Sony isn't the only one in hot water with U.S. antitrust regulators. Both Toshiba and Hitachi have also fallen under the watchful eye of the U.S. Department of Justice and will have their optical device divisions investigated, The Inquirerreports.
Once again, not a whole lot of details are yet known, but just like with Sony, it's believed that the DoJ is sniffing out something afoul with each optical makers' Blu-ray line. More specifically, it's likely each company is being probed for potential price fixing allegations.
Before being knocked out of contention, HD-DVD players could be snagged for as low as $99, which coincided with a promotion to receive a small handful of free HD-DVD movies through the mail. For the most part, Blu-ray pricing has yet to come down to the same level. It should also be noted that Sony, Hitachi, and Toshiba account for about 60 percent of the optical drive market, according to some statistics.
The mobile phone market boasts worldwide sales growth of 29 percent year-over-year to reach 180 million units. Smartphones are expected to account for 37 percent of global handset sales by 2012 with forecasted revenue of $191 million by 2012. So, what does that have to do with PC’s?
Analysts think that PC makers want a piece of that huge growth action. The growth percentages mentioned above are already far above that of worldwide PC sales numbers and outside of Apple, few PC makers have been able to cash in. Although, “PC vendors will find it difficult to simply use existing supply chains and channels to expand their presence in the smart phone market,” according to Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner.
Despite the difficulties, it is inevitable that more PC manufacturers will dip their toes into the success of mobile markets even though it is a very different ocean. Acer, Asus and Toshiba have all announced smartphone launches and this trend is expected to continue.
Toshiba has introduced the Dynario, a Direct Methanol Fuel-Cell (DMFC) charger for portable electronics. The palm-sized Dynario consists of the charging unit and methanol fuel, which mixes with ambient oxygen to produce a charge sufficient to power up a mobile phone or a digital-media player via a USB cable. With methanol fuel sold separately, the Dynario is reusable.
For the technically inclined, a DMFC is a type of proton-exchange fuel cell. Methanol is the chosen fuel because it is energy-dense yet reasonably stable. Proton-exchange fuel cells are not particularly efficient, which limits there application to portable applications where energy density is more important.
Toshiba’s $328 million acquisition of hard drive maker Fujitsu is bearing some early fruit. The deal, made earlier this year, was an effort by Toshiba to increase it’s presence in the enterprise storage market. Toshiba acquired all of Fujitsu’s hard drive related business including design, development, manufacturing, and sales.
In our August 2009 ultraportable notebook roundup we fell hard for Toshiba’s Portégé R600—the lightest, sleekest ultraportable notebook we’d ever tested. At $2,150, however, that notebook isn’t cheap.
This month we tested Toshiba’s more affordable ultraportable, the Portégé A605, to see how this consumer-class model compares with its fancier business-class kin.
In looks, the two machines are quite different. While the R600 wowed us with its silver, svelte stylishness, the A605 looks more commonplace. Inside and out, it’s adorned with that shiny black plastic you see everywhere these days, which looks really good… until you smudge it. Its keyboard, thankfully, has the same fingerprint-proof silver coating as the R600’s, and more importantly, sports the same full-size dimensions that make typing on it easy. The A605, which measures 11.3x8.8x1.2 inches, is close in size to the R600, just not as wafer-thin, and it’s a noticeable three-quarters of a pound heavier. Like the R600, the A605 offers a generous selection of ports and expandability options, including a USB/eSATA port (in addition to two standard USB ports), an ExpressCard slot, and an SD media reader.
If you think you're excited about the launch of Windows 7, you should check out Toshiba, who today announced a boatload of laptops ready for the OS's release.
Running the gamut from netbooks to full-blown desktop replacements, the lowest model in Toshiba's upcoming totem pole includes the 10.1-inch NB200 netbook series. For $400, you'll find a typical spec sheet consisting of an Intel Atom N280 processor, 1GB of DDR RAM a 160GB hard drive, and other decidedly netbookish specs.
Further up the pricing ladder is Toshiba's Satellite A500 series, which will sport a 16-inch HD screen. Underneath the hood, users will have a choice between an Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Turion II Ultra foundation. Pricing starts at $590.
Towards the top sits the Satellite P500 series. These laptops will come with an 18.4-inch HD screen and also give users a choice between an Intel or AMD processor. Some models will also include a Blu-ray player and illuminating LED backlit keyboard.
And then there's the Qosmio X500 desktop replacement laptop, which will be available in two configurations. One will come with an 18.4-inch HD screen, 320GB hard drive spinning at 7200RPM, and 4GB of memory, while the other will boast two hard drives and a 64GB SSD, along with 6GB of memory. Pricing will start at $1,450 and $1,900 respectively.
Toshiba has plenty of other models on tap for an October 22nd launch, and so will everyone else. Stay tuned!
Super Talent and Toshiba today announced a new range of co-branded SSDs called the UltraDrive DX. The official press release was largely dedicated to UltraDrive DX’s twin-layer encryption. It features password encryption as its first line of defense and hardware data randomization technology as the second.
“As the first Toshiba co-branded SSD on the market, UltraDrive DX features a Toshiba controller and Toshiba’s MLC NAND flash memories. The DX provides superb security and reliability features combined with cutting edge performance in both read and write speeds,” said Joe James, director of marketing at Super Talent.
Acer owes its rapid strides in the PC market to its success in the netbook segment. Now it expects to benefit from the launch of Windows 7 and a resurgent global economy. Acer chairman JT Wang is confident that the company will meet its revenue forecast for Q4 2009. The company is expected to register a 10% growth in consolidated revenues during the ongoing quarter.
He believes that the entry of Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba into the ultra-thin notebook segment is bereft of seriousness, and this very lack of sincerity is preventing Intel’s ultra-thin notebook technology from taking off.
After months of negotiations and ironing out the details, Toshiba and Fujitsu have put their John Hancocks on the appropriate papers to make Toshiba's take over of Fujitsu's multinational hard drive design manufacturing business a done deal, eWeek.com reports.
The two sides had hoped to seal the deal by July 1, but it took longer than expected to finalize the details. Neither side has disclosed financial terms of the buyout, but according to Toshiba, the buyout propels the company to the top of the storage heap.
"Effectively, the deal makes Toshiba the world's largest full-service data storage supplier, when taking into account hard disk drives, solid-state NAND flash disks, optical disk drives, software, and everything else the company provides," Toshiba marketing executive Scott McCabe told eWeek.
Equally important, the deal pushes Toshiba into the enterprise HDD market, a sector the company has been trying to break into for years.
In the mobile world, having your cake and eating it too means packing power and battery life into a lightweight laptop, and that's exactly what Toshiba claims to have done with its new Satellite T100 series.
Measuring just one inch thick and weighing in at 3.49 pounds, Toshiba says it didn't cut corners on its slim T100 series, which will be available in two screen sizes and various color options. The Satellite T135 will come with a 13.3 inch display and be offered in Nova Red, Nova Black, and Nova White, while the T115 sports an 11.6-inch display and offered in Nova Red and Nova Black.
On the hardware front, the T135 sports an Intel Pentium SU2700 processor, up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and a 6-cell battery. The T115 drops the processor down an Intel Celeron 743 processor and maximum RAM to 4GB, while keeping most other components the same. Both systems come with Windows 7 and claim up to 9 hours of run time on a single charge.
Both models will be available starting October 22, 2009, with the T135 carrying an MSRP of $600 and the T115 selling for $450.