Toshiba jumps to 10-inch screen on new netbooks

The new computers will launch in Japan this Friday then become available in other countries later

Toshiba is refreshing its netbook line-up and with the new machines is switching to more spacious 10-inch screens.

The UX-series netbooks are based on the N280 version of Intel's Atom chip that the chip maker began shipping in February, and come with 1GB of memory and a 160GB hard disk drive.

The display is a 10.1-inch LCD with 1,024x600 pixel resolution. Toshiba's previous Atom-based machine, the NB100, sported a similar resolution but on an 8.9-inch LCD. Many netbook vendors have been switching to the larger displays as consumers prefer them.

Battery life has also been extended in the new machines. Toshiba said the standard battery should last up to about 4 hours, compared with 2.9 hours for the NB100.

Despite its larger screen the new model is smaller, at 26.3 centimeters by 19.2cm by 3.1cm. The computer weighs between 1.2 kilograms and 1.3kg depending on the configuration.

The UX-series computers will be launched in Japan on Friday and follow in other markets, although precise international launch dates have not been decided, said Toshiba.

Prices for the computers range from around ¥60,000 to ¥70,000 (US$606 to $707) in Japan.

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