Toshiba’s 320GB portable drive is so plain it doesn’t even have a real name. It’s just the Toshiba 320GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive, which doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as well as Western Digital’s My Passport Elite, the Toshiba 320’s primary competition in terms of size, speed, and software (see our review of the Elite here).
The USB-only Toshiba 320 posted the slowest real-world read speeds of any drive we’ve tested. However, these lapses represent only a four percent difference in real-world performance when compared to the fastest non-proprietary drive we’ve tested, Western Digital’s My Passport Elite. Four percent is four percent, but it’s not enough to make a significant difference.
Since Blu-ray won out on the high-definition format war over Toshiba’s HD DVD, high definition on disc has just languished. Blu-ray’s victory has been a hollow one with few people rushing out to replace their trusty old DVD players and DVD collections. The initial assumption that it was the format war that kept adoption of the new standard slow. It turned out to be customers being perfectly happy with standard DVD quality.
Toshiba has been considering it’s next move and has decided DVD is good enough and is jumping on the "upconverting" DVD player bandwagon. They are releasing the XD-E500 DVD player that they says does more than previous models to improve the look of DVDs on high-definition TVs. At a MSRP of $149.99 it is twice as much as regular "upconverting" players, but it is less than half the price of a Blu-ray player.
An Associated Press report said that the XDE player produced a noticeable sharpening of the image over a standard, $70 up-scaling model on side-by-side LCD HDTVs. Toshiba didn't demonstrate the XDE against a Blu-ray or HD DVD player, however. Toshiba did stress that it's not meant to compete with Blu-ray.
Toshiba is playing up to Blu-ray’s marketing weakness, they can’t seem to convince users that there is enough of a difference in between regular Blu-ray and Standard DVD to warrant the expense of upgrading. The appearance of “upconverting” DVD players is only going to further hinder Blu-ray adoption. It might be an inevitability that someday we will have to upgrade. The big question is who will hold out the longest, Blu-ray’s high prices or consumers not wanting to pay those high prices and holding on to standard DVD? Who do you think will win out? My money is on the consumers.
The whole world went gaga over the PS3’s Cell processor at the advent of the 7th generation of consoles. That hype slowly subsided as the PS3 failed to set the cash registers ringing. However, an imminent deluge of Cell-based products - Toshiba's latest Qosmio notebooks bear a Cell-derived chip - has turned the spotlight back on to the Cell Broadband Engine.
Toshiba said it has upgraded its onboard flash memory with a new 32GB embedded module. The upgrade makes use of eight 4GB NAND chips built using a smaller 43nm manufacturing process in a single package, allowing Toshiba to fit twice as much capacity in a similar space as before.
The 32GB modules are expected to show up in smaller portable devices, and because the new design integrates its own controller to manage data traffic, other device makers will be able to drop the package in without having to re-engineer their hardware. Toshiba hasn't said which individual customers are expected to buy the new 32GB packages, but it's worth noting that Toshiba is a key supplier of Apple and we could very well end up seeing the chips used in iPhones and iPod Touches.
Toshiba will start offering samples to clients in September with bulk production to expected to follow shortly after.
Some days, we almost miss Toshiba’s signature battleship gray notebook PCs—the latest look for the company’s long-running Satellite series is just a bit too much. After a few hours of use, our Satellite P305-S8825 was covered with fingerprints. And that was with clean paws! If you like snacking on Pringles while surfing the web, this rig will look as hygienic as the sneeze guard at a Baskin-Robbins after a class of third-graders has visited.
For the all the benefits organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) have to offer, high costs have kept the technology from becoming commonplace. And when OLED devices do emerge, they tend to command a premium, putting them out of reach for mainstream consumption. But while the world waits for a breakthrough to bring low-cost OLEDs into the marketplace, Toshiba and Matsushita (Panasonic) might already be there.
According to a report from Japan's Nikkei BP, the two tech giants say they are poised to become the first Japanese companies to mass-produce OLED screens. Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co. (60 percent owned by Toshiba and 40 percent by Matsushita) appears ready to churn out 1 million 2.5-inch organic screens per month by fall of 2009, and will target mostly handheld devices like mobile phones and GPS navigators.
The 2.5-inch screen size remains the sweet spot for many portable devices, and if the two companies' claims turn out to be true, we could see a deluge of OLED devices rolled out in a very short time period starting in late '09
Flip someone the bird and they'll know just what you're telling them. But wave your hand in front of your monitor all you want, and no matter how many times you've watched Obi-Wan use the Force, you're just not going to manipulate your PC. At least not yet.
Toshiba's Qosmio G55-Q802 looks to the change the way you interact with your PC by reading hand signals. Make a fist and move it around to control the mouse pointer, or flip your thumb up like Fonzie to select an object. Force-push won't work, but raising an open palm will tell the system to stop or resume video playback, giving you hands-free media control.
Built around the Centrino 2 platform, an Intel processor performs most of the tasks on the G55, but to read hand signals the laptop will use a quad-core HD processor powered by the same Cell processor found in Playstation 3 consoles. The Cell also lets the PC scan videos and index every new face it finds.
Owning a laptop used to mean being condemned to a low performance hard drive, but that's no longer the case. This past year has seen a surge in both higher performing and higher capacity notebook drives, and as of today, Toshiba tosses its new 2.5-inch 400GB model in to the ring.
The 7200RPM MK4058GSX packs 400 gigs onto just two platters with "an improved read-write head and enhanced magnetic layter to boost areal density to 477Mbit/mm²". Further separating itself from Toshiba's previous flagship 320GB 2.5-inch drive, the new model purports to cut acoustic noise during data seek by 2dB, all the while consuming 20 percent less power than its predecessor.
Five other drives round out the new lineup, coming in 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 250GB, and 320GB flavors, and all of them support an optional Free Fall Sensor function Toshiba says will detect a failing hard drive and park the head before impact. Look for mass production to kick in late this summer.
Now that Blu-ray rules the high definition roost, many are left wondering what Toshiba's next move be in the wake of HD-DVD's death, and a new logo has kicked speculation into high gear. The Toshiba-chaired DVD Forum recently approved the DVD Download/DL logo, a new spec likely to show up in Toshiba's next batch of super upscaling DVD players. But what exactly is this new feature? According to wireless consumer advocate Christopher Rice, DVD Download/DL equipped players will enable transmissions of HD-quality video from the web, so not only will your standard videos look better when upscaled, but you'll have the option to download the DVD in HD.
If true, one has to wonder why Toshiba would go down this road again and wage another war with Blu-ray, but is it really such a big gamble? Despite winning the high definition format war, Blu-ray sales have been a bust among consumers, and buyers are realizing that upscaled DVDs look pretty darn good on a HDTV. And because the new players won't introduce a new optical format, movie studios won't be able to render the player obsolete as easily as they did with HD-DVD. Sounds promising in theory, but let's see how it shakes out in practice.
Some things are so obvious that one completely ignores them and the computer mouse is one of them. However, Gartner analyst Steve Prentice still managed to turn his attention to the generic device – maybe for the lack of a better subject of attention - and came up with an ominously titled paper “Gestural Computing: The End of the Mouse”. He has sounded the death knell for the mouse. But you will need to read further to know why the computer mouse is steadily scrolling towards its grave.