Toshiba Is Making A Big Splash This Year

Toshiba Is Making A Big Splash This Year.

Toshiba's Mobile Answer to Workstation

“The company's Satellite 1955-S801 weighs 9.6 pounds, sports a 2.2GHz Pentium 4 desktop processor from Intel, a huge 16-inch display and a removable wireless keyboard.

The new Satellite is meant to replace a high-end desktop PC with a more portable alternative. The machine's design also aims to promote greater ease of use, by allowing owners to detach the wireless keyboard and also use a wireless mouse to sit farther back from the 16-inch screen….

The Satellite 1955 is the latest example in a new trend in consumer-oriented notebooks. Manufacturers have begun producing notebooks with giant screens and desktop Pentium 4 processors to offer higher performance and somewhat lower prices than more traditional notebooks. But there is a trade-off: The new machines weigh considerably more and don't run as long on batteries.

Analysts say such machines appeal to a certain customer, typically a second – or third-time PC buyer who wants something more portable than a desktop but refuses to give up performance or pay a huge sum for a new machine….

The Satellite 1955 will cost $2,499 and includes a few features not found in other desktop-replacement notebooks, such as the detachable wireless keyboard and the wireless mouse.

The machine includes the 16-inch screen with 1280-by-1024-pixel resolution, 512MB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive, a combination CD-rewritable/DVD drive, an IEEE 1394 port, Nvidia's GeForce4 440 Go graphics chip, and 32MB of video memory.” []

As long as you don't need to be truly portable, this isn't a bad idea. However, check out the Coolest Toshiba Laptop Around currently available in Japan:

picture of the slim Toshiba laptop“I'm typing this on a Toshiba Libretto L5, a full-function laptop that takes up less space on my desk than a comic book. With built-in wireless networking I can surf the Web anywhere and everywhere in my house. Finally, I can read Slate in the bathroom! The laptop is so light that I carry it with me wherever I go. Who needs a PDA with a laptop this small? There's only one problem. Toshiba won't sell you one. Like many of the hottest laptops around, it is sold only in Japan….

The Libretto is not for everyone. The 10-inch 1,280-by-600  screen is amazingly bright and clear, but if you find yourself squinting at a normal laptop display this one will give you eyestrain. The keys are tight compared to a standard keyboard, and even tighter if you're used to an ergonomic keyboard. The Transmeta Crusoe microprocessor (comparable to an Intel Pentium III) normally runs at 800 mhz but slows down when operating solely on battery. Sometimes it was too slow to display certain intensive video formats. I got three-plus hours out of the built-in battery when doing nothing but typing, but hard-disk-intensive operations like watching movies or listening to music drained it much faster. And don't plan on watching movies on the airplane. You'll need to buy a separate DVD drive that plugs into the standard USB interface or PC-card slot—and that probably means a separate power supply and/or battery. Finally, if you hate the “eraserhead” mouse-substitute then you'll hate this one too.

What makes the Libretto so great is that it takes up very little space. At 10.5 inches wide by 6.6 inches deep, it actually sits between the keyboard and monitor of my desktop, allowing me to check mail on one machine while running Photoshop full-screen on the other. On a plane that advantage is magnified because you can use it even when the bozo in front of you has his seatback fully reclined. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and claim that without advances in speech or handwriting recognition, a laptop's footprint can't get substantially smaller than this and still remain usable. You can't get any smaller without shrinking the keyboard to the point where you can't touch-type.” [Slate]

Between these laptops and the e740 Pocket PC, I'm gaining more respect for Toshiba's products.  [The Shifted Librarian]

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