Toshiba thinks big with new ultraportable PC

Portable PC specialist Toshiba is expected today to announce a miniature notebook computer that the company hopes will rewrite the rules of the ultraportables market in the United States, an official says.

Called the Libretto 20 after the Italian word meaning "small book", the 840g unit features a 6.1in active-matrix TFT LCD screen, an Advanced Micro Devices 75MHz 486 DX4 processor, and Windows 95, the official says.

The unit begins shipping next week in Japan, and Toshiba is considering US sales later this year, he says.

The Toshiba unit measures 210mm x 115mm x 34mm and incorporates an 88-key keyboard that's closer to the standard size than current mini-notebooks.

Priced at the equivalent of US$1870 in Japan, the Libretto ships with 8Mb of RAM (expandable to 20Mb); a slim, 2.5in, 270Mb hard drive; and one Type II PC Card slot, the official says.

The unit also houses an IrDA-compatible infrared interface, a serial port, and a printer port. The VGA screen can simultaneously display 65,000 colours at a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels.

Powered by a lithium ion battery, the unit can run up to three hours on one charge.

Toshiba America can be reached at http://www.tais.com/.

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