Toshiba plans HD DVD-R laptop for Vista launch

Toshiba will put on sale in late February the first laptop PC in the world with support for the write-once HD DVD-R optical disc format

Toshiba will put on sale in Japan in late February the first laptop PC in the world with support for the write-once HD DVD-R optical disc format.

The G30/97A will be an upgrade of existing models of Toshiba's hefty Qosmio G30 entertainment laptop. Some of those models already contain an HD DVD reader and are on sale in major markets worldwide.

The computer is based on an Intel 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor and has a 17-inch widescreen display with 1,920 pixel by 1,280 pixel resolution, which means it can show high-definition images from HD DVD movie discs. The 4.8-kg machine also features a 320G-byte hard-disk drive, digital TV tuner and HDMI (high definition multimedia interface) output.

Toshiba hasn't announced a price for the computer, which will run the Windows Vista Home Premium operating system. International launch plans have also not been announced.

To coincide with Toshiba's launch of the Qosmio computer, Hitachi Maxell will begin selling HD DVD-R media. A single-side 15G byte disc will be available from Jan. 25 for around $16.

Another rival PC maker is also offering blue laser disc compatibility in a new machine running Vista.

NEC Corp., which has been straddling the format battle fence, will put out in February two laptops with Blu-ray Disc support. The LaVie C will come out Feb. 9 for about $3300 and the LaVie L will come out Feb. 23 and cost around $3200. Both will be based on Windows Vista Home Premium.

The drives will be read-only models suitable for playing back Blu-ray Disc movies and other prerecorded content but not in full high-definition resolution. The computers have 15.4-inch widescreen displays that only offer 800 pixels of horizontal resolution. Full HD images have 1,080 picture lines.

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Martyn Williams

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