Notebook computer power and functionality continues to close in on that of desktop PCs with Toshiba's revision of its product lines this week.
Four new models have been announced that feature larger screens, faster and smaller CD-ROM drives and enhanced battery life.
Jennifer Chadderton, Toshiba's New Zealand channel sales manager, says Toshiba's new battery technology, which features square-cell batteries inside the standard module, saves space and increases further the power-to-weight ratio of the notebook machines. The new battery technology is available in the 660 CDT notebook only at present.
Toshiba has also announced an ultra-slim 10x CD-ROM drive that is 12.5mm thick as opposed to the previous 25mm units.
The four new models are the Portege 660 CDT, which New Zealand general manager Barry Hastings says has the "smallest notebook footprint" on the market today. It has a 150MHz Pentium processor, 11.3in screen, 1.26Gb hard drive and 16Mb of EDO RAM as well as the 10x CD-ROM. It will retail at $10,086 ex GST.
The Tecra 510 CDT comes with 133MHz processor, 12.1in active-matrix screen, 2Gb drive, 16Mb of RAM and an internal AC adaptor. It will also retail at $10,086 ex GST.
The Satellite Pro 430 has a 120MHz Pentium processor, 1.26Gb drive, 16Mb of RAM, a full-sized 10x CD-ROM and 11.3in screen. The 430 CDT retails at $6765 and the CDS (passive-matrix screen) at $5412 ex GST.
Toshiba has also announced a new entry-level multimedia model, the Satellite 200 CDS. It features a 100MHz Pentium processor, 8Mb of RAM, swappable 6x CD-ROM, 11.3in screen and 810Mb drive. It will retail at $4059 ex GST.
All of the new models include a zoomed video port.
Toshiba has also signalled its future product paths, with universal serial bus technology possible in April and DVD due in the third quarter of 1997. Firewire, which Toshiba says is faster than USB, could be available by mid-1997.
According to IDC figures, Toshiba's New Zealand notebook market share for the third quarter of 1996 is 44%.