Last week Toshiba celebrated the 25th anniversary of its laptop business and did it in fine style with three truly innovative new models.
First up is Toshiba's debut entry into the stuttering smartbook sector: the 'AC100'. Strangely Toshiba has decided to call it a MID, but whatever the name it sticks to the smartbook mantra of an ARM-based chipset (Nvidia's Tegra), instant-on mobile OS (Android), long battery life (10 hours or up to seven days standby) and optional integrated 3G.
The AC100 also fulfils the smartbook's aim of being even more portable than a netbook measuring just 14mm thick and weighing a mere 870g. The 10.1in screen sports a 1024 x 600 native resolution too meaning we may well have a new poster boy for the smartbook sector ahead of the Lenovo Skylight - even if Toshiba doesn't want to name it as such.
Next is the dual screen 'Libretto W100' - the world's first commercial dual touchscreen Windows 7 laptop. We saw a similar MSI prototype at Mobile World Congress in February, but this is far more practical with a pair of 7in 1024 x 600 displays, integrated accelerometer and decent horsepower packing a 1.2GHz Intel Pentium U5400 processor, 2GB of RAM and SSD (up to 64GB).
It'll be niche at $1099, something Tosh realises with only a limited initial production run and while I'd suggest Windows 7 isn't the best choice of platform for a touchscreen UI I suspect we'll see many more similar models over the next 12 months.
Last, but by no means least is the Portégé R700, the eagerly awaited 13.3in successor to the exciting R500 and R600. The R700 has undergone a complete - and stunning - redesign with a new magnesium chassis, chiclet keyboard, HDMI, eight hour battery life and full array of Intel i3, i5 and i7 CPUs plus the option of a 128GB SSD.
Toshiba claims the R700 is the world's lightest 13.3in laptop - despite packing in an optical drive - and even better still, with starting prices from $899 (i3, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD) it will be affordable too.
So if that's how Toshiba rounds off 25 years of laptop innovation, we can't wait to see how it rounds off 50 years...
Link: Press Release