems to have potential!). Another is the reasonably interesting Samsung Galaxy Tab, which I saw last week at IFA.

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Mossberg on Toshiba's New Portege

The Walt Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg likes Toshiba’s new Portege R705, a light, reasonably powerful and well-equipped Windows 7 laptop at an attractive price.

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Toshiba's 25th Anniversary Portables: An Affordable Status Symbol and a Concept Machine

Toshiba is celebrating the 25th anniversary of laptops this year–it counts its own 1985 T1100 as the first one. A pedant might quibble with its definition of “first laptop personal computer,” but it’s announced two celebratory portables–and they’re both noteworthy. I got an in-person look at them during a recent briefing with the company.
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New Toshiba Satellite Laptops: 3D, Thin-and-Lights, and a $300 Netbook

Toshiba announced new notebooks today–a bevy of updates to its consumery Satellite line, which encompasses everything from basic low-cost laptops to powerful entertainment machines. Laptopmag.com has a nice summary. Herewith, notes on a few models I found particularly interesting when Toshiba briefed me on them recently.

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Toshiba's Latest Lightweight?

A 2.2lb, 13″ Toshiba laptop with USB 3.0, a fast CPU, and a new technology that charges the battery in minutes? Sounds good to me.

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USB Drives in Disguise

I’m usually immune to the charms of novelty USB drives, but I really like these Transformers ones being shown at CES–the result of an entertaining partnership between Toshiba and Hasbro…

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Toshiba’s Qosmio Gets Blu-Ray

Toshiba’s Qosmio is one of those laptops that’s pretty much an all-in-one desktop PC in disguise: With its 18.4-inch screen and beefy specs, it’s more transportable than portable–and with its emphasis on entertainment, it’s like a Windows Media Center you can fold up and move from room to room.

The company announced the newest Qosmio model today, the X500 series, and the most notable new feature is the overdue, inevitable inclusion of a Blu-Ray drive or burner–Toshiba’s first. (The one-time proponent of HD-DVD formally announced it was getting into the Blu-Ray game last month.) The X500 also has Intel’s new mobile version of its Core i7 processor, 6GB of DDR3 RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTS 250 graphics with a gigabyte of DDR5 memory, HDMI, Harmon/Kardon sound, and room for two hard drives (one of which can be a solid-state disk).

How much will all this run you? Toshiba says it’ll announce pricing on October 13th, and that the system will be available on October 22nd–which, uncoincidentally, is Windows 7 launch day.



Toshiba Finally, Inevitably, Does Blu-Ray

Toshiba Blu-RaySometimes it takes tech companies an amazingly long time to confront the inevitable. The whole war betwen Blu-Ray and HD-DVD was a rotten idea from the start (both formats were announced in 2002). But all parties involved in both camps insisted on wasting billions developing two competing HD formats. Then it took ages before HD-DVD prime mover Toshiba accepted that it had lost the conflict and discontinued the format. That was in February of last year.

And then it took another eighteen months for Toshiba to announce the inevitable conclusion to the whole saga: It’s joining the Blu-Ray Association and will be selling Blu-Ray players and laptops with Blu-Ray drives. I feel for the the company, I don’t think its stance that HD-DVD was the superior format was utterly irrational, and if and when the day comes that I buy a Blu-Ray player, it’s as likely to come from Toshiba as any other company.

But a panel of relatively well-informed consumers could have figured out the likely outcome years before Toshiba ditched HD-DVD and embraced Blu-Ray. Wouldn’t it have made sense for everyone involved to get here more quickly?

(Note: The Toshiba Blu-Ray Disc logo shown above is my quick mockup–I wonder if Toshiba still winces when it sees its name and “Blu-Ray” in close proximity, or if it’s over it?)


Toshiba’s Mini NB205 Netbook: The Technologizer Review

Toshiba Mini NB205When Toshiba announced its first netbooks last month, it said that it had waited to start selling inexpensive little notebooks in the U.S. until it felt like it could do them justice. I’ve just spent time using the Mini NB205–which Toshiba likes to call a mini-notebook rather than a netbook–and found that it’s indeed one of the most highly-evolved netbooks to appear to date. There’s nothing spectacularly new or different about its design or specs, but it’s a pleasing machine that doesn’t feel compromised 0r chintzy, and there are multiple areas in which Toshiba erred on the side of doing things right rather than doing them cheap.

The Mini NB205-N312BL I reviewed lists for $399.99 and sports the components and features you’d expect to find in a current $400 netbook: a 10.1-inch screen with 1024-by-600 resolution and LED backlighting, a 166-MHz Intel Atom N280 CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 5400rpm 160GB hard drive, 802.11G Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, three USB ports, an SD slot, VGA output, a Webcam, and a six-cell battery. And oh yeah, it runs Windows XP Home SP3.

The $399.99 version of the Mini is available in blue, brown, pink and white; all versions have two-tone cases and a bit of texture to the plastic on the lid. They’re among the slickest-looking netbooks at their price point. (There’s also a $349.99 version with a black case, a more basic keyboard, and no Bluetooth; I’d spring for the extra $50 for the top-of-the-line version.)

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Toshiba (Finally) Does Netbooks

Toshiba Mini NotebookToshiba has been just about the only significant PC manufacturer who hasn’t jumped on the netbook bandwagon in the U.S. market. Until today, that is–the company is announcing the Mini NB205, its first small, low-cost laptop. (Toshiba prefers to call these mini notebooks, not netbooks; I don’t know if the resolution of the netbook trademark spat will affect its choice of moniker.)

When I got an advance peek at the NB205 last week, Toshiba representatives told me that the company decided to wait to ship a netbook (er, a mini notebook) until it could do it right. And the units they showed me did look decidedly upscale–the first models I’ve seen that compete with Samsung’s for general luxe feel. For $399, you get a 2.9-pound machine in a textured, metallic-finish case (in blue, brown white, or pink). The keyboard boasts the comfy and practical through-the-case design and is  as close to full-size as you can get in a machine with a 10.1″ LED screen, and the list of specs is respectable: a 160GB hard disk with a movement sensor, a Webcam, USB that charges even when the laptop is powered off, a decent-sized touchpad with well-postioned buttons, 802.11g/b WiFi, Ethernet, and Bluetooth. For now, it runs Windows XP.

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