It has been a busy week for Toshiba as they celebrated 25 years at the front of the portable PC market, and they have done so by releasing three new additions to their repertoire all of which are very different, but all of which focus very much on the portability of the PCs and two of which really have a claim as world firsts!
Toshiba Libretto W100
Let’s start with perhaps the most exciting of the three: the Libretto W100 which (and please try and contain your excitement) boasts two multi-touch 7in 1,024×600 LED backlit screens – remind anyone of the now abandoned Microsoft Courier concept?
It’s powered by an UL5400 Intel Processor with 2GB DDR3 RAM the W100 promises “unrivalled flexibility” as one screen can be used for things such as Word documents or email, whilst you could be browsing the internet on the other.
This really does open up the idea of multitasking to mobile computing, and the fact that it incorporates an accelerometer means that you can use it vertically and horizontally adding an extra ‘cool’ factor!
Looking quite a lot like a large Nintendo DS the screen is big enough to allow you to clearly see what you are doing whilst being small enough to be able to hold in one hand (although unfortunately not enough to fit in your pocket), and the incorporation of Windows 7 means that it will be familiar to most users, and allow for true Windows flexibility on the move.
The device weighs in at only 840g, and also boasts a 62GB SSD a webcam, WiFi, Bluetooth and optional 3G meaning that users can utilise their mobile network to access the internet. Set to be released next month the W100 will set you back about £799, and will quite possibly be a good competitor to the currently very popular Apple iPad.
Toshiba AC100 Android Netbook
It has been a while since we’ve seen anything genuinely new in the netbook market, but Toshiba have managed to do just that with the AC100 announced today which boasts Google’s Android 2.1 O/S (as recently seen on the HTC Desire) running on a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 250 processor.
There have been murmurings that an Android netbook was on the way, and here it is sporting 512MB of memory, an 8GB flash disk, webcam and a HDMI port. It’s also incredibly small at just 14mm thick at its thinnest point, and weighing only 870g, and really manages to fill the gap between the smartphone and the netbook that I’m not sure anyone really thought needed filling…
Having said that perhaps it will do well (after all it does go back to what netbooks were originally about) combining the simplicity and portability of a smartphone with the 1,024×600 screen and keyboard of a laptop. And all of this comes in an incredibly nice looking package which has some incredibly nice looking orange highlights to support the predictably gloss black finish.
There is no news yet on pricing, but the AC100 has a release date for August here in the UK and whilst I imagine the lack of power and familiarity with Windows will probably put a lot of people off buying this, the looks and portability may be its redeeming features.
Toshiba PortÃ©gÃ© R700
Finally we have what one would consider to be a more traditional laptop, but still arguably the most impressive of the three releases for the reason that it manages to stand out in an already crowded field rather than pioneering a new one.
Sold as the latest ‘thinnest and lightest laptop in Europe’ (an odd claim, but apparently they are doing and even slimmer version in Japan) the R700 has managed to overcome many of the problems of a thin laptop whilst including specs that punch well above it’s weight.
For example you can choose from an i3, i5 or i7 processor, have up to 4GB of RAM and even have a hard drive of up to 320GB although you may choose for the slightly more suave 128GB SSD version. You also get an optical drive which is very impressive considering its size (and something that a laptop that powerful really needs), a multitouch trackpad, HDMI support and 3G.
The battery also isn’t too bad lasting for around 9 hours for the 6 cell version and an extra 5 hours for the 9 cell, and the 13.3in screen has an impressive 1366×768 resolution. The R700 will be released in July (whilst the similarly ‘specced’ consumer Satellite R630 version will be released in August) with a starting price of only £629 which is very impressive, although of course this is the base version (and without the DVD drive) and you can expect some of the ‘better’ versions to give your wallet a bit more of a workout!
So that’s Toshiba’s latest releases, and one has to say they do look impressive! Whilst it remains to be seen how well they will fare in the real world they all have potential, and I would not be at all surprised to see them do very well!