Toshiba develops tablet PC for digital lifestyles

Thin tablet offers instant-on and a 14-hour battery life

With consumers increasingly using laptop PCs around the home to access multimedia and social-networking services, Toshiba has designed a tablet PC intended to offer quick access to the same services without some of the hassles of a full-blown PC.

The JournE tablet has a 7-inch touch screen and is based on the Windows Embedded OS so it will instantly spring to life when switched on. It connects to a Wi-Fi network and supports a range of media formats including JPEG images, MP3 and Windows Media audio files and MPEG4, H.264, Divx and Windows Media video files.

Access to services such as YouTube, MSN Messenger, Picasa, Flickr and RSS feeds are built in as are Internet Explorer and Windows Multimedia Player 9.0. European models of the device will also support access to the Acetrax video on demand service.

A photo of the tablet released by Toshiba showed a home screen with 15 square icons, linked to the services mentioned and other functions including an organizer, user manual and settings screen.

An optional cradle adds a USB and HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interactive) connector. The latter will enable it to be hooked-up to a TV set so content photos, video or content downloaded or streamed from the Internet can be viewed on a television. The JournE has 1GB of internal memory that can be extended to up to 32GB with a plug-in SD card.

Battery life is around 14 hours, according to Toshiba, so it will last considerably longer than a laptop.

It will be available later this year and will cost €249 ($US356). Pricing and launch details for other markets were not immediately announced.

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