Toshiba today announced the Dynabook TX/98MBL, the industry's first notebook to support 3D Blu-ray playback. With a 15.6-inch LED backlit display, Toshiba's newest Dynabook comes bundled with both WinDVD BD for playing Blu-ray discs and Nvidia's 3D Vision software and hardware.
Other features consists of an Intel Core i7 740QM processor (1.73GHz stock, 2.93GHz Turbo Boost), 640GB hard drive, up to 4GB of memory, Nvidia GeForce GTS 350M graphics with 1GB of onboard RAM, remote control, and a "selectable OS" all wrapped in a "velvety black finish."
Toshiba's pushing the Dynabook TX/98MBL for a late July release in Japan for an as-yet unannounced price point (some reports have it selling for around $2,750). The company also plans to launch this one in the U.S. market, but no word yet on when.
Asus, which has showed an increased interest in the mobile market the past few years, wants to become a top-3 notebook vendor and is apparently willing to buy its way there, according to a report in the Chinese-language Commercial Times.
As the Commercial Times tells it, Asus chairman Jonney Shih is pretty adamant about growing its notebook business through acquisitions, and has already reached out to Toshiba. Nothing has yet been finalized, and it's not even clear how far the two are in discussions about a possible deal.
It's not surprising that Asus would be interested in Toshiba's notebook business. Toshiba, which focuses mainly on regular sized notebooks, currently ranks No. 5 both worldwide and in the U.S. in laptop sales, while most of the success Asus has enjoyed comes from its Eee PC netbook line.
Following an extensive investigation into alleged price fixing violations, the European Commission found nine memory makers guilty of wrongdoing and fined them a collective $404 million.
The companies involved include Samsung, Infineon, Hynix, Elpida, NEC, Hitachi, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, and Nanya, all of which submitted settlements admitting their liability for infringement, according to reports. Micron would also have been included, but ultimately was not fined since it told the Commission about the cartel as far back as 2002.
"You may think that to use the word 'settlement' next to the word 'cartel' sounds quite strange," Almunia said. "So let me explain right away that we are not compromising on cartels, with or without a settlement. A cartel is the worst violation of competition rules since its object is to collude against the interests of other companies and of consumers."
Samsung received the biggest fine at $145.7 million, with Infineon receiving the second largest fine at $56.7 million. The cartel is said to have operated from July 1, 1998 and June 15, 2002.
Here's a buzzword to remember: Autostereoscopic. What is it? Put simply, it's a type of display that allows for 3D content without having to wear any funny looking glasses, and several major manufacturers are jumping on board. Toshiba is one of the first out of the gates with an autostereoscopic high-definition display, which measures 21 inches and supports a 1280x800 pixel resolution (WXGA).
"To date most 3D products have used special glasses to separate a picture into two images: one for the left eye and the other for the right eye," Toshiba explains. "But the market has strongly desired a more versatile and glasses-free approach that could be used anywhere. This new product employs an integral imaging system (a “light field” display) to reproduce a real object as a 3D image that can be viewed without glasses over a wide range of viewing angles. Therefore, the display is suitable for 3D monitors used for advertisements and entertainment appliances."
Toshiba says its new 21-inch display adopts a lens sheet to control reduction in surface luminance intensity so that it's every bit as bright as a standard 2D display. When it will ship and for how much remains to be seen, but Toshiba isn't alone here. Both Sharp and Hitachi are working on autosterescopic 3D displays of their own, though on a smaller scale. Word on the Web is that one or both of these manufacturers will provide the 3D panel for Nintendo's upcoming 3DS handheld.
Maybe one day we'll look back and remember 3D in the homestead as just a passing fad, but in the here now, and short term future, be prepared to have 3D devices shoved down your throat. Toshiba will be among those force feeding 3D tech to households this summer when the company releases its "3D Regza" LCD TV line.
"Based on the concept of high-quality 3D images, we will release products that are different from other companies," Toshiba said.
Toshiba was referring to its "2D-3D" conversion technology. As is often the case, the hardware is preceding the content, so while you wait for more 3D programming to hit the airwaves, Toshiba's upcoming displays will be able to convert normal images into 3D.
Europe will be the first to receive these upcoming displays, though Japan looks to figure prominently in Toshiba's 3D plans. The company said it plans to increase the ratio of 3D TVs among its TVs larger than 46 inches in Japan to 20 percent by the end of the year.
Toshiba this week announced the highest-capacity automotive-grade HDD yet available, the MK2060GSC.
The new drive packs 200GB of storage capacity on a single platter and spins at 4200RPM. Other tech specs include a 12ms average seek time, SATA interface, and several rugged characteristics. According to Toshiba, the MK2060GSC can withstand altitude variations of -300 to 12,000 meters during non-operation, and -300 to 5,650 meters when in use. It can also tolerate operating temperatures ranging from -30 to +85C.
"The next generation of automobile infotainment, connectivity and location-awareness applications will require more innovation and undoubtedly higher storage capacity," said Scott Wright, product manager for Toshiba Storage Device Division. "Our commitment to sustain continued advancement in this product category continues to position Toshiba as the leader for storage components. We are ideally positioned to provide vehicle systems manufacturers with the high-quality, reliable storage technology they need to capitalize on an evolving market opportunity."
According to Toshiba, their latest automotive-grade HDD boasts a 78 percent improvement in internal transfer rates compared to equivalent products on the market.
Look for the drive to ship in the third quarter of this year. No word yet on price.
Let’s talk about love. When you love something, you love it for what it is, not what it isn’t. We love netbooks; we don’t care that they can’t really do games, or HD Flash video, or any media encoding to speak of. We know what we want—all-day computing in a formfactor small enough to toss into a knapsack or messenger bag and barely know it’s there, and cheap enough to be viable as a secondary PC. Toshiba’s first netbook, the NB205, came out in the latter half of 2009, but was immediately lauded as a shining exemplar of netbook craft. So, can the NB305, its Atom N450–toting successor, replicate the NB205’s success?
With the NB305, Toshiba has opted for a gentle refinement of the 205 rather than an all-out reimagining. Aside from the new Pine Trail N450 CPU and the Windows 7 Starter OS, the NB305 is virtually identical to its predecessor. Both share standard netbook specs: 1GB DDR2 RAM, a 250GB 5,400rpm hard drive, and a 10.1-inch 1024x600 screen. And the 305 replicates the NB205’s styling almost identically, from the matte-silver plastic chassis, textured lid, and matching bezel to the striped touch pad and chiclet keyboard.
Toshiba said it is investing heavily in chip-making equipment that will enable the world's No. 2 NAND flash memory maker to produce microchips built on a sub-25nm manufacturing process.
The shrink to below 25nm will pave the way for higher capacities on smaller slices of silicon that are cheaper to produce, so it's a win all around. Toshiba's current product is stuck at 32nm and 43nm, and the company will spend $160 million this year in order to build a test production line for the smaller chips.
According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei Business Daily, Toshiba will soon begin churning out NAND chips with circuitry widths in the upper 20 nanometer range in the second half of this year. NAND chips with circuitry widths in the lower 20 nanometer range could begin as early as 2012.
How do you look good while toting around 1TB of data? Ask Toshiba's new 1TB Canvio portable hard drive, which combines an easy-to-use backup solution with oodles of storage and shoves it all into a stylish casing.
"As the survey shows, home computers hold very personal and valuable assets, and yet the majority of people aren't doing enough to help protect that precious data," said Manuel Camarena, product manager for consumer storage at Toshiba Storage Device Division. "For consumers who know backup is important and want an easy path to peace of mind, the Canvio is a no-brainer. It simply acts like an insurance policy against the loss of crucial data and precious digital memories."
Toshiba says the 1TB Canvio can store up to 285,000 digital pics, 263,000 music files, or 820 digital movies, and do so in a frame smaller than a postcard weighing about six ounces. The Canvio product line also comes in 500GB, 640GB, and 750GB models, as well as five different color options, including Raven Black, Satin Silver, Liquid Blue, Rocket Red, and Komodo Green.
Pricing breaks down to $120 (500GB), $140 (640GB), $160 (750GB), and $200 (1TB).
The notebooks of tomorrow will feature more storage than ever before, so long as companies like Toshiba continue to push the areal density and capacity envelopes of 2.5-inch drives. Such is the case today, as Toshiba announced two new 2.5-inch HDDs: MK7559GSXP (750GB) and MK1059GSM (1TB).
Toshiba says its MK7559GSXP is the industry's highest areal density and capacity drive, which crams 750GB into a standard 9.5mm high, two-platter design. It's also easy on the environment, consuming 14 percent less energy than the previous generation MK6465GSX (640GB) drive.
The 1TB drives sports a three-platter, 12.5mm high design with 6 heads. It consumes a bit more power than the 750GB at 2.2W (seek) and 1.7W (read/write), compared to 1.85W and 1.5W, respectively. But like the other drive, the 1TB model sports a 12ms seek time, SATA II interface, 8MB of cache, and spins at 5400RPM.